Sunday, November 30, 2008

Anaheim vs Carolina

Anaheim vs Carolina

The Ducks conquered the Carolina Hurricanes, 4-1, thanks to decisive goaltending by Jonas Hiller.

The Ducks were able to score three goals in the first period, and Hiller held the Hurricanes scoreless till the third period. The first two goals of the game were scored by Scott Niedermeyer, once a top scorer for the Ducks, but has been quiet this season so far. Teemu Selanne and Ryan Getzlaf scored the final two goals for the Ducks.

The Hurricanes had 37 shots, while the Ducks only had 27. Even though the Ducks were outshot, they were able to capitalize on four of those shots, resulting in an assured victory in Carolina.

The Ducks were able to defend all four of the Hurricane's powerplays. This marks 18 penalties that the Ducks have successfully killed in a row.

The Ducks next take on the Redwings, a longtime rival, in Detroit. This will be a tough contest for the Ducks, with the continuous absences of Francois Beauchemin and Brian Sutherby to injuries.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Too Much Tryptophan!

Anaheim vs Chicago

Is it cannibalistic for the Ducks to eat turkey? Apparently not, because the team that played on Friday's early day game was clearly suffering the after-effects of a turkey coma.

It was a one goal game, in favor of the Ducks with the only goal of the game scored by Ryan Getzlaf off of a pass from Corey Perry late in the second period.

Jonas Hiller started in the net as JS Giguere took off towards home for family reasons. He's expected to return sometime this weekend. Hiller earned his second career shutout, stopping all 29 shots.

Shots for the Ducks was also suprisingly low, only 21 attempts were made throughout the game, but all it took was one to go in for the win.

Also lacking were penalty minutes for the Ducks, only five penalties were called altogether, three of them belonging to the Ducks. Halfway through the second period, George Parros and Matt Walker from the Blackhawks got into a skirmish, earning a five minute penalty each. It was on this 4-4 play that Getzlaf found the net to earn the Ducks the game-winning goal.

The PK (penalty kill) unit has also been outstanding of late, killing off all 13 penalties over the last three games to keep the Ducks winning at home. This win marks the second of two games they've won at home.

Absent from the game were, as mentioned earlier JS Giguere, Brian Sutherby (strained groin), and Ryan Carter (a healthy scratch... again).

This win at home gives the Ducks a 13-8-3 record, with 29 standing points. They're currently 10 points behind the NHL leader, the San Jose Sharks. Next challenger to the Sharks is the New York Rangers, with 36 points. Tied for third is the Boston Bruins and the hated Detroit Redwings.

Lets Go Ducks!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Anaheim vs Colorado

Anaheim vs Colorado

The visiting Colorado Avalance was buried by the Ducks tonight in a 4-1 win at the Honda Center. Goals by Chris Kunitz, Chris Pronger, and two by Teemu Selanne ensured the Ducks a solid win in the second to last event before a three game road trip.

Seven seconds into the game, Nathan McIver drops his gloves and has a go at Avalanche player Cody McLeod. While this was the only fight of the game, the physicality of gameplay carried the same intensity throughout the competition. Several good hits and collisions knocked players down on the ice, Avalanche players more often than not. Brenden Morrison and Avalanche player Darcy Tucker slam into eachother hard, and Tucker goes down for a minute or two. He's able to skate off despite what seemed like a devastating hit to the knee.

The agressive style of play also seemed to continue throughout the game, with the Ducks taking 24 shots, and spending the majority of the time in the Avalanche zone. Although the Avalanche outshot the Ducks with 30 attempted goals, JS Giguere was on his game and stopped all but one of the shots.

Key for the Duck's sucess in their victory were capitilizing on the power plays and the defensive effort to kill their own penalties. Each team earned 4 penalties, including one five minute major each for the fight in the first period. Teemu Selanne scored on two of the powerplays, marking his 200th and 201st power play goals. All but one of his goals this season have been on powerplays, making him the leader in the league for goals scored with a man advantage.

The Duck's penalty minutes were remarkably low, considering their physicality during the game. The penalty kill unit managed to knock down a 5-3 advantage for the Avalanche towards the end of the first period, allowing them to keep the momentum as the ended the period with a score of 2-0.

Teemu Selanne opened up the scoring with a power play goal midway through the first period. The Ducks were on a powerplay, after an Avalanche penalty for having too many men on the ice. Chris Kunitz scored the second goal of the game late in the first, just 3 seconds after the termination of a powerplay for an Avalanche hooking call.

