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Ducks vs Canadiens MORNING THOUGHTS: Bitter Sweet is Becoming a Trend

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The Ducks find their scoring touch, but at a cost.

NHL: Montreal Canadiens at Anaheim Ducks Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

On a night that was highlighted with so many great events - Perry passing Kariya in franchise assists, Carlyle tying Jack Adams for 32nd all time in wins, Derek Grant getting his first (and second) NHL goal - the looming concern lies with #4.

The Anaheim Ducks started strong with 3 goals in the first, overcame a horrendous second period, and finally scored 3 goals in under two minutes in the third period to beat the Montreal Canadiens 6-2.

From the looks of tonight and the scoreboard, you’d think the Ducks were rostering there normal lineup of firepower, but this isn’t the case. Some unlikely characters played a huge role and there was effort from all four lines this evening in the Ducks’ win. The Canadiens have now lost 7 in a row, and are struggling to find their own offense, but that doesn’t make this win any less meaningful for the Ducks.

Randy Carlyle “That’s the best start we’ve had this year. We have to show that spark, and that energy and that readiness”. The Ducks are a physical team, and when they can capture the momentum early and get their cycle game going, they are a tough team to match up against, even with how injury-riddled they are to start the season.

Although the win was nice, there was an extreme negative from the game and it wasn’t the second period play. We could be in for a very solemn announcement in the coming days. In the opening minutes, Cam Fowler took an awkward fall and looked to have seriously injured his right knee. He was helped off the ice, unable to put pressure on his leg, and did not return for the remainder of the game. Given his history with knee injuries, we could be looking at weeks if not months of Fowler being out, which would be a huge loss for the Ducks.

It seems every time the Ducks take a step towards getting a player back, another one is hit with injury. Let’s recap real quick: Hampus Lindholm, Sami Vatanen, and Ryan Kesler were all expected to miss time at the start of the season. Then Ryan Getzlaf and Patrick Eaves missed the season opener. When they returned, Ritchie and Kase were sidelined for a few games. As those players eyed a return, Getzlaf and Eaves went back to day-to-day. And now, in light of Carlyle giving every Ducks fan great news - Lindholm possibly playing as soon as next game and Vatanen and Ryan Miller following shortly—Fowler now looks to have entered the injured list as well. When will the madness and misery end?!

All we can hope for is that the injury looked worse than it actually was, and the Ducks get this injury-bug out of their system early in the year so they aren’t dealing with injuries come playoffs.

There were still some things to walk away with that are in the Ducks favor. If the Ducks expect to win games while the team recovers, they will need to get scoring from all four lines more consistently. They got that tonight and found their scoring touch. They even converted their first power play of the season which is a great relief. Hopefully this scoring trend continues going forward.

In the end, we can at least rest easy knowing the Ducks have John “Brick Wall” Gibson to fall back on when needed. Because that’s exactly what he was tonight - a brick wall.

Best and Worst

BEST - The Ducks dominated the first period against the Habs, ending it with a 3-1 lead and a 21-7 shot advantage. This was the best and most complete start to a game for the Ducks this season. They also got their first power play goal of the season. Some great secondary scoring and all-around effort from the Ducks in this one.

WORST - On the flip-side of things, the Ducks were dominated in the second period and barely made it out with the lead still. The Ducks were outshot 30-10 in this period and if it weren’t for John Gibson, the period would not have ended in Anaheim’s favor. Sloppy passing, penalty after penalty, falling back on their heels as the Habs fired shots from every angle were a few of the issues we saw in the second. Let’s just forget this period ever happened and go back to playing how we did the rest of the game moving forward.

Three Stars of the Game:

3. Corey Perry - With the assist on the Ducks last goal, Perry surpassed Paul Kariya for third place on the franchise's all-time assist list (370).

2. John Gibson - Absolutely amazing for the Ducks tonight. 49 saves on the night. Set a franchise record with 28 saves in one period (one guess as to which period you think it was).

1. Derek Grant - This night belongs to you, Derek Grant. Congrats on netting your first two goals of your NHL career and helping lead the Ducks to a much needed win.

Poll

It took him 92 games to get his first goal. How long will it take for Derek Grant score again?

This poll is closed

  • 36%
    Next game - he’s good for 20 this season!
    (29 votes)
  • 50%
    5+ games
    (40 votes)
  • 13%
    Won’t score again all season
    (11 votes)
80 votes total Vote Now

The Ducks will look to continue the scoring pace as they head to Philly to take on the Flyers for the start of their four-game road trip.

Courtesy of @AnaheimDucks