Wow, what a game! The Ducks convincingly beat the Nashville Predators 6-1 and now have points in four consecutive games.
Ritchie kept up his tremendous play and scored the game’s first goal on the power play. Theodore’s heads-up keep in kept the play alive and Sgarbossa delivered the perfect final pass. The opening goal was Pekka Rinne’s first of many mistakes.
Nashville’s most dangerous 5v5 chances came while the defense pairing of Bieksa and Holzer was on the ice. On one such shift, Carlyle put the fourth line out against Nashville’s first. This led directly to a Nashville scoring chance that sent Gibson swimming. Anaheim was lucky to get out of that situation without giving up the tying goal.
Is it just me or is Perry shooting from more areas of the ice this year? His favorite of the young season seems to be from the high-right circle. The guy every team loves to hate ripped a slap shot off the far post. This approach could bode well for the heavy, net crashing presence of the top line.
Totally expecting a typical Anaheim Ducks second period, I started by writing down a “Ducks PK Counter.” Even though the Ducks took three penalties, the period could not have turned out any better.
On the first PK, Theodore had a glorious chance but missed the net by a sizable margin. Right after Subban hit the post moments later, Theodore led a 2 on 1 break and fed Jakob Silfverberg to make the game 2-0. There was a bit of a lull where both teams traded chances but nothing was too dangerous. This is when I started having Peter Holland #74 flashbacks with Cramarossa on the ice. But then everything changed.
The game started to get really entertaining when Johanson took an unsportsmanlike penalty. Silfverberg immediately scored his second goal of the game with a shot above the left circle. The Swede looks confident shooting from the left side and looks to benefit from the shot angle. Also Corey Perry is really good at hockey. Pekka Rinne is not. Perry’s fourth goal of the season gave the Ducks a 4-0 lead. The predators are a favorite this year in the West but with Rinne’s numbers they might not be able to make it very far. Incidentally, Rinne was pulled for backup goalie Marek Mazanec.
On the next Pred’s power play, Josi put a shot off the post (to my fantasy team’s dismay). Cogliano was sent on a shorthanded breakaway and does what he does best… WE’RE GOING TO HOOTERS. If only the Ducks still had this promotion after scoring five goals.
But the Ducks weren’t done yet. Ryan Kesler scored his first goal of the season on the power play off of a deflected Fowler point shot. The Ducks should play like this more. Why isn’t hockey always this easy?
If someone told me the Ducks would score six goals in a game where Antoine Vermette was the first line center I would laugh. But here we are. Both teams seemed content with finishing the game as quickly as possible. Jared Boll was rewarded with some power play time so I’m glad we got that over with for the year.
John Gibson’s shutout bid sadly came to an end after a rough turnover by the Bieksa-Holzer pairing. Gibson was not pleased from the defensive effort on that Colin Wilson goal. For appearing in two back to back games, Gibson looked extremely comfortable and had an amazing game. Credit to where credit is due.
Joseph Cramarossa was inches away from getting his first career goal but the puck ricocheted out off the crossbar. It was by far the Ducks’ best chance of the period.
All in all, there is nothing better than beating a Nashville team that beat the Ducks in last season’s playoffs. Hopefully this depleted roster can continue to play with this new, offensive confidence for the games to come.
The Ducks will be back in action Friday, October 28th against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Go for a Ryan Getzlaf bobble head; stay to heckle John Tortorella.