Anaheim Ducks – Better Late Than Never…
Time flies during the last weeks of a semester and with it, my apologies! A quick update on the Anaheim Ducks: 5 games total!!
December 1st saw the Kings and the Ducks start their Freeway Faceoff for the season. Unfortunately, the Ducks would fall to the Kings 4-3. The Ducks fought the good fight, but in the end, ran out of time. Hiller did his best, including being pretzeled a couple of times with no calls either time. Not surprising as Hiller was wearing the ‘wrong’ jersey…. Have to say, kudos to the Kings fans: for the first time, the Sharks fans in November were far, far worse than the Kings fans. Corey Perry extended his streak to 19 game point streak and Ryan Getzlaf recorded his 300th career NHL point as well.
December 3rd saw the Ducks in Dallas to play the Stars; the Stars won 3-1. Until the 3rd period, Anaheim had a 1-0 lead, and then poof! It was gone in 71 seconds, with the third goal being an empty netter. This was the game that Teemu Selanne fractured a bone in his finger; he’s out for about 4 weeks. (Knowing him, if he says 4 weeks, he means it!!) This game was just a bad one for Giguere as the first Dallas goal actually went in off Duck’s James Wisniewski’s skate. It was obviously given to the Star’s Neal, but it was one of those goals Jiggy just couldn’t have anticipated. Ugly? Yes. Counted? Yeah. So, it was a hard loss for the Ducks. Corey Perry’s streak ended with this game.
December 4th had the Ducks in Minnesota against the Wild on the back end of the back to back. The Ducks played a good game, from what I heard as I don’t have Center Ice. They powered back again and again; however, they lost 5-4 in SO. It’s hard to write about a game I didn’t see, but from what I heard, it was still a good one. Surprisingly, Hiller was the losing goaltender. Why surprising? He’s usually really, really good in the shoot out. Again, I didn’t see it, so I can’t really say why Hiller allowed in the goals. (Side note: former Duck Andrew Ebbett seems to have found a home with the Wild. Anyone who is an Anaheim fan liked Ebbett and it’s good to see a first-class guy doing well.)
Sunday, December 6 had the Ducks back home hosting the Ottawa Senators. Once again, the game went to a shoot out and the Ducks lost 4-3. Now, I saw this game and I had to wonder what in the world Giguere was doing when he was challenging the shooter during the SO. He seemed to turn about 45 degrees away from the shooter instead of squaring up. So, I was kind of left scratching my head as I walked to my car. It’s that long, long, long walk that happens when the Ducks lose.
Tuesday, December 8 the Dallas Stars rolled into Anaheim to close out this current home stand of….um…two. Giguere was in the net and the Ducks managed to squeak by and win the game on Saku Koivu’s overtime goal. Dan Sexton was called up when Teemu Selanne got hurt and recorded his first AND second NHL goals this game. What a night for the young player! Turco did his usual whining and playing up to the refs. It’s a shame he does that; he is actually a good goaltender. It’s the whining that gets to me.
Notes: Joffrey Lupul was hot after returning from back spasms; hopefully, the leg injury he has right now is minor and he plays Friday against the Wings.
Coaching staff seems to have FINALLY backed off that ridiculous ‘win and you’re in’ system for Giguere and Hiller. I can’t see the logic in it and feel that neither goalie can get consistent if they aren’t in the net more. I understand that if the team as a whole were consistent, allowing a goalie to stay in as long as they won (say, 3-4 games in a row) would work. However, since the team hasn’t been consistent, it only seemed to have the reverse effect on the netminders.
Friday starts a 4 game road trip for Anaheim: Wings, Jackets, Canucks and Sharks. I am hoping for the best and hoping for more points – they are really, really needed.
“All I want for Christmas is a winning team…”
LET’S GO DUCKS!