Anaheim Ducks – Into December We Go…
It’s been a long holiday week and with it, a late blog. This time, I will be updating the Anaheim Ducks play through Sunday. There are 4 games to write about, plus a clothing line release, so here we go:
The current home stand continued Monday, November 23 with the Calgary Flames coming into Anaheim. Anaheim won this game 3-2 in a SO and it was JS Giguere’s first win of the season. The Ducks lost their 2-1 lead with only 18 seconds left on the clock and Jiggy made sure to redeem that goal by not allowing any in during the SO. The winning goal went to Teemu Selanne, as is becoming the norm. (not that I’m complaining, of course!) Too much drama for a team that desperately needs to start winning. However, I could see the team was finally starting to work as a team and the win was a shot in the arm for Jiggy. Hopefully, the Ducks can ride this feeling into the rest of the home stand.
Two days later saw this fan once more at the Honda Center watching the Ducks host the Carolina Hurricanes. The day before Thanksgiving and I was hoping for another win. Hey – win or lose, I’m always thankful for hockey and my Ducks… Still, a win would be good and a win is what the Ducks gave us. Really, no one wants to be the one to lose to a team who has yet to win (Leafs win at Anaheim comes to mind…) and it wasn’t the Ducks as they won 3-2. Once again, too much drama for this team; Giguere was again in net and it looks like he prefers the 3rd period drama. 53 seconds left in the game and the ‘Canes get a goal to make it 3-2!!! Someone tell Jigs it is NOT nice to cause his fans heart attacks. However, the team is getting better with each game and with it, Giguere as well.
Friday, November 27 sees us back at the Honda Center (do the Ducks ever go on the road???) to watch them take on the Chicago Blackhawks. Now, I will admit, I am very nervous with this game – the ‘Hawks are a hot, hot team and are on such a winning streak. Even though the team is finally starting to jell, we’re testing them against the ‘Hawks? Madness. It was a good game, as usual when the ‘Hawks visit, with the Ducks winning 3-0. This was Giguere’s 3rd win in a row and first shutout of the season. I will also admit I was shocked it was a shut out. I may get smacked for this, but I will say it: Giguere is coming back to himself, yes. However, the shut out wasn’t because of Giguere; the whole team was literally pulling the pucks out of the crease. So, while this may sound like I am bashing Jiggy (I’m not) my point is that the defense is finally working together as well. Add that to our two amazing goalies and we are golden.
Game break for charity reasons: Before the game Friday, Ducks enforcer George Parros unveiled a line of clothing that he designed. It’s called ‘Stache Gear and all proceeds from the sales goes to two of his charities: Childhood Leukemia Foundation and Teammates for Kids. To call it a line, well, that’s stretching it. But, say what you will about his play or his mustache, George Parros loves to give back to the community; the proceeds so far total over $7,000 with more merchandise ordered. Considering there are 2 Tshirts for men, 2 Tshirts for women and 2 hats priced at $25 each, that’s a good haul so far. And the fans will always support their players with their charities as well. If you want to check it out, here is the link:
http://ducks.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=507372# All for a good cause, all good.
Sunday, November 29 the Coyotes rolled into the Honda Center and snapped the little winning streak the Ducks had going by winning 3-2 in OT. Once again, Giguere was in the net and once again, showed he was on his way back. Bobby Ryan made the goal that sent it into OT and not a moment too soon. Nothing like waiting until about 2 min left to finally score! Oy! Still, the excitement is one of the reasons we love the game. So, while it sucked that the streak was broken (can’t get a break around here, I guess!) it’s apparent the team has finally started to work as a team.
Today, the LA Kings coming into Anaheim for the start of the 2009/2010 Freeway Face Off series. This is the first time this regular season that these two teams have played. It’s always interesting, to say the least. I’m hoping the fans are better than the Sharks fans. Hard to say, harder still to type…… UPDATE: Hiller in the net tonight, so we’ll see how he does in front of the improved Ducks team.
I can’t write it here, but look into Corey Perry right now. I am superstitious and don’t want to jinx anything, so I’ll just say look at his stats.
The line of Artyukhin/Koivu/Selanne is becoming a huge, huge asset to the team. This line, at first glance, seems odd, but it works!!! Artyukhin can get in there to make space for Selanne and Koivu and also has his own speed and puck handling skills. Yeah - this is a line to watch for sure. Having Selanne and Koivu request him on the line has to make Artyukhin feel pretty good too.
Giguere looks to be coming back to himself, almost. He got a little too comfortable in the net against the Coyotes and that’s when the last goal happened. BUT! He IS getting better. When Hiller gets his chance in front of this “new” team, he will be amazing as well. I can only think it helps one goalie when the other is doing well; especially when it’s your good friend. (see update above I received RIGHT before posting!)
LET’S GO DUCKS!