Best: Resilience Is Spelled D-U-C-K-S
There was a time earlier this season when the Ducks ability to come back and put their put on the gas when down was in question. The team spent most of the first half of the season giving up when their opponent would take a commanding lead.
Those questions are clearly no longer relevant.
The fight and drive in this team has been absolutely astounding. It would be wrong to not credit Randy Carlyle with a lot of this. Several plays mentioned in post game interviews that the bench remained positive even when down by 3 goals and kept their focus. Obviously, the jury is still out on Carlyle until the Ducks run whatever their playoff course is supposed to be, but credit where credit is due.
Worst: Holy Penalties, Batman!
The Ducks were relatively even at even strength with the Flames as far as possession metrics went. That was definitely not much of an issue.
The elephant in the room was the lack of discipline.
Calgary had 5 power play opportunities while the Ducks had jack-diddly-squat. The officiating was one of the most talked-about aspects of the game last night, so let’s get something out of the way: aside from the weakish Lindholm goalie interference penalty, every single one of the Ducks penalties was deserved. The problem many had was that nothing was being called on the Flames.
Fair or not, games like that are going to happen now and again. As a team, it’s important that you lock down your play and stay out of the box when calls don’t seem to be going your way. The Ducks did not do that, and as such, got torched by the Flames power play unit 3 times.
Someone get Nick Ritchie a stress ball and let him work out his pent up anger on that thing rather than an opposing skater’s face.
Best: Shea Theodore
Raise your hand if you had Shea Theodore tied for 2nd in playoff scoring.
Put your hand down, you liar.
Shea still has some growing to do in his own end, but the offensive upside he’s known for has been coming out in a big way this series. Just looking at him and Brandon Montour gives me a warm, happy, fuzzy feeling about the future.
As much as I love Lindholm, Fowler, Manson, etc, it’s been quite awhile since the Ducks have had as electrifying a prospect as Theodore and Montour.
Worst: Luck Will Run Out Eventually
This could easily be a best but I’m going to take the pessimistic route here.
The Ducks have gotten very lucky over the past two games. Calgary has outplayed them (certainly on the power play, and a decent argument can be made at even strength as well) for most of these contests.
The Ducks are getting this luck at exactly the right time. Who knows? Maybe this luck continues and brings the Ducks to the promised land? But the luck will run out eventually, and Anaheim cannot afford to sit back and assume that it will help them forever; that is a recipe for disaster.
Best: Kevin Bieksa
Wow. Uhhhhh. Did I really just type that?
This is a dream.
Wait, it’s not?
You mean to tell me that after taking a beating numerous times after being seemingly targeted by multiple Flames players and heading down to the locker room twice for repairs that Bieksa was one of the Ducks best players?
You’re on something.
Yes, I know this is the defenseman that Vancouver fell in love with during his heyday. Yes I know that he had a brilliant diving pokecheck to break up a 2 on 1 chance. Of course he made a couple of mistakes, but that the positives of his game last night far outweighed the negatives.
Oh no it’s real. What do I do with my hands?
Overtime game-winning butt goal. 2 points. +5 on the night. He may be on the 3rd line and only getting less than 16 minutes of ice time per night, but he’s still effective.
Teams are still wary of him, which was evidenced by the fact that he drew 2 to 3 Flames to him when we had possession of the puck. If anything, that intimidation factor is still there.
The scoring touch this season may have been siphoned off to Rakell, Silfverberg, and Eaves this season, but the man still finds ways to contribute and make the most of his new role.
3) Sean Monahan
2) Corey Perry
1) Shea Theodore