In anticipation of the Western Conference Final matchup between Anaheim and Nashville, let us revisit the top 5 moments from the brief 3-game regular season series.
5. Home Is Where The Wins Are
The Ducks took the first decision early in the season on Oct 27th with a 6-1 drubbing at Honda Center while Nashville returned the favor in earnest with a 5-0 shutout at Bridgestone in November (Gibby got chased in the loss after 4 goals) before the Ducks closed out the regular season series with a shootout victory back in Anaheim in March. It should be noted that despite being injured for some of this season, P.K Subban was present and playing in all three games.
4. Getzlaf Reigns King and Hail Prince Silfverberg
Despite only playing in two of the games, Getzlaf had 3 points - tied for team best. Only Cam Fowler and Sami Vatanen could match him but both played in all three. It bodes well that Getzlaf and Fowler both had a very strong second round against the Oilers. Silfverberg and Ritchie lead the way in goals with 2 each in the three games, again it seems convenient that both have scored timely goals in the Oilers series. Shea Theodore lead the team in +/- but only played in one game. Bieska, Vatanen, Perry and Ritchie were all +1 in all 3 games, everyone else was even except for Crammer (RIP) and Boll who were -1 and Kesler, Vermette, Fowler, Manson, Silfverberg and Lindholm who were -2. So it seems the the Ducks got a tad victimized on the PK overall in this series. Eaves leads the way in Corsi with 88.24 in the one game, while Perry had the best rating of those in all three games with 60.00.
Sorry for the lame court titles - I am still a tad drunk from the Game 7 drinking game.
3. F That Forsberg Guy
It’s not hard to dislike Filip Forsberg. If you recall last year’s playoffs, the guy got away with a dangerous elbow to the head of Josh Manson and, by association, all of us beacuse #WeAreAllJoshManson. Unsurprisingly, Forsberg led the Predators in points in the regular season series - with 3 - shared with James Neal; another upstanding gentlemanly player of great repute. The Predators had 4 players with 2 goals each in the series, which is impressive and only further emphasizes their scary forward depth. But much like Draisitl was the German Sniper that spelled doom whenever he touched the puck, Forsberg is the Abba song that the Ducks cannot afford to be lulled into (if he was an Abba song he would totally be Chiquitita though - again still drunk). Ryan Johansen lead the team in +/- with a +3 in the 3 games, P.K Subban was a -1 through 3.
2. Shootout and Regular Series Win Thanks To The New Guy
The Ducks were out to avenge their 5-0 drubbing in the last encounter. Bernier got the start and the Preds scored first, which they later doubled up on with a powerplay goal - leading 2-0 six minutes into the game. Getzlaf got the Ducks back within one with a powerplay marker of his own before the period ended. That damn Forsberg guy scored a shorthanded goal on a wicked shot just after the midway point of the second before Nick Ritchie jammed in a rebound on the rush to make it 3-2 two minutes later. Then, with less than a minute left in the 2nd period, Patrick Eaves got a loose puck to an onrushing Rakell for the equalizer. The third had a lot of hitting but not a whole lot of scoring. Bernier made two huge stops on Forsberg in overtime while Craig Smith hit the post so we went to the shootout. Both the Ducks and Predators had gone 0-4 before Major Patrick Eaves stepped up in the 5th round where he scored blockerside on Rinne and Bernier made the pad stop on Johansen to close it.
1. Post-Season Revenge Opener
Still smarting from their first round post-season exit at the hands of the Predators the year prior, the Ducks opened the regular season series with a swift dismantling of Nashville. Nick Ritchie started the scoring on the powerplay (on a unit that featured Shea Theodore and Michael Sgarbossa so I guess the Ducks were a little banged up at this point). In the second, Theodore and Silfverberg combined on a shorthanded rush for a brilliant goal and Silfverberg’s first of the season. He followed that up shortly after with his second on the powerplay, a wicked wrister from the top of the hash marks that we would see him utilize on many occasions throughout the season. Perry made it 4-0 on a drive with Ritchie going to the front of the net with less than 5 minutes left in the second - chasing Pekka Rinne. Then. a minute later, Andrew Cogliano got loose on a shorthanded breakaway and actually converted! This has to be the highlight of the entire season series as that poor guy must score on like 1 out of 12 of his breakaways. Kesler scored with a tip on a powerplay in the dying minutes of the second for the 6-0 lead and Kesler’s first of the season.