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Plus/Minus: Game One

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Ranking from the worst performers, with a -5 rating, to the best performers, with a +5 rating, from Game One against the Winnipeg Jets.

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Last night's game was physical, fun to watch, and a great all-around effort from the Ducks. I didn't think anyone played a particularly poor game, and as such I almost hesitate to say five players were minuses. Every single Ducks player had a positive 5v5 shot attempt (corsi) differential. That's pretty darn good. The first half of this post is therefore going to seem a little unfair.

-5: Simon Despres: He committed an offensive zone turnover that led directly to Drew Stafford's second period goal, and besides that played an all-around not so great game while most of his teammates played much better. In a convincing win, that's all it takes to be the -5. My biggest concern here isn't that he will continue to struggle, it's that he will be benched in favor of Calyton Stoner and James Wisniewski.

-4: That Line Change: Several things went wrong on the play that led to Adam Lowry's first period goal, and only one of them was Stoner's fault. Tim Jackman shoots the puck out of the zone but it doesn't get as far as center red, but Chris Wagner and Emerson Etem decide to change anyway. Andrew Cogliano jumps on the ice and rushes to get back into the play, but instead of following Lowry, he moves toward the middle of the ice which is already being covered by Jackman. In the following split second, Lowry receives a pass from Jacob Trouba and Stoner isn't close enough to disrupt the play. Lowry finishes glove side. Minor miscues from five different players, none of them wearing goalie pads, result in a goal against.

-3: Frederik Andersen: The great Dane played a solid game, stopping 25 of 27 shots, but he allowed a stoppable puck to go in during the second period, and that's enough to get him the -3 for this one. Despres' mistake was more egregious on this play, which is why he gets the -5.

-2: John Gibson, Nate Thompson, James Wisniewski, Jiri Sekac, and Tomas Fleischmann: I didn't even notice these guys. Completely invisible. What a bunch of bums.

-1: Empty Seats: I saw a few pockets of empty seats when the camera panned around the Honda Center audience. Not a whole lot, mind you, but enough for me to notice. The game was sold out, but that doesn't mean everyone that had a ticket showed up. Come on folks, this is playoff hockey.

Even: Bruce Boudreau: His decision to go with Stoner instead of Wisniewki seems questionable at best. In his defense, Stoner played as well as he will ever play and seemed to get Blake Wheeler off his game a little. Still, I'd like to see the best players play. What Bruce did well was manage ice time and zone starts. He didn't ride the Twins too hard in the first half of the game, which gave them enough gas to run some good-looking power plays later on. He also put the Vatanen-Stoner pairing out for seven 5v5 O-zone starts and zero 5v5 D-zone starts while leaning more heavily on Lindholm-Beauchemin for the D-zone stuff.

+1: Jakob Silfverberg: The Ducks killed all three Jets power plays, and Silf was a big part of that. In addition to logging some huge PK minutes, he started in his own zone a lot and still put up some great possession numbers. He also set up Ryan Kesler with a beautiful pass in the first period, but the center couldn't score.

+2: Sami Vatanen: Last year, Kyle Palmieri broke the ice less than two minutes into the first game of the playoffs. This year, Vatanen did the same thing, and then he went ahead and recorded two more assists on the power play, which looked as good as we've seen it all season.

+3: Hampus Lindholm and Francois Beauchemin: These guys led the team in both 5v5 D zone starts and 5v5 shot attempt differential (corsi) while shutting down the Jet's best players at even strength and when down a man. They were nothing short of an elite D pairing, capable of playing shutdown defense and driving play in the other direction. Beauch also had at least one beautiful hit that I can remember, in a game where hits were plentiful.

+4: Ryan Getzlaf: The Ducks' captain started everything with a picture-perfect forecheck on Jets' captain Andrew Ladd, leading directly to the opening goal of the game. After a somewhat quiet second period, he exploded in the third with a tertiary assist (not really a thing but who's counting?) on Perry's first goal, a primary assist on Perry's second, and a goal of his own to seal it. That last one was a pure skill play, the kind of shot only a handful of people on the planet can pull off.

+5: Corey Perry: Can't argue with four points. His second goal was a thing of beauty, even though he was the only one who knew it went it. Along with Getz and Vatanen, he rejuvenated a power play that was badly in need of some rejuvenation.