Game 3 was absolutely nuts. But the Ducks somehow came out of it smelling like a rose.... again. Here are the heroes that made it happen and the goats(ish) that made it so freakin' stressful.
-5 Panic at the
Disco Defense: Three of Winnipeg's four goals on the night were the direct result of turnovers of sheer panic. Blake Wheeler's goal to tie it at two was the least egregious of the three, as Andrew Cogliano tried to poke it into the corner and Wheeler stepped right into it. Tyler Myers' on the power play was practically assisted by Simon Despres chopping the puck out of the crease directly to him (and then Despres helping to screen Frederik Andersen). And Bryan Little's goal.... Cameron Matthew Fowler! What the Hell were you thinking?!
And those weren't the only ones on the night. The Ducks had a hell of a time clearing pucks out of the zone the entire game. Credit here does go to the Jets' offense for forcing mistakes and capitalizing on them. Again, the first two are somewhat hard to judge because Cogs and Despres had good intentions, but the Ducks weren't thinking ahead in a lot of situations last night and it almost came back to haunt them.
-4 Power Play: We all knew it was too good to last. Not only did the PP fail to score, it looked pretty awful, as it has at times throughout the year.
-4/20 Clayton Stoner: Just cuz, bro.
-3 Icing: I get playing a road game, slowing it down and trying to take the crowd who've been waiting 19 years for this out of the game, but for the love of Teemu, the first three minutes of gametime felt like they took about 45 in real time.
-2 Whoever picked the three stars:
Nope. Yep. Nope.
-1 Cam Fowler: The goal was a beauty, and with only five seconds left, shutting the crowd up like that was awesome, but cancelled out by completely giving one away. He had good moments, like when he was robbed on the power play in the second period, and he led the team in shots on goal with five, but ended up the worst possession player on the team with -11 shot attempt differential (C+/-).
Even, The Winnipeg Crowd (Hot Take Alert): Yes, they were loud. Yes, they wore white. But for the vast majority of the game it was nothing out of the ordinary. Annnnnnnnn-dersen, Annnnnnnnn-dersen.... Boring. Anaheim Sucks... Lame. Kesler Sucks... Why? Bullsh** and Ref You Suck.... Seriously? The F***ing Wave!? At a hockey game?! IN CANADA!?!?!? For Shame. Katy Perry.... finally something original, but sexist.
These are supposed to be the craziest, most creative fans in the league. Five year old Premier League fans have better songs. However, the one thing they really do get credit for is the Go Jets Go chant after the initial shock of Ricky's OT winner started to wear off.
+1 Ryan Kesler: You know when the game tying goal with two minutes remaining and two assists gets you the fifth star of the game, something went right. Of the guys I have on the list here, Kesler's stats were the worst, but you can't beat his timing of that goal with a stick.
+2 Jakob Silfverberg: How do you follow up a game where you score the winner with 21 seconds on the clock? A goal and two assists, plus tied for second on the team in shots on goal (4 tied with Sami Vatanen, behind only Cam Fowler's 5). And come on, even the homers who picked the official three stars gave him the nod.
+3 Frederik Andersen: Freddy gave up four goals, but the opening goal is the only one that can even remotely be blamed on him, and even then it would be harsh. It was a rebound, but it was off the far pad and kicked toward the corner. Essentially it was bad luck that it went right to a Winnipeg stick and then a nice pass to Lee Stempniak who had been left alone by Matt Beleskey. But the real reason he's here is for literally and figuratively saving the game during the PK in the final minutes of regulation. Let's watch it again, shall we?
+4 Andrew Cogliano: Three assists, led the team in unblocked shot attempt differential (F+/-). It's really hard to pick between what order to put these guys in, but this failed celly puts him over the top for me.
+5 Rickard Rakell: Yeah, for the obvious reason, but he also led the team in shot attempt differential (C+/-) and had one go off the post in the second period that would have put the Ducks up 3-2. Anyway, on the goal, I'm not sure how much people appreciate the kind of skill it takes to redirect a shot like that. It looks easy, just keep your stick down and let the puck hit the tape, but these guys practice that stuff a lot. How about we watch this one in GIF form?
GIF Rakell OT winner, Ducks take a 3-0 series lead pic.twitter.com/noSeybwfny— Stephanie Vail (@myregularface) April 21, 2015