Thursday, September 17, 2009

Fisticuffs with the Canucks

While the Ducks couldn't generate much of successful offense, they had no problem sparking several fights as they fell 3-0 to Vancouver in the second preseason game at the Honda Center.

A few more veterans saw ice time tonight, but the team struggled to work together to put the puck in the net. Among the starting skaters were veterans Ryan Whitney, Corey Perry, Andrew Ebbett and JS Giguere. Giguere played for the first half of the game, and stopped 14 of 16 shots. He was replaced by newbie Justin Pogge immediately following the second goal midway through the second period. Pogge stopped all but one of 19 attempts on net.

The Duck's score remained zero, but they got their punches in. The Ducks had collectively four five-minute major penalties for fighting, one 10 minute misconduct, as well as penalties for a holding minor, a slashing minor and a cross checking minor. Corey Perry was the standout fighter tonight, earning a fighting major midway through the first and a game misconduct at the end of the game. Matt McCue also earned two five minute majors for fighting. George Parros and His Mustache were surprisingly quiet tonight, only going to the sin bin once for slashing. James Wisnewski earned the remaining fighting penalty.

The Vancouver list of offenses dwarfed the Duck's comparitively, but even in a physical game giving up penalties can be detrimental. The Canuck's second goal was scored on the powerplay earned after Scott Niedermeyer was called for holding.

A shutout hurts, even in the preseason. But this is the time for the team to iron out their difficulties, and for new talent to get a chance to develop. The shootout win the previous night was exciting, and the optimism for the team isn't diminished in any way by tonight's loss. This is a chance to fix the kinks, and get ready for an incredible season.

Lets Go Ducks!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Someone Should Tell Bobby it's Preseason

On second thought, nevermind, this is too much fun!

Bobby Ryan, last year's rookie standout, showed up for the first game of the preseason determined to prove it wasn't just a fluke. Scoring the only two Ducks goals in regulation, he seems more than ready for the season opener.

Phoenix opened up the scoring in tonight's game at the Honda Center with a powerplay goal in the last few seconds of the first period. Ducks player Steve Eminger was sent to the sin bin for interference, and Phoenix capitalized on the opportunity less than a minute later with a goal.

In the net for the first 30 minutes of the game was Jonas Hiller, yet another outstanding returning player this year, who stopped 18 of 19 shots during his reign between the posts tonight. He was replaced by rookie Timo Pielmeier for the remainder of the game to allow the rookie to see some ice during the preseason. Pielmeier didn't disappoint, stopping 27 of 28 shots in the 35 minutes he was on ice.

But Bobby Ryan was the star of tonight's game, after tying the game in the first 3 minutes of the second period, he scored again in the first two minutes of the third to put the Ducks ahead. Dan Sexton supplied the assist on both goals. Phoenix caught up halfway through the third on a tipped-in shot, tying the game and ultimately sending it into overtime. While the shootout was quiet on both fronts, Bobby Ryan was not quite finished with his performance and scored the first goal of the shootout. The Coyotes were unable to answer Bobby Ryan's goal, and Joffrey Lupul put another shot between the posts to win the shootout.

The Ducks had seven penalties, including five minor penalties, and two five minute majors for fisticuffs. The Ducks have always struggled with giving up power plays and consequently have a strong defense. Tonight, however, they allowed a startling 47 shots from the Coyotes. While the talents of goaltenders like Jonas Hiller and JS Giguere are easy to rely on, the Ducks have to stay strong defensively. However, the 30 shots they managed to fire off on Coyote goalie Jason LaBarbera isn't bad. A few more and this game probably wouldn't have needed a shootout to be decided.

It's going to be a good season!


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

2009-2010 Preseason Game #1 Tomorrow!

The first preseason game against the Phoenix Coyotes starts tomorrow at 7. The only group more excited than the fans for the start of the season is the team.

Training camp started last Sunday, after a 122-day break since the Ducks lost to Detroit in the last game of the Western Conference Championships. And the first preseason game will be tomorrow evening at the Honda Center against Phoenix.

Over the break, the Ducks have made some key changes to the roster. A few veterans were re-signed, but there's been a few new faces added on. Some noteable newbies include:

Saku Koivu- a forward from Finland
Luca Sbisa- the 19 year old acquisition from Philidelphia after the draft.
Joffrey Lupul- re-Ducked after a 3 year career in Philidelphia
Evgeny Artyukhin- A Moscow transplant and a name I will struggle to get used to
Justin Pogge- goaltender from the Maple Leaves that will have tough competition against the Duck's veteran netminders.
Nick Boynton- a defenseman from the Florida Panthers

This season promises to be a good one, and I vow to do the best I can to update this blog after every game that I can. Some of my readers may be aware that I have recently moved away from the Anaheim area, and therefore will have difficulty seeing most of the games. While being at the games is no longer a luxury I can afford, I will do the best I can with substitute measures, such as listening to the Ducks live streaming radio broadcast or visiting sportsbars that will play the games. Be assured, I have no intention of letting this blog go, as it's been way too much fun to have, however I may need some slack here and there.

To all of you who are able to see the game live, know that you are lucky and that I am jealous! Enjoy the season everyone!