Friday, March 6, 2009

New Kids on the Ice

Tonight's match up against the Dallas Stars was the first home game for all of the new acquisitions, and while they seemingly outplayed Dallas on the stats sheet, it may take some more time to adjust. Their 3-2 loss tonight is hopefully a mediocre start to a phenomenal playoff run.

New sticks on the ice tonight were James Wisniewski from Chicago, Erik Christensen from Atlanta, and Petteri Nokelainen from the New York Rangers. Wisniewski earned a goal tonight, his first for the Ducks.

Even with the new faces, the Ducks still kept their old habits, earning 6 penalties tonight, the first by newcomer Erik Christensen in the first 29 seconds of the game. Dallas scored 1:15 later, taking the lead early. They scored again towards the end of the second period, off a wrist shot by Loui Eriksson, his first of two for the night.

Even with the loss, their offense was relentless, outshooting the Stars 2-1. Dallas goaltender Marty Turco saved 36 shots, while JS Giguere only had 13 saves. Giguere faced only 2 shots in the last period, one of which slipped by on Eriksson's second goal.

Goal scoring on the Duck's end included a goal by newcomer Wisniewski in the beginning of the third period, off a slapshot that finally stumped the impenetrable Turco. Bobby Ryan, now wearing hockey legend Paul Kariyan's old #9, scored a highlight reel goal 10 minutes later, whipping around the defense and sliding the puck under Turco as he falls to the ice.

From this loss, the Ducks hope to move forward with their new team, adjusting to new faces and sticks on the ice. They next take on the Minnesota Wild on Sunday at home. Their next few games determine their eligibility for a playoff spot, and while tonight's loss hurt that dream, it's not over yet. The Ducks are currently tied for 9th with Edmonton, with Dallas moving up to secure the #8 spot the Ducks desperately need to get into the playoffs. At the top of the conferences, Boston leads the Eastern Conference with 93 points, with New Jersey(87), Washington (85) and Philadelphia (78) following respectively. In the Western Conference, San Jose is tied for first with Detriot with 94 points, and Calgary (84) and Chicago (81) following.

Lets Go Ducks!

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