Best: John Gibson Stopping the First Shot
There is nothing worse than giving up a goal on the first shot of the game. Gibson made sure to give his team a fighting chance heading into the second minute of the game. I cannot remember the save at all, but I am sure that it was a wonderful piece of goaltending.
Worst: Giving Up Three Goals in the First Eight Minutes
Well, that did not last long. Gibson gave up goals at 2:45, 7:22, and 8:25. The most challenging shot came from Leon Draisaitl on a breakaway. As Hampus Lindholm was hooking the German, the puck rolled toward Gibson and through the five-hole. If Gibson had his stick in the right position there would not have been a goal. It would have been ideal if the Anaheim goalie had learned from that mistake, but that failed to happen. The second goal occurred after Gibson tried to recover and over extend his pad. The puck found its way under the raised pad near the five-hole. The third goal was the most confusing. Kassian had little angle to shoot, but Gibson completely left the five-hole exposed with his stick also out of position. Kassian was able to slide it home with ease, thus ending the night for Gibson and essentially the Ducks.
Best: Rickard Rakell’s Goal Scoring Streak
Although the final turned out to be 7-1, the first line managed to show some offensive creativity throughout the game. Rakell was able to find the back of the net in the second period, which marks a four game goal-scoring streak. Perry (again) and Fowler were able to pick up the assists. Unfortunately, Ryan Getzlaf was not able to earn a point in the game.
Worst: Special Teams
Could the Ducks stop giving up goals while short-handed? The PK units gave up two goals. The last one turned out to be Draisaitl’s hat trick goal. Anaheim has now given up a total of thirteen power play goals to the opposition in only ten postseason games. The passive system does not have a chance when combined with struggling goaltending. If Anaheim wants to have a chance in Game 7, they need to not only kill penalties but also find a way to play the game at even strength.
Honorable Mention: Redemption?
Everyone saw this coming this year.
Anaheim fans have heard this story way too many times. The last four years have all seen the Ducks bring a 3-2 series lead into Game 6 only to lose a Game 7 at home. With a new coach behind the bench and a few new players, do the Ducks have a chance to change their playoff fortunes going forward? It is never too early to start talking to those hockey gods. If that is not your thing, you can always pay the refs. That sounds easier.
3. Rickard Rakell
2. Mark Letestu
1. Leon Draisaitl