Anaheim Ducks – 2009 Is Almost Done
I have been extremely remiss in my posting and I am sorry for that. Finals, holidays and wireless cards deciding to hit the skids never make for conducive blogging. The last game I posted about was waaaay back on December 8, so I need to catch up. 7 games total: 6 away and 1 at home.
December 11 saw the Ducks start the latest road trip in Detroit. Here, the Ducks lost in overtime, 3-2. Too many penalties – 11 in all – would not help Anaheim’s cause in the least. But, at least they got a point. Giguere was in the net and it would seem that the coaching staff was relaxing the stupid ‘win and you’re in’ system.
The Ducks have too many back to backs in the month of December; December 12th saw them in Columbus playing the Blue Jackets. Hiller was in the net for this 3-1 Anaheim win and boy – was it ever needed!!!! Hiller looked great and after watching Jiggy the night before, I truly believe that the goalies are getting it together. Once again, Bobby Ryan did one of the dramatic goals I think he loves to do: scoring while flying. He does it for the highlight reels, I just know it. LOL (50th career goal, BTW) Since he did it for highlights, I will oblige him: http://ducks.nhl.tv/team/console.jsp?hlg=20092010,2,472&event=CBJ405. Jonas Hiller was the 1st Star of the game and with saves like this, I can see why:
http://ducks.nhl.tv/team/console.jsp?hlg=20092010,2,472&event=CBJ660. My team is nothing if not dramatic….
December 16th saw the Ducks back on the road after a brief trip home. This time, Anaheim went into Vancouver and faced down Luongo and the Canucks, winning 3-2. Hiller was again in net and both he and Luongo played an amazing game. Yes, the Canucks were outshot by Anaheim, but once again, I was really impressed with Luongo.
Yet another back to back. December 17th the Ducks were in San Jose for the first time this season. Now, I hate the fact that the Sharks came on the backend of the back to back; they are too dangerous a team for us to play on the backend. Giguere was in the net (as he should be on a back to back. More later in the blog) and recorded the 4-1 loss. Too many penalties (wotta shock) and too many mistakes. Simple as that. Ducks were outplayed by a team that had rested the 5 days prior. An excuse? Not really. Just a fact. The Anaheim Ducks aren’t the best team when playing back to backs.
One of the few home games played in December was on December 19th against the Phoenix Coyotes. It was a satisfying 4-2 win that night for Anaheim and for Jonas Hiller. As everyone in Duckland agreed: the team plays better at home in the daylight. This game started at 1pm and well, they won. From the Ducks website: “The Ducks improved their matinee record to 13-1-4 in the last 18 HOME day games (dating back to Oct. 20, 2002), earning 30 of a possible 36 points (.833 winning percentage) and outscoring the opposition, 59-32.” We are all of the mindset to change game times to 1pm-ish….
The Ducks went back on the road before the mandatory Christmas break, by playing against the Colorado Avalanche on December 22. This was an intense game where the Ducks won 4-2 by scoring all four goals in about 8 minutes or so. Hiller was in the net and not really tested all that much. Craig Anderson was in goal for the Avs and he was a BEAST! No matter how hard the Ducks tried, and they tried hard, they couldn’t get anything past Anderson until the third period. He was really, really incredible that night and in actuality, the Avs have no reason to hang their heads over this loss.
December 23rd had the Ducks once again playing Phoenix, this time in Phoenix. Sadly, the ugly back to back truth raised its ugly head and the Ducks lost 4-0. This time, there was a twist: Carlyle started Hiller even though his back to back record is….well, bad. I have to say, I was really surprised and truly pissed that he didn’t start Giguere. The Ducks have TWO (count ‘em TWO) good goalies and to not start the other one on a back to back????? How dumb was that? I hate to see goalies pulled during a game, but I was hoping to see Jiggy at the start of the 2nd period. Instead, Carlyle put him in with 8 min left in the game. WTH???? Would the outcome have been different had Giguere started? Probably not; the Yotes were hockey playing fools that game. Props to them. Once again, Anaheim playing a rested team on the backend of a back to back will rarely end well for the Ducks.
Thinking that Carlyle is trying hard to destroy both of our goalies, slowly but surely…….
The Ducks have three more games in 2009 – the Sharks on the road (Dec 26), the Wild here at home on the 29th and the Stars on the road Dec 31st. (I am personally excited for the December 31st game as I will be in Dallas for that game. Hot damn! First away game ever!)
On that note, I will end this for now. I hope everyone had a great holiday season and that everyone will stay safe on New Years Eve. I want to see you all back here on the site come January 1st.
LET’S GO DUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (please….we really need the points!)