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Islanders vs Ducks: MORNING THOUGHTS

Gibson saves the day with 39 saves.

Debora Robinson, Getty Images

The Ducks took care of business Wednesday night in Anaheim. Although Ondrej Kase stepped out of the lineup with an upper body injury, Patrick Eaves returned to the top line with Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry. After being mostly absent from the stat column, Eaves was able to score a goal in the third period. It turned out to be the game winning goal. Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle had this to say about the veteran winger:

Even though he scored a goal, it did not look like Eaves was fully recovered from his injury. The same goes for Captain Ryan Getzlaf. Both look noticeably slower and less effective. They were probably rushed back into the lineup due to the team’s injury problem. Never a good sign when Corey Perry looks like the fastest skater on a line.

Randy also had one other notable post-game quote:

Oh, really? The strange thing here is that this is literally Carlyle’s job. The players should be fully motivated at the start of the season. Bring in more smelling salts.

Anaheim Calling’s Felix Sicard (follow him at @Felix_Sicard) pointed out a tremendous stat after the game:

Good things happen when Rickard Rakell tries to be Rickard Rakell. He has started to come into his own the past few years but seems to be rejuvenated with winger Jakob Silfverberg. Swedish chemistry or something like that. Rakell’s confidence is sky high. He is shooting from everywhere, skating through defenders, and making everyone around him a better hockey player. This puts Silf in a larger offensive role, and I love it. More please.

Another positive from last night’s game was ice-time management. It was arguably as good as it could be given Anaheim’s current injuries. Ryan Getzlaf led all forwards with 23:51 played, which is probably more than he should be at with his injury. However, there is no one else to play at this time. Dennis Rasmussen, the shiny new offseason toy, has been invisible through the opening few games. He only played 5:36. The lowest forward was Jared Boll with 3:34. Yet he somehow still managed to pick up two penalties including a possible hit to the head. Even 90 game 0 goal scorer Derek Grant played 11:56.

The defense was managed very well. Cam Fowler played a crazy 26:31 in a non overtime game. Kevin Bieksa and Korbinian Holzer played third pairing minutes in the 14-15 minute range. This will most likely be the status quo until Hampus Lindholm and Sami Vatanen return. Also, Francois Beauchemin is playing better than anyone thought. Maybe it is because I have not noticed him away from power play situations, but I am pleasantly surprised so far.

Lastly, stick tap to the Anaheim Ducks organization for honoring some of the victims and first responders from the Vegas tragedy. In particular, it was great to hear Kent French’s interview with Jonathan Smith during the intermission.

Three Stars of the Game:

3. Brock Nelson

2. Josh Manson

1. John Gibson- Goaltender wins are usually a reflection of how the team played rather than the individual, but Gibson is changing that notion. He is the biggest reason why the Ducks are picking up points.

Poll: Would you rather have three minutes of Jared Boll or eleven of Derek Grant?