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Ducks vs. Panthers: Morning Thoughts

Hall Of Fame Night Heroics

Florida Panthers v Anaheim Ducks Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images

It has been a while since I have done one of these so forgive me for being a tad rusty. In honor of Hall Of Fame Night and our 90s Mighty Duck heroes - I am going to drop as many 90s movie references as I can. See if you can spot them.

I would have liked to have said that the Ducks - much like the highly emotional crowd at Honda Center - didn't allow the Panthers in the game, like the crowd with their outpouring of love wouldn't allow Kariya to answer the first question posed to him by John Ahlers. But that wasn't entirely the case. Such as it has been all season - it was John Gibson that drowned the Panthers offense.

Gibson saw 52 shots and made 50 saves for a 0.962 save percentage, allowing one even strength goal in the final 5 minutes with an extra attacker and one power play marker earlier in the middle frame. He sits 5th overall in saves for goaltenders who have made 10 or more starts and is remarkably close to his counterpart Luongo in Sv% and GAA. Based on the fact that he essentially stole some wins for the Ducks in the last two games, opposing teams should be put on notice. You can’t hack the Gibson.

10 Things I The Ducks Hate About You Being At Even Strength

The Ducks are currently the 2nd most penalized team in the league and I think we can all agree that a good 70-80% of those penalties are monumentally stupid. Last night was no exception. Two delay of game penalties in a row. Needless slashing. They almost gave the game away because of their unrequited desire for some alone time in the penalty box (and sometimes not alone as was the case in the 3rd on that brief 5 on 3 kill).

Being Randy Carlyle

Sometimes I’d like to walk around inside our esteemed coaches head just so I could understand why he would play Antoine Vermette on the second power play unit over say... any other of the Ducks forwards. Which leads me to...

Kevin Roy Spotting

Anyone see Kevin tonight? Chances are if you did you might not have remembered that well because he only saw the ice for less than 10 minutes. I realise this is due to the Ducks over use of the penalty kill but even if he got maybe one shift on the pp when they were up by two goals, it surely couldn't have hurt. Anything would be better than the Drug Withdrawl experience that was the 2nd Power-play Unit. Not even Ewen McGregor could save that performance.

The Big Leboski Ritchie

Ritchie haters might have had a case of mistaken identity for number 37 in the last few games. The kid had a big game against the Bruins and he did pretty good with his limited ice time tonight. Leave the Dude alone.

The Wagner Redemption

There were spots where the Wagner, Cogliano & Silferberg line were getting imprisoned in their own zone but they soon gathered momentum as the game went on and broke free to dominate in the Panthers quarters. It is becoming more and more obvious that Wagner would be an easy long term Kesler replacement. He pisses off the opposition in much the same manner and is a younger, cheaper face-off weapon. It will be interesting to see where he slots in once Kesler returns.

Terminator 2: Josh Manson Day

I cant be the only one that screamed “holy shit its Josh Manson” when the punishing blue liner took off on a breakaway and then proceeded to excite us even further by completely faking Luongo out of his pants. The 26 year old defencemen is tied for first in scoring on the Ducks blueline with 10 points, is 3rd on the team in assists and leads the Ducks in +/-. He was outstanding again last night. If I had to call back someone from the future to save this Ducks season, I know who I would call.

Three Stars Of The Game:

3. Perry (2 assists & some sneaky defensive plays that went largely unnoticed)

2. Manson (that goal and his overall play)

1. John Gibson (because if you didn't get that you had to be clueless, I mean ugh - as if it would be anyone else)

The Ducks are right back at it tonight on the road against the Sharks.