Last night we got to see the re-match of Frederick Anderson vs John Gibson. We also got to see the return of the Josh Manson- Hampus Lindholm top pairing that was great over the last couple of seasons. Lastly, we saw Randy Carlyle facing off against his former team. All in all, a lot going on within this game. Let’s dive in.
Not sure if the freshness of a brutal 1st period against the Winnipeg Jets was still in my mind, but the Ducks came out and played bad to ok during the first. The Leafs had the early advantage in shots and chances in the first couple of minutes, but John Gibson did what he had to do to prevent an early goal. The Leafs had a few decent looks throughout the period and kept the Ducks to the outside. Eventually everything balanced out a bit and the final shots for the period ended up being 13 to 8 in favor of Toronto. Leafs also held the edge in HDCF with 6 to 2. The first period ended 0-0.
The Ducks’ second period woes continued. The Leafs scored three unanswered goals in this one. Ducks looked lost in the their own zone. Freddie made some timely saves any time the Ducks had a good look. Former Los Angeles Kings, Jake Muzzin, had a dominant one minute in which he delivered a hard check on Corey Perry along the Ducks bench, took a retaliation penalty via Nick Ritchie and then proceeded to score his first goal as a Leaf four seconds into the power play. As the period expired, the two benches seemed to share some kind words before heading into the locker room. It must be very difficult for the Ducks to trash talk this season. I mean they literally have nothing going for them at the moment. Period ends 3-0 in favor of the Leafs.
The third period started off just how the Ducks needed it to. Rickard Rakell sniped his ninth goal of the season to make the score 3-1 Leafs. Unfortunately the momentum from Ricky’s goal was short lived as Connor Brown scored his fifth of the season just 45 seconds later making it 4-1 Leafs. Leafs then added their fifth and sixth goals courtesy off William Nylander and underrated winger Andreas Johnsson. Final score 6-1 Leafs.
Food for Thought
- John Gibson has now been pulled in three straight games. He was pulled after the fifth goal in this one and was reportedly fuming as he headed to the dressing room. Do you blame him?
- The Ducks are now 2-12-4 in their last 18 which is the exact same record the had when Randy Carlyle was fired previously in during the 2011-2012 season.
- Ironically, the 12th loss in the 2011-2012 stretch came against the Leaf and the Ducks went on to win their next game. After that win, the Ducks relieved RC of his head coaching duties. The victory in that game came against…wait for it…the Montreal Canadiens. Spooky stuff eh?
**Credit to Jake and CJ for the last point.
Best and Worst
Worst - Not just losing, but losing badly. Ducks have now been outscored 23-5 in their last four games and looked that bad doing it. I made this point in our staff chat, but it is one thing to be bad and try, it is another to be bad and get blown out of the water every game.
Best - Freddie Anderson. Freddie was his normal solid, unspectacular self. He made the tough saves when he had to and was cool, calm and collected through out.
Worst - Rinse and repeat. Broken record for this season. Whether it is the poor performance on the ice, the cliche “try harder” sounds bites or the coach/GM not having any answers. Sort of running out of things to say about this team for now.
The Ducks play the Montreal Canadiens tonight to finish off this back to back. Puck drop is at 4:30PM PT.