The second period, typically a tough one for the Ducks, was surprisingly complacent, as the Ducks stayed in control for most of the period. Neither team had any penalties, but that didn't matter to Chris Pronger who found the opportunity to score nonetheless. Early in the second period, he takes a one timer off a rebound from Todd Marchant that brushes past the post and into the goal.

The Colorado Avalanche managed to put a point on the board early in the third, but the Ducks were on an offensive roll that could not be stopped. After a hooking call on Colorado, Teemu Selanne finds the net again to score his 201st power play goal halfway through the third. The game ends with a 4-1 decision in favor of the Ducks.

The Ducks next play Chicago on a matinee Friday game after Thanksgiving. The Blackhawks happen to be my second favorite team, and although I'll still cheer for the Ducks it will be a bittersweet victory either way. Hopefully the Ducks will have something more to be thankful for after a victory against the Blackhawks before they leave for a three game roadtrip, which will include tough opponents such as the hated Redwings.

Happy Thanksgiving to all, and lastly...

Lets Go Ducks!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Anaheim vs Dallas

Anaheim vs Dallas

Finally, the tradition ends, as the Ducks were able to overcome the Dallas hurdle by winning in a shootout. Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry were able to put the puck away in the shootout, giving the Ducks a much needed morale boost on the road. Perry also contributed in regulation, giving the Ducks a lead for most of the second and third periods. Perry had also scored a goal at 15 minutes in the second, but it was reviewed and overruled as a legitimate point because the goal had moved.

Jonas Hiller started in the goal and held off the Stars for their first win against them this season. In their last matchup, Hiller had replaced JS Giguere midway through the game. Hiller was able to block all but one shot by Loui Eriksson at 10 minutes in the second period.

Penalties have always been an issue for the Ducks and the contest against Dallas was no different. The Ducks managed to accumulate 12 penalties, 7 in the first period alone, with all of them for physical offenses. There were three fights, two of them with Sean Avery, who also managed to rack up two roughing calls and a penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct.

Up to his old tricks again. Talk about pathetic.

Chris Kunitz and Steve Montador were both enticed to fisticuff with Avery, but his distractions were not enough to throw the Duck's focus.

Still absent from the lineup is Francois Beauchemin, who will be out of play for six months due to a knee injury. Mirroring that, the Stars lost their captain Brenden Morrow to a knee injury for six months as well. It will be tough for both teams to accomodate for the missing links in their lineup, although the Ducks have placed a lot of faith in Bobby Ryan, who was brought up from the AHL affiliate Iowa Chops. This was his third game with the Ducks this season.

The Ducks next face the Colorado Avalance at home on Monday. The Avalanche are at the bottom of their division, and have only recorded 18 points with a 9-10-0 standing. The Ducks currently have 25 points and a record of 11-8-3. With the continued absence of Beauchemin and the changes to the lineup stemming from that, it will be another good opportunity for the Ducks to gain some momentum to take on their road trip after their game on Friday against the Blackhawks.

As a sidenote.... The Sharks are now first in the league with 35 points, with the Boston Bruins in second with 32. Come on Bruins!

And lastly....

Lets Go Ducks!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Anaheim vs St Louis

Anaheim vs St Louis

The Ducks were able to earn a point in the standings by holding off the Blues for the duration of the game, but were unable to finish strong in the overtime competition on Friday, losing with a score of 3-2.

The tied score at the end of the third was due to a remarkable effort by Scott Niedermayer, scoring in the last 0.9 seconds of the game, his third goal this season. Chris Kunitz scored the first goal for the Ducks in the third, ensuring that the game would remain competitive till the very end. Both teams were tied for shots at the end of the game.

Both of the goals scored by St Louis were on a power play, yet another example of the Duck's struggle to kill off the numerous penalties they earn. Penalties tonight were earned in earnest for fighting infractions, three in the first period alone.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Anaheim vs Washington

Anaheim vs Washington

Under normal circumstances, teammates cannot rely on a single player to win the game for the team. The Washington Capitals, however, were able to completely give the game over to Alexander Ovechkin and were not dissapointed at the Honda Center.

The Ducks battled back from a four goal deficit midway through the third, closing the gap with two goals but it was a case of too little too late. The Capitals triumphed over the Ducks with a score of 6-4.

The Capitals were able to score three times in the first 7 minutes, prompting the removal of Jonas Hiller from between the posts. Tonight marked the first night he's ever been pulled out of a game.

Bobby Ryan, a rookie brought from the Iowa Chops after Francois Beauchemin was confirmed for a 6 month leave with a busted knee, scored two goals and an assist to help the Ducks fight back, but his efforts weren't enough to bring the momentum back.

The NHL has been altering the rules in hockey for the past few years to make games more offensive, and tonight's game was a testement that their methods are working. 10 goals in one game was once unheard of in professional hockey, but other games in the NHL on the same night had 9, 10, and 11 goal totals.

