Now that the first game of the season has been played and put to rest, let’s take a moment to look back at everything that happened.
The Ducks got off to a rather slow start and found themselves down 4-1 just over halfway through the game. However, the Ducks were able to get themselves back into the game through some timely saves from John Gibson and a goaltender interference penalty on Corey Perry that seemed to get everyone more involved. Randy Carlyle spoke about the penalty and what it can do for a team that seemed a bit flat-footed.
“Momentum swings occur at various times. Sometimes things like [Perry’s goaltender interference penalty] can get things going your way” - Randy Carlyle
It’s difficult to choose a definitive highlight from the game, as there were a number to choose from, but my favorite moment came from John Gibson in the 2nd period. He witnessed Corey Perry being mauled by Louis Domingue from 200 feet away and was not having any of it, challenging Domingue to a GOALIE FIGHT and getting himself a 10-minute misconduct penalty in the process.
On the other hand, choosing a low moment of the game is equally difficult. The first thing that comes to mind is Kevin Bieksa’s many mistakes that led to scoring opportunities and/or goals for Arizona, but those are almost expected when he’s paired with Korbinian Holzer. As a whole, I have to say that the special teams units on both sides were the low of this game. The power play finished at 0/4 and the penalty kill was only able to finish at 50%, allowing 2 power play goals on 4 opportunities for the Coyotes.
It’s difficult to criticize anything too deeply, as these units will look vastly different when the Ducks have their full squad back and are operating at full strength. For now, though, the absence of guys like Getzlaf, Kesler, and Lindholm is definitely being felt.
Here are my 3 stars of the game:
3. Rickard Rakell
2. Corey Perry
1. Katie Hawley
The Ducks now turn their focus to the Philadelphia Flyers, who opened their season on Wednesday with a 5-3 win over the San Jose Sharks. They started the season with a set of back-to-backs. The second half did not go as well for them, as they were shut out 2-0 by the Los Angeles Kings (gross). No doubt their offense will want to come out fast against an injured Ducks team, so the defense and John Gibson will need to be ready to play a full sixty minutes this time around.