There isn’t much to be said about last night’s game in Vancouver. The Anaheim Ducks came out looking dull and unlike the Edmonton game, they couldn’t get things going late in the game to make a comeback. The Canucks on the other hand came out aggressive and generated chances early, and it showed on the scoreboard.
The score may have been tied after two periods, but the Ducks were clearly the team struggling to get chances. They fell flat on their faces in the third as the Canucks broke the tie early and added insurance goals to their victory. You could even say Canucks net minder Jacob Markstrom got robbed of a worthy shutout. The Ducks only goal came off a crazy puck bounce to Andrew Cogliano in front while Markstrom was behind the net.
The Ducks most frustrating issue this season is being able to play games 60 minutes through. It happened all too often this season where the Ducks only deliver one or two periods of solid play. Last night was one of those nights, with the Ducks delivering their best play in the second period, but lacking everything in the first and final frame.
With the loss, the Ducks fall to the second wild card spot with only a handful of games remaining. Most of those games against teams they are competing closely with for a playoff spot. The next game against the Kings will be arguably the most important. It really feels like whoever wins the game will be the team sitting in the 3rd Pacific spot come playoffs. The team that loses will either fight for a wild card spot, or miss the playoffs entirely.
Best and Worst
Best - John Gibson probably isn’t going to win the Vezina, but he deserves to. His ability to keep his team in the game, even when they’re trying so desperately to look terrible and lose (like last night) is nothing short of amazing. He is constantly faced with high-danger scoring chances and is pretty much due for one miraculous save per game. Here’s the one from last night to keep the game tied.
Worst - Everything else. Too many things to break down here. 22 shots on net and only one high-danger chance for the Ducks. Poor positioning on the defensive side which resulted in goals against. Just an overall failure of execution for the Ducks in this one.
Three Stars of the Game
3. Troy Terry - Terry was signed Monday night and made his debut for the Ducks last night. He didn’t generate any points, but he did display some promise that all Ducks fans are hopeful of. It’s most evident in how he handles the puck calmly in any situation.
2. Andrew Cogliano - It may have been gift-wrapped, but a goal is a goal. Cogs was one of the better players on the ice for the Ducks last night and was a part of most of the scoring chances, so it wasn’t surprising to see him get the goal.
1. John Gibson - you watched the save. Score would’ve been much worse without him in the game.
Ducks are back in action Friday night when the host the Los Angeles Kings at 7pm PST.