The Ducks spent 25 minutes in the penalty box, giving the Capitals ample time to score with a man advantage. Penalty minutes continue to plague the Ducks as an Achilles heel. They might win a few games if they could just stay out of the sin bin.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Anaheim vs Los Angeles

Anaheim vs Los Angeles

With the loss of Francois Beauchemin on the starting lineup after the game against Nashville, the Ducks were looking grim as they warmed up on the ice Sunday afternoon before the game against Los Angeles. To compensate for the loss of one of their top defensemen, the Ducks needed to step it up.

And step it up, they did.

Answering the call was Jonas Hiller, who started in the net to shut out the visiting Kings, stopping all 29 shots to help the Ducks triumph, 2-0. This marked his first career shutout, but it definitely wont be his last.

Corey Perry and Bret Hedican were the goal scorers for this event, with Perry's goal coming in halfway through the second period. Hedican gave the Ducks the insurance they needed towards the end of the third, with the assist from Chris Kunitz.

The Ducks had to fight through 11 minutes of penalty time in the first period alone, allowing Los Angeles ample time to score. Thanks to the performance of Hiller, and consistent defensive effort, the Ducks were able to snap out of the three game losing streak.

Bobby Ryan was called up from the AHL to replace Beauchemin, who will be out for 6 months for a torn ACL. Ryan played about 17 minutes of the game and was on the ice for the first goal. Rookie Brett Festerling also saw some playing time.

Also absent from the lineup were Rob Niedermayer, Ryan Carter and Nathan McIver, all as healthy scratches.

The Ducks extend their record to 10-7-2, and are now ranked 2nd in the Pacific Coast behind San Jose with 22 points.

They end their homestand against the Washington Capitals on Wednesday, November 19. It is important for the Ducks to end on a good note before facing St Louis and rival Dallas on the road. The last road trip for the Ducks saw them winning all 4 of their games.

Lets Go Ducks.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

SoCal Fires

"Remember, remember 15th of Novemeber- the smoke, the toil, the heat. As brave men made bounds, with their watery rounds, performing their perilous feat"

Friday, November 14, 2008

Ducks vs Nashville


Ducks surrendered to the Predators, 4-3 in an overtime competition. Even coming back twice from a one goal deficit, Anaheim was unable to beat the Predators. Although the Ducks still earn a point for the standings, it was a win they were striving for, to regain some momentum after losing the last three games.

The Ducks and the Predators each had 35 shots throughout the game, but Jiggy was unable to save the last goal scored by Dan Hamhuis, 2 minutes into overtime.

Brendan Morrison scored a goal in the first two minutes, but his lead was short lived. The Predators were quick to retaliate and scored two goals for a lead midway through the first period. Chris Kunitz scored the second goal for the Ducks on a power play with five minutes left in the first.


There were no goals in the second period.

Both the Predators and the Ducks scored power play goals in the third to keep the score tied at the end of regulation.

Penalty minutes for the Ducks were relatively low, save one 5 minute major for fighting to Brad May, who recently returned from a leg injury.

With May's return and Parros back on the ice sans visor, the Ducks are at full strength but still unable to clinch a win in the past three games.

They next play their cross-town rivals, the Los Angeles Kings, at home on Sunday. Their current record with the Kings is tied at 1-1, and the game on Sunday gives the Ducks the opportunity to gain the upper hand in their record and get some momentum back from three straight losses.

Again, the next post will also be delayed due to my trip back home. Forgive the belated post, but its the best I can do.

Lets Go Ducks.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

New GM for Ducks

Brian Burke has stepped down from the General Manager position for the Ducks. Bob Murray will take over the position. There is no word on whether Burke was fired or stepped down. While this may not affect the Ducks immediately, the problems they've had with the salary cap are sure to become a hot topic with the new GM.

Ducks play Nashville Predators on Friday. The Predators just gave the San Jose Sharks a run for their money, beating them in overtime, 3-4. After two days of rest, it's a great opportunity for the Ducks to regain some momentum.

Lets Go Ducks.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Anaheim vs Florida

Anaheim vs Florida
11. 9.08

Nothing less than a dissapointing game for the Ducks tonight. Playing the Florida Panthers, who are ranked the lowest in the NHL, the Ducks were expecting a win tonight to bring up morale after the devastating loss against Dallas last Friday. Instead, they struggled through a 3-1 loss to the 30th ranked team.

Just minutes into the first period, Corey Perry scored the first goal of the game off a pass from Steve Montador. It was the first and last goal the Ducks would score, even with multiple opportunities in the second and third periods.

