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Ducks @ Blues MORNING THOUGHTS: Skating in a Winter Roy-derland

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There’s nothing prettier in hockey than winning ugly

NHL: Anaheim Ducks at St. Louis Blues
WOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

It may not have been particularly pretty, but the Ducks found a way to win in the first game of a daunting 6 game road trip. Already behind the 8-ball and out of playoff position, facing the current 3rd ranked team in the league was always going to be a tall order for the Ducks.

It was a bit of a weird one. Despite getting halfway through the game and with Logan Shaw contributing half of the teams shots on goal (2, he had 2, for a total of 4 team shots on net), the Ducks actually had the bulk of the scoring chances. Naturally this reversed for the second and third periods, and of course despite getting generally outplayed and out-hustled and out-skilled, the Ducks scored.

I don't really know how to take these Ducks. They’re clearly not playing well, be it a result of injuries or not having a head coach, and their offence appears to be driven by lucky happenstance than any type of structure or formula. But they won, and you cant help but like a little winning in your life.

As such this game was notable for one solitary reason: Kevin Roy is the first, first-year player (for the Ducks) to score two goals in a game since Rickard Rakell did it way back in 2015. Perhaps of greater note, he was the second Ducks rookie ever to score two goals in less than 3 minutes; the first being none other than that roy-derful dream boat, Bobby Ryan (2009 vs LA Kings).

You know what, just watch them. This moment in history and all of that.

#1

#2

Best

I'm going to cheat and split “Depth” into two parts:

Logan Shaw: As per team policy, most of the Ducks were heavily outshot. Yet Shaw was one of the 6 that managed to stay above the 50% mark. He was also the player that had half of the Ducks shots on net for the first half of the game. Sure, other guys started getting them in later when the game opened up. But when it was hard and tight and the Ducks were struggling, Shaw did as much as a grinder can do, and far more than the stars supposedly driving this bus did. He paced the forwards for ice time on what was a perfect penalty kill, and picked up a helper for his 3rd career two game point streak (I don't know why I thought that was notable, but it seemed fun). Shaw doesn't get a lot of love from fans, but on what was an underwhelming night he was ok.

Andy Welinski might be an old as dirt prospect, but he’s come into this team and started his career with ~16.40 ice time, a +2 rating, and most notably a two game point streak to start his career - the first Ducks player to do this since 2013 (Alex Grant). He might have taken the lucky feat at last level up, going by PDO and every other measure of performance, but this kind of contribution is what the Ducks need to stay afloat. After all tonights’ assist helped break a 22 game goalless streak from 2nd liner Andrew Cogliano.

Worst

Antoine Vermette: I guess technically he’s still a hockey player, but he was the worst one on the ice tonight. By that, I mean any ice. Anywhere. Alien lifeforms on other planets who merely use ice to write their names in yellow played better than Vermette. -25.22 CF% Rel, -52.50 SCF% Rel, -69.23 HDSCF% Rel, but I guess he won half of this face-offs and that was worth giving him over 15 minutes of ice time.

le sigh

Randy Carlyle: See Vermette comment above. See Corsi Chart above. I mean these aren’t the only reasons, but FFS his flaws deserve a mention at least once this season. I don't want to dwell here today, as this is Roy’s night and I wont let Carlyle take that away from him.

3 Stars of the Game

3. Cam Fowler - Taking away actually scoring goals, Fowler might have been the best skater on the ice tonight. The work he put in on the first of Roys goals was masterful, and deserves far more praise than the tiny bit of love that long time (read old) fan boy Thyme gave him in the game thread. So he gets a little here.

2. John Gibson: Gibson is probably going to get a jersey in every recap I write so you all better get used to it. Tonight he was quietly excellent once again, to the point that as I turned off the broadcast I heard the St. Louis commentary team discussing the lack of buzz about how good he’s really been. I’m sure he would have liked that goal back, but he stopped more than a couple of really good chances through the evening that more than evened out the ledger.

1. Kevin Roy - Kevin Roy might just be the new hotness. The new David Steckel. We all need a good cult to follow, and the guy who was an afterthought in the draft, is knee height to a midget, and has somehow only been given his chance at the near ancient age of 24, could just be the one we need. Sure he’s going to need to show consistency, and be effective when that 40% shooting falls back to earth. But it feels like only a month ago (today) that he scored his first career goal. And now here we are, 16 games later and he’s still short, and was still an afterthought at the draft. But I’ll be god damned if that young man hasn’t picked up 4 points in 2 career games vs the Blues. Kevin Roy, we see you.

Poll

On a scale of NHL players not going to the Olympics, to Australia winning the Ashes, how awesome is Kevin Roy?

This poll is closed

  • 27%
    He’s the best rookie forward prospect since that 30 goal scoring superstar we had once.
    (10 votes)
  • 40%
    I want dibs on bandwagon tickets.
    (15 votes)
  • 32%
    I’m intimidated by his awesome, but secretly wish i was him.
    (12 votes)
37 votes total Vote Now