The past is in the past, and the Anaheim Ducks are back in business. With this last long roadtrip coming to an end, the Ducks entered Rogers Arena to play.
The Ducks controlled most of the game with solid defense and relentless offense. And if you didn't notice, the Ducks offense sparked in the second period. Yes, I repeat, SECOND PERIOD. If you can all recall the dark ages of the beginning of this season, second periods were the equivalent to black holes that would just suck all life out of this team. Not anymore apparently.
Best: O Captain, My Captain
In case you needed any reminding, Ryan Getzlaf is an absolute BEAST. The third goal was a beauty.
I was sitting on the shooting side when he was barreling down the ice. I commented to the Vancouver fans, "He's a beast. You guys can't stop him." And lo and behold, he shrugged off the Canuck dmen and threw out a wicked wrister past Markstrom.
It really is impossible to shut down #15; you can only attempt to contain him.
Worst: The Wave
I'm not sure if it was broadcasted, but at a certain point in the 3rd Period, the Canuck fans were so bored by the team's performance during the game that they attempted to begin the wave.
This really cannot be stressed enough. Save the wave for baseball games and soccer matches. We are watching hockey folks. Honestly.
Worst: Letting in 2 Goals in the 3rd
Once the Ducks captured a 4-goal lead, they did what most teams would do and backed off. This coupled with the two penalties allowed the Canucks to have a window of offensive resurgence.
Additionally, while the Ducks offense has taken a 180 degree turnaround, what hasn't been stressed as much is the decrease in PK%. Obviously the acquisition of David Perron and Ryan Garbutt has helped accelerate the offense, but has not helped fortify the defense by any means.
Fortunately, the PK is still solid. And hopefully we do not see a regression any time soon.
Best: Ending it on a positive note
So this is what a great roadie looks like!
Going into the holiday break, the Ducks were 12-15-6 and the league's lowest scoring team. Since the break, they are 18-4-2 and have scored 54 goals in the past 13 match ups. Achieving a 11-1-1 record in the the past 3 games have allowed the Ducks to sneak up on the Pacific Division-leading Los Angeles Kings.
The Ducks can now have comfort knowing they are fully in control of their destiny as they head back home for a 5-game homestand.
3) Andrew Cogliano - Ryan Kesler - Jakob Silfverberg
The Cogliano-Kesler-Silfverberg checking line was absolutely dominant last night. Despite Vancouver fans' current hatred of Kesler, they could not muster up enough boos for Kes when he held the puck because they were busier holding their breath as this line got the puck all too close to Markstrom. While Cogs was always first to get to the puck, Kes just destroyed Canucks along the boards. The line may be a checking line, but it's becoming a quite effective line in getting goal-scoring chances.
2) Rickard Rakell
Rakell has grown tremendously this year and has truly stepped into his role. Despite switching positions and lines, the improvement to his game has been quite noticeable. He may not be as dominant as Getzlaf, but he is flashier in displaying his smooth hands. He has also embraced his role on the forecheck and is far from afraid to take his shot on net. He is beginning to find great chemistry with Corey Perry, as indicated by the points on the sheet. He began the scoring last night with his slapshot (thanks to some great screening by Santorelli). His effort in the dirty areas was also rewarded with Josh Manson's goal in the third.
1) Ryan Getzlaf
Like I said. Ryan Getzlaf is a beast. The Canucks had no answer for him. He is a playmaker with a heavy-accurate shot that makes us all drool in envy. And it seems like he has begun to remember that he does possess that shot. Getzlaf has only helped find Perron find his way back to his scoring ways and now helping Mike Santorelli find his way onto the sheets. The sheer fact that these guys that were struggling to find their place in the NHL, are now finding points here and there speaks volumes as to what kind of effect Ryan Getzlaf can have on your line.
And we all know, when Captain Getzlaf is doing well, the Anaheim Ducks are doing well.