The Panthers, or rather David Booth, took advantage of the Duck's inability to score, and somehow found the net three times for a hat trick to secure a victory. Another contributor to the Panther's win was their backup goalie, Craig Anderson. So that there's no misunderstanding, the Ducks lost to the worst team in the NHL with their BACKUP GOALIE between the posts, and allowed all three goals to be scored by one man.

The Panther's record improved from 4-8-1 to 5-8-1, after losing the past 6 games, including ones against Los Angeles and Phoenix. The Ducks now face a 9-7-1 record.

Booth was unstoppable tonight, scoring all three of the Panther's goals for his first career hat trick. Even with three goals in 26 shots, Giguere stayed in the net all night, much to fan's surprise. He's been pulled out of the net three times in the past week, and Jonas Hiller has done a fantastic job in his stead. Hiller may be starting in the net in the next few games if Giguere continues to struggle.

But it wasnt like the Duck's offense had no opportunity to score. There were 45 shots with only one goal to show for their efforts, 11 of those shots credited to Getzlaf alone.

Penalty minutes for the Ducks were also astoundingly low. The Ducks only earned five two-minute minor penalties, unusual for a team that's known for rough play. The Panthers also only had 10 minutes worth of time spent in the penalty box. Even when spending the majority of the game with even strength, the Ducks missed opportunity after opportunity to score.

They next face Nashville at home, and I may not be around to update immediately on that game, as I will be out of town for a family wedding.

I'm almost too depressed to say it...

Lets Go Ducks.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

I Hate Sean Avery

Anaheim vs Dallas

Tradition isnt always a good thing. The Stars have a tradition of trumping the Ducks, and that is definitely one tradition that has to change.

Unfortunately, it wasnt changed Friday, as the Stars beat the Ducks, 5-2, at the Honda Center, largely thanks to a hat trick by the Star's Mark Parrish. Parrish was a recent acquisition for the Stars, signed for only 500,000 after being a free agent.

Sean Avery is also a new addition to the Stars roster ( and he sucks massive dick. Dont believe me? Go wikipedia "the sean avery rule", and tell me he isnt gay).

It seemed to be a role switch for the Ducks and Stars, the Ducks struggled through the game looking much like they had in the beginning of the season, while the Stars showed vivacity not unlike the Ducks have been showing of late. The Stars came into the game with a 4-6-2 record, but left with a 5-6-2, after a dissapointing effort by the Ducks.

Midway through the first period, the Stars were able to squeeze two past Giguere within minutes of eachother, the second on a power play after a penalty on Travis Moen. Brendan Morrison finally scored his first goal of the season late in the first by haphazardly jabbing at the puck till it slid past the goal line, putting the Ducks behind by only one at the end of the 1st period.

Shortly after the first Ducks goal, Chris Kunitz ( <3 !) throws Sean Avery into the boards, and Avery has to take his time getting back up. Avery's head seemed to make contact with the boards in a rather hard fashion but perhaps it was deserved. Kunitz is sent to the penalty box with a boarding and a roughing penalty.

The second period, traditionally a rough one for the Ducks, continues to plague them as the Stars pull ahead by three goals after Mark Parrish scores the final two of his three goals early in the second period. Parrish sought the opportunity for his hat trick when Scott Niedermayer inexplicably trips and falls to the ice in his own zone while controlling the puck. Parrish swooped in and shot on Giguere with no one defending him. The coaching staff pull Giguere from the net and put in Hiller in hopes of having a turnaround game, and while Hiller only let one more goal in, the Duck's offense was unable to generate enough to overcome the initial deficit.

Midway through the third period, the Stars score their final goal on a power play opportunity after a penalty on Chris Kunitz for the hit on Avery. Scott Niedermayer scored the last goal for Anaheim, for the final score of 5-2. A dissapointing loss, and hopefully not a continuation of old customs, but just a last salute to "tradition" before breaking old habits.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Anaheim vs St. Louis

Anaheim vs St. Louis

It was a rapid turnaround from the night before when the Ducks triumphed over the St Louis Blues, 5-2.

The game was give and take until a quarter way through the second period, when Corey Perry gave the Ducks a lead that they never relinquished.

Just 36 seconds into the first period, Rob Niedermayer took advantage of a breakaway and fired one past the Blues goalie to start the game off right. Three minutes later, the Blues retaliated with a goal on Jonas Hiller to tie it. Two minutes into the second period, the Ducks scored their second goal on a power play, Teemu Selanne taking advantage of the extra player to put the Ducks ahead by one. The Blues tied it once more, less than a minute later, on a power play after a penalty on Samuel Pahlsson. That was the last time the Blues would score.

