Anaheim's third home game of the season began with them "revealing" their new third jerseys, and ended with them taking their third shutout loss.
The rule of threes isn't always positive.
As the night began, it was very reassuring news for Ducks fans to see that Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry would finally be playing on the same line again. After scoring just one goal in the previous twelve periods, it was rather evident that splitting the Twins up wasn't paying any dividends. It didn't really matter as the puck dropped, though, because before Anaheim's gruesome twosome even hit the ice, Nathan MacKinnon took an unfavorable look at the net from the outer perimeter of the right faceoff circle that somehow snuck under Frederik Andersen and hit the back of the net. Not even a minute in to the game and the Ducks already had to begin playing catch-up.
Against a Colorado defense that has been notoriously bad at suppressing opposing shots over the last few years, the Ducks struggled to get much of anything going on the offensive side of the puck. Their zone entries looked incredibly disjointed, their passes were constantly missing their mark, and on multiple occasions, the puck was slipping off Anaheim stick blades while their handlers were simply handling the puck looking for viable options. As many Duck fans know, a foolproof way to make the team's offense look even more dreadful is to put them on their infamous power play. Tonight was not an exception. The home team was struggling to even cross the Colorado blue line, and when they did, they settled for taking shots on the perimeter. Just about every time, an Avalanche defenseman already made his way into the shooting lane to block the shot, and on the off chance that a puck did find its way through the mass of white jerseys, there was always one parked in front of goaltender Reto Berra to nix any dangerous follow-ups.
Although the Avs' offense didn't exactly look like world-beaters either, they had a chance in the second period to do something the Ducks weren't: cycle the puck with a sustained possession in their offensive zone. After a few passes around the outside while looking for something promising, Nick Holden took the puck at the point and threw it over to Jack Skille on the wing, who cranked a one-timer that glanced off Tim Jackman's stick and again, through the wickets of Andersen.
With the exception of a shortened power play by way of Alex Tanguay taking a penalty exactly a minute after Ryan Kesler, the Ducks continued to look totally lost on the ice. Peter McNab of the Altitude broadcasting team perfectly vocalized Anaheim's problems, as he pondered aloud in the waning minutes of the second period, "How many times has a pass off a Ducks stick went right to an Avalanche player?!" Amidst all of the sloppy play, however, the Ducks had a couple of strong chances that did not get cashed in on, and that's when even the official Twitter account joined the general fanbase with the "really?" consensus that has come with a lack of goals.
Hagelin. HIT. THE. PIPE. Cripes. #COLvsANA— Anaheim Ducks (@AnaheimDucks) October 17, 2015
This was right after Getzlaf hit the outside of the post from the low faceoff circle after being fed on a wraparound. He was staring at more than a few square feet of twine. Cripes.
The final period began with Simon Despres getting knocked up high by Tyson Barrie which ended the Duck defenseman's night. Not exactly what the team needed when facing a two-goal deficit with one period left, but then again, the return of the line blender failed to help matters either. The slot machine that was the Anaheim line rushes didn't pay out for the duration of the third, and an empty-netter by John Mitchell sealed the deal for the Avs while the men in orange left the ice to boos.
The Ducks get another chance to play electrician on that red goal light on Sunday night, as the Minnesota Wild come to town for the conclusion of Anaheim's four-game homestand.