Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Sincerest Apologies...

I have not been very diligent in keeping up with the games and scores of the Anaheim Ducks. You would think that being on vacation would allow for more free time, but my current schedule contradicts that belief. However, now that most of the holidays are over and social demands are diminishing, I promise to devote more time to keeping this blog updated after each game.

Currently, the Ducks have 47 points. The league leader, the San Jose Sharks, has 60 points. The runner-up is the Boston Bruins which have 58 points. 2 points = 1 game. If the Bruins win another game, and San Jose fails to triumph over their opponent, the points will be tied, and the Sharks will lose their point lead, which has lasted for the majority of the season.

Go Bruins.

The Ducks will face the Columbus Blue Jackets after a devastatingly close loss to the Dallas Stars last Saturday. The Ducks played a fantastic game, and had a lead for much of the third period, thanks to a pair of goals by Brendan Morrison. Unfortunately, the Stars were able to tie the score in the last few minutes of the game, and won in overtime. Penalty minutes continue to plague the Ducks and it will take a much more agressive offense and checking line to give the Ducks the opportunities they need to score and win.

It will be a New Years Eve battle for the Ducks, and here's hoping tomorrow's outcome is a good sign of things to come in the new year.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Anaheim vs San Jose

Anaheim vs San Jose


Its the rivalry games that hurt the most. The Ducks fell to San Jose, 0-2, on the road after a physical game.

Jonas Hiller stopped 25 shots for the Ducks, but it wasn't enough to keep the game competitive. The Sharks were scoreless for the first 17 minutes of the game, but scored on a slapshot that got past Hiller. Their second goal was scored midway through the second, giving their goalie, Evgeni Nabokov, his first shutout of the season, stopping all 31 shot attempts.

If penalty minutes are any indication of a physical game, this looked to be more like a boxing match than a hockey game. The teams had a combined 57 minutes in the box, sparked by two fights, various hooking and holding calls, and one unsportsmanlike conduct. Each team earned a 10 minute misconduct in the last few seconds of the game for a fight that was started by a jab with a hockey stick.

A dissappointing loss, but we'll remember who had the better shutout of the two teams, wont we? And even if the Sharks take it all the way to the finals, we'll certainly remember who won Stanley first!

On a side note, Sean Avery will not return to the Dallas Stars after a six game suspension for uttering "sloppy seconds". Seems like the NHL refuses to put up with his antics anymore, and now he's looking for a new home team. Good luck finding one!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Anaheim vs St Louis

Anaheim vs St Louis

What started out as a back-and-forth contest between the Ducks and the Blues was only decided in the last two minutes of the game, as the Ducks beat St Louis, 4-2. Again, the end score would never clue you in on how exciting the game actually was.

The Blues got the puck in first, at the 12 minute mark of the first period. A minute later, the Ducks answered with a goal by George Parros, assisted by Bobby Ryan. The score would remain tied until Chris Kunitz would score a power play goal 14 minutes into the second. 13 minutes into the third, the Blues score on a powerplay goal of their own.

Tied at 2 apiece, the teams got physical but Brendan Morrison scored the game winning goal with a little over two minutes left in the game. Desperate, the Blues pulled their goalie for an extra attacker. That proved to be a big mistake, as Chris Kunitz stole away with the puck for his second goal of the game on an empty net.

Giguere stopped 26 shots for the Ducks, including many attempts on power plays. The Ducks earned 10 penalties over the course of regulation, including three majors for fighting and a ten minute misconduct. Even with the penalty minutes, the Ducks kept up their offense, shooting the puck 36 times for their 4-2 win.

Their next contest is a big one, as they compete with the league-leading San Jose Sharks on the road. Their last matchup resulted in a 4-0 shutout in favor of the Ducks, and they look to continue that trend tomorrow.

Lets Go Ducks!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Anaheim vs Columbus

Anaheim vs Columbus

Sunday December 7th, 2008, a date that will live in infamy for Ducks fans, the 3,000th goal in franchise history was scored by Ryan Getzlaf in a contest against the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Ducks beat the Blue Jackets with a score of 5-3, but with a score like that you'd never guess how close the game actually was.

Typically the worst period for the Ducks, they scored the first two goals of the game in the early minutes of the second period, with one by Getzlaf and the other by Ryan Carter. Getzlaf's second goal, and the 3,000th one in Duck's history came later in the same period. Columbus managed to score on a powerplay after a questionable call on Brett Festerling, ending the second period with a score of 3-1 in favor of the Ducks.

The real excitement came in the third period, after a seemingly decisive goal for Anaheim by Bobby Ryan. With a score of 4-1, most fans called it a game and began to leave. Columbus fought back, however, and scored twice in a span of 1:30 to catch up to the Ducks, 4-3. Although pressured, the Ducks kept up a tough offense, and scored on a Teemu Selanne breakaway to put the game away.

The Ducks spent 34 minutes in the penalty box altogether, mostly from five minute penalties for fighting, and one ten minute penalty for misconduct. A fight broke out early in the third that ended badly for one Blue Jacket player as he was wrestled to the ground and suffered a head injury from hitting the ice. 6 penalties were issued to four people, including a ten minute and five minute penalty to one player from each team for the severity of the fight. They played even strength through those penalties.

JS Giguere stopped the puck 29 times for his 200th career win.

The Ducks are now 15-10-3, and next face the St Louis Blues at home, on Wednesday, December 10th.

Lets Go Ducks!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Anaheim vs Chicago

Anaheim vs Chicago

The last time the Ducks faced the Blackhawks, it was a one goal decision in favor of the Ducks in a very lethargic game. This time, the Ducks fell to a 4-1 decision in favor of the Blackhawks in a much more intense contest.

The Blackhawks scored the first goal of the game towards the end of the first on a powerplay, and held the Ducks scoreless till midway through the second. Determined to win, the Ducks scored again in the beginning seconds of the third, but the Blackhawks broke their lead midway through the third, tying the game at two apiece. With just 1:35 left in regulation, the Blackhawks scored again, fixing the game for a 3-2 decision.

The Ducks pulled Jonas Hiller from the net, hoping to tie the score once again for an overtime contest, but the Blackhawks scored on the empty net, finalizing the 4-2 score in favor of the Blackhawks.

The Ducks had five penalties, with three belonging to Ryan Getzlaf for tripping, hi-sticking, and slashing. Brad May and Steve Montador earned the other two penalties.

The Blackhawks outshot the Ducks, 41-32.

This was the last contest on the road for the Ducks, as they return home to face the Bluejackets on December 7th. They previously beat the Blue Jackets, 3-2, in Columbus.

Lets Go Ducks.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Anaheim vs Detroit

Anaheim vs Detroit

The Ducks succumbed to a constant offensive effort to the Redwings in their second consecutive road game.

The Redwings had 47 shot attempts while the Ducks only had 16. It was this continuous offense that eventually resulted in pulling Giguere from the net in the third period.

The Ducks held the Redwings scoreless till the end of the second period after Chris Kunitz scored the first goal just two minutes into the game. JS Giguere stopped 32 shots before letting one in and was pulled from the net shortly thereafter for cramping. Hiller saved all but one of the 10 shots the Redwings put on his net, but one was all it took for the Redwings to break the tie before the end of regulation.

The Ducks had twice as many penalties as the Redwings, but four penalties for the Ducks is still considered low. They successfully defended all of the penalties, bringing their record of penalty kills to 22.

The Ducks next play against Chicago, bringing an end to their roadtrip. They beat the Blackhawks previously in this series, in a sluggish post-Thanksgiving matchup. This game is expected to have a lot more energy, and hopefully a lot more goals for the Ducks.