Corey Perry put the Ducks ahead once more five minutes through the second period, and the Ducks built upon that lead throughout the rest of the game. Getzlaf had his best game this season, scoring on both of the two shots he took, including one on an open net, to put the Ducks ahead 5-2.

Uncharacteristically, the Ducks managed to stay out of the penalty box for much of the game, only logging 20 minutes in power play time off of five two minute minors and one five minute major for fighting.

Jonas Hiller also showed his mettle between the posts, stopping 30 of 32 shots by the Blues to assist the Ducks in the win. Frequently called upon to perform when Jiggy's having an off night, Hiller rarely starts in the net, the exception being when the Ducks have consecutive game days. His performance against the Blues merits some respect as a competetive goaltender, rather than the backup that he's been labeled.

It was a satisfying win for the Ducks after a rough night in LA, and the momentum earned tonight should play well for the Ducks when they take on Dallas on Friday at home. Dallas has also been a longtime rival of the Ducks, most recently shutting them out of the playoffs last season after 6 games in the first round. The Stars seem to be having difficulty early in this season, and the Ducks are hopeful to exact a little revenge for years past.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Anaheim vs Los Angeles

Anaheim vs Los Angeles

Less than 15 minutes after the California polls closed for Tuesday's presidential election, it was announced that Barack Obama would be the 44th President of these United States.

If only the Ducks could have been as decidedly victorious over the Kings.

A scoreless regulation game forced the Ducks to face their Los Angeles rivals for forty seconds of overtime before Chris Pronger was able to score, ending the tedious game at the Staples Center.

Undoubtedly, JS Giguere had one of his best games this season so far, stopping all 35 shots for his 31st career shootout. The Kings were granted many opportunities to score, thanks to a rather lackluster defense, but Jiggy stopped every shot to keep the Duck's heads above water long enough for Pronger's goal in overtime.

Also contributing to a poor showing by the Ducks were the numerous penalties that they earned throughout the game, 7 in all, including a four minute penalty for roughing by Rob Niedermayer.

The offensive effort on both sides was also visibly lacking, and a rivalry that normally sparks enthusiasm was noticeably mundane. The Kings outshot the Ducks, 27-35, partially due to the fact that most of the game was spent in the Duck's zone. Anaheim seemed content to ride it out on the efforts of Jiggy, who didnt dissapoint this time. A poor effort and a sloppy win, but the Ducks still earn two points in the standings for their victory either way.

After all, it would be humiliating to lose to the Kings AGAIN.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Cool it, Flames

Anaheim vs Calgary

The Ducks were on a roll tonight.

Just 1:46 into the first period, Ryan Getzlaf managed to score the first goal of the game, and the Ducks never seemed to lose their momentum from that point forward.

Despite 8 penalties, including a four minute double minor, the Ducks managed to triumph tonight over the Calgary Flames for their sixth win in the past seven games. Their current overall record is 7-5-1, much improved from the rocky 1-5-0 record they had for the first six games.

The team record wasnt the only improvement tonight. Giguere was back in the net tonight, having been pulled in the second period of the last game after letting in 4 goals out of 13 shots. He faced 36 shots tonight, and only let in 2 to keep the Ducks one goal ahead of the Flames.

The second period has always been a shakey one for the Ducks, but tonight seemed to be the exception to the rule. Two goals were scored within a minute of eachother by Chris Pronger and Ryan Carter to put the Ducks ahead of the Flames, 3-0.

Calgary was quick to answer, and scored goal midway through the second period. Corey Perry almost had a goal in the last few minutes of the period, but it was waved off, as he had collided with the goalie as the puck sailed into the net. He was upset with the call, and his tantrum earned him a double minor for goalie interference and unsportsmanlike conduct.

The third period started with the Ducks at 3, Calgary 1, and Corey Perry in the penalty box for the remaining 3 minutes of his double minor penalty. The Flames were intent on making it a good game, and Todd Bertuzzi, a former Duck, scored on Jiggy on the Perry's penalty. To add insult to injury, it should be noted that the Ducks are still paying a portion of Bertuzzi's salary, 2.67 million of it, after the buyout last season.

The Ducks managed to hold on to the lead for the remaining 18 minutes of the game, despite pressure from Calgary, and an extra player when the Flames pulled their goalie with 2 minutes remaining in the game. Jiggy proved he's still a brick wall, with 34 saves.

And as a side note, Chris Kunitz and Ryan Getzlaf were the Duck's "Stars of the Game" tonight. Only one of them has all his teeth. Can you guess which one? Although it's worth saying he's actually improved his game since he's lost his tooth.... perhaps it was a curse?