So, apparently, I’m being told that the Anaheim Ducks DID in fact play a game on Monday night at United Center. I vividly remember seeing the Chicago Blackhawks playing hockey, but I don’t really remember anyone else there playing. The final score was 7-3 in favor of the Chicago Blackhawks, so a real pity to the fans of the losing team that had to watch that.
Anyway, since we have to do this, let’s take a look back again at how this game turned out so miserably for Anaheim. Simply put, they got outplayed in every aspect of the game for every stretch of the game. Chicago dominated early and made sure to be the first on the scoreboard, putting the game essentially out of reach before the Ducks were finally able to get one past Corey Crawford.
You could potentially argue that the Ducks clawed their way back into the game a couple times, only to see it slip out of reach again, but it is hard not to think that Chicago knew they had the game won after the first 20 minutes and were playing a little less aggressively. Being down three goals after the first is never a recipe for success for anybody in the league, and with a damaged offense that is struggling to score, you are looking at near certain defeat.
“We allowed them to play their give-and-go game. We really didn’t get involved in the game physically at all and they just moved the puck around us. We got frustrated and received the game.” - Randy Carlyle
Best & Worst:
Chris Wagner - At least SOMEONE from the Ducks decided to show up to play tonight. Chris potted his 3rd and 4th goals of the year in the 7-3 drubbing at United Center, but it was nice to see someone from Anaheim playing with a little fire, even after the score had gotten out of hand.
The End - Let’s face it, when you have given up seven goals in a hockey game, that final buzzer is one of the sweetest sounds. Relief. Look forward to the next game. Never look back.
Everything - I remember asking over the weekend just how bad the Ducks would look if their goaltending had an off night. I got my answer tonight, as the Ducks were peppered with shots. Despite some miraculous saves early on from John Gibson, the Hawks were able to find the back of the net on quite a few occasions. The goals against were not even the fault of Gibson, as leaving Patrick Sharp all by himself in front of the net on more than one occasion in the first period alone is bound to see you picking a puck out of your net eventually. Most would agree that John Gibson is certainly not to blame for the result tonight (nor is Ryan Miller), and that seeing him pulled was more of a relief for his sake than anything else.
Randy Carlyle on the goaltender switch: "It was a mercy pull. We weren't going to leave a goaltender hanging out to dry like that. By no means was it his fault."— Anaheim Ducks (@AnaheimDucks) November 28, 2017
Brandon Montour Injury - Need I say more? I keep wanting to say that it is just funny at this point, but it is not. I am not laughing anymore. It gets really difficult to look forward to a healthy Ducks team on the ice when the list continues to grow as people return to the lineup one at a time.
3 Stars of the Game
3. Chicago’s Power Play: They went 2-for-3 on the power play against Anaheim and the unit looked good all around. It’s hard to deny that they deserved those two power play goals and are rolling right now on the man advantage.
2. Chris Wagner: Two goals in a game is enough to warrant a star placement, despite the final score. His effort is appreciated, and the rest of the team should take notes.
1. Alex DeBrincat: A hat trick is no small feat. A hat trick for a 19-year old is quite impressive. Props to him for a job well done on the ice against a (normally) tough, physical team with great goaltending.
Let’s just go ahead and set this one to rest and move on to what is hopefully, if nothing else, a more respectable showing in St Louis on Wednesday night. As I’ve said before and will continue to say, John Gibson deserves better from his team.
Would You Rather Have Outstanding Goaltenders or an Outstanding Offense?
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