In the final away game of their road trip the Anaheim Ducks lost, yet again, this time to the St. Louis Blues , who remain undefeated at home. So what can we take away from this matchup both with the positives and the negatives? Let's start with the negatives, shall we?
Tape to Skate Passes
Maybe someone heard this wrong, but I'm pretty sure this is supposed to be "tape-to-tape" passes, meaning it goes from one stick blade to the next. It does not end up in the skates, or behind the intended recipient, but on their stick. Everyone remember this lesson from pee-wees? Great. Fix it. Moving on.
Kesler's Offensive Penalties
Not once, but twice Ryan Kesler was called for unnecessary minor penalties when forechecking in the offensive zone. There should never be a penalty taken when you're trying to score. I understand there are circumstances in the defensive zone where it's the better choice, however when you're forechecking? Really, Kes?
Uneven and Inconsistent Officiating
Just in the span of ten seconds or so right before the "fight" between Corey Perry and Steve Ott during the last four minutes of the middle period, there was a missed crosschecking call (Ott on Perry), an admittedly soft but still possible slashing call (Alex Pietrangelo on Carl Hagelin), and another extra crosscheck (David Backes on Hagelin), aside from the missed holding call ( Ott on Perry) that was pretty blatant.
Oh and that was just in 10 seconds.
Let's also not forget about the scrap where Korbinian Holzer and Patrick Maroon each were called for roughing when they were just trying to get Ott to stop the extra shoves and punches he was serving to youngster Chris Wagner who was already on the ice. Yet, Maroon barely even got to Ott. Joel Edmundson, who was not assessed a penalty, held Maroon back and then settled on pulling the Big Dog back by the back of his jersey collar. Maroon attempted to get away, clearly feeling discomfort from his tightened neckline, however Edmundson didn't let go, and Maroon still was escorted to the sin-bin.
And trust me, there were plenty more non-calls throughout the night but maybe those two instances are enough.
Ricochets Doing What They Do Best/Worst
There were so many funky deflections off the glass and the weird stanchion dividers between the glass panels. Frederik Andersen ended up giving up a goal to a weird shot which pinballed off the boards, and was redirected by his own skate blade. Yeah, the boards seemed pretty unpredictable in St. Louis.
Andrew Cogliano Going Beast Mode
See Star #3 below. Or just watch #7 on the penalty kill all night. Either one works.
Andersen Continues to Fight
For the full 60 minutes Andersen seemed to only have one semi-'oopsie' moment; that was unfortunately the position he was in, which left a gap between his skate blade and the goalpost, leading to the game-winning goal.
Clayton MF-ing Stoner
Is it just me or has Stoner seriously stepped it up and been making some shockingly smart choices after PETA was calling for his suspension at the first home game? Too soon? My bad.
Honorable Mention: Frederik Andersen
Anaheim's netminder still has yet to record a win on the season, however he still does his job; he still does whatever it takes to give the team in front of him a chance to win. You can't ask anything more, and he legitimately did everything humanly possible in order to minimize the goals against and keep Anaheim within striking distance. Yet again, he didn't get much support from the goal scorers in front of him.
3. Andrew Cogliano
The one-man penalty killing unit, better known as Cogliano, was a complete animal all over the ice in St. Louis. When the team needed his special skill set when killing penalties he found another level of full beast mode and managed to generate some solid scoring chances even when playing with one less skater than the Blues.
2. Steve Ott
When you're given the job of "instigator" or "agitator", all you aim to do is get under the skin of your opponent. Ott did that job flawlessly, including getting Anaheim's sharpshooter, Corey Perry, off the ice with a five minute fighting major.
1. Vladimir Tarasenko
Shouldn't be a surprise considering he scored the game-tying goal and was St. Louis's most lethal scoring threat all night. He managed four shots on the night, and was constantly demanding serious attention from Anaheim's backchecking forwards and blue liners just to keep him from dictating the entire game as this young star can.