I’m going to do this one a little differently tonight. I’m emotionally drained after this series and Game 7 and we have a lot of work ahead of us for the Western Conference Final. I’m not gonna go play-by-play tonight and stick more to just my eye-test feelings about this game.
First of all, as was well documented on Twitter throughout the day, I was nervous about this game:
*more barfing*— Anaheim Calling (@AnaheimCalling) May 10, 2017
I was at the first Game 7 that started this terrible streak, and it has haunted me ever since. I knew going in that this Anaheim team was talented and deep, but it was heard to get rid of the gut-feeling that they were going to stumble again.
At the start of the game, you get that weird goal (and only goal) from the Oilers. Shea makes a rookie mistake that was bound to happen at some point, and it just happened to come early in Game 7. I will give props to the young blueliner, however. While Theo did struggle a bit throughout the first, he really seemed to settle into the game after the first intermission and looked a lot better as the game went on.
Anaheim played well enough in the first and I was honestly ecstatic to go to the locker room with only a 1-goal deficit.
Coming out for period #2, I was wary of the dreaded Anaheim Second Period Experience™. However, the Ducks came out of the locker room with a purpose. First they kill a penalty, then look alright on the powerplay, and all of the sudden the Ducks were flying. Cogliano got the tying goal and suddenly this game felt like it was under Anaheim’s control.
Thankfully for Anaheim’s sake, the boys never relinquished control of this game. The Ducks kept pouring it on to the Edmonton skaters throughout the rest of the game. They were physical on the forecheck, stood forwards up in the neutral zone, and did a great job of keeping a stranglehold on the pace of the game.
Then, early in the third you get a goal from Nick Ritchie and all of the sudden it felt like the stars had aligned. While the Ducks did “park the bus” a bit late in the third, they still managed to dictate to Edmonton what chances they were going to get. And as those final few seconds ticked off the clock, that feeling in my stomach finally went away. Anaheim won a Game 7, at home.
The “curse” that has plagued them for the last 4 postseasons has been beaten. And something tells me this win will give Anaheim a huge confidence boost. On to Nashville for the Western Conference Final!
PS. A huge thank you to all of our readers. I know we still have at least one more series to go, but I love what I do on this site and I couldn’t be more thankful for all the support and passion from all of you. It’s really been a pleasure writing for y’all and I look forward to the rest of this year and the years to come. Props to everyone who has stuck with us and the Ducks through all these playoff struggles.