The frustrated and infuriated me wants to say “I don’t even want to talk about it”, but I feel like there’s no way not to. I don’t typically go on rants about this team, quite honestly they’ve given me no reason to this season sitting #2 in the conference consistently all season. Tonight was so different for so many reasons and I need to cover the two big white elephants in the room and get honest here like Giguere. It won’t have the same effect his honesty did, because I’d be willing to bet zero players read this, and if they did they don’t care what one lone fan has to say. Please continue to read my rant/recap after the break.
Elephant #1 – When a Conn Smythe, Stanley Cup Champion veteran (ironically, for the Ducks) puts your team on blast, the team is going to listen and respond accordingly. Jiggy did so after losing to Calgary on Monday out of pure frustration that has been the Colorado Avalanche season in a nutshell. If you missed it, read about it here. It’s definitely worth the read because he holds nothing back, and because we saw the result of what a pissed off goalie can do for a team when they call you out. While I wish he had saved that rant for after the Ducks game and let the Avs take their anger out on the LA Kings instead (who they play tonight), I commend him. He is after all a previous Duck, and there is nothing but respect that I have for Giguere. He did it strategically too in my opinion, knowing they’d be playing his former team the next game. I agree with everything he said about the Avalanche and I’m not even a fan of that team. He was spot on and had every right to voice his opinion. He did his team a favor, at the end of the day.
Elephant #2 – I’m all for players being able to have lives off the ice and away from the rink; however, a majority of the team felt it was appropriate to attend the Rihanna concert that was at Honda Center the night before the game. There are just too many sources that can confirm they attended the concert in a suite together and were drinking (probably too much) until 11:45 at least. The night before a game that could clinch them their playoff berth. While I don’t mind that they attended the concert, I do mind how they behaved and went about their night. It’s extremely unprofessional to be out late drinking and partying the night before a game. Sure, regular season. Sure, we’ll get our playoff spot anyway regardless. The point is they are professional athletes and they should take it a little more seriously & be responsible when it comes to doing their job. It irks me that the guys who attended were as carefree and careless as reported. It makes it seem like they either underestimated the game against the Avalanche, thinking they had an easy win to deal with, or like they just didn’t care what the outcome was. Again, I repeat, I’m all for players being allowed to be human and have a nice life outside of the rink, they should also choose better times to do such things if it is going to affect the way they play. That’s all I’m saying.
Now for the recap, the thing I would like to do the least, but will be the easiest part of the recap. Aside from the lone Teemu Selanne goal in the 2nd period, the Ducks were useless in the game. Colorado ran the entire show, scoring 4 goals in their favor all the while the Ducks looked like a pee wee team that just met each other for some pick up hockey. The Avalanche 100% deserved to win this game, hands down and no questions asked, because they wanted it more. With nothing to lose, but everything to prove, they wanted to win. The Ducks… they can say they wanted to, but I’m hard pressed to believe it.
With that rant out of the way I’m going to end this on a positive note because I hate ending anything in a negative fashion. First was the great coaching move that replaced Jonas Hiller with Viktor Fasth for the 3rd period, where no more Avalanche goals were allowed to happen. (No, the goals against were not Hiller’s fault completely, you’d be off your rocker to believe so, but they weren’t helping anything. Therefore, the goalie change was necessary) & Colorado is in fact the team that ended Chicago’s insane streak to start their season and Chicago looks none the worse for the wear. The other positives are that the Ducks finally completed their stretch of games where they played 26 games in 46 days (57% of the time) after their 5 day break that included 5 sets of back to back games, and the rest were every other day leaving only 1 day off between. In that brutal stretch they went 15-7-4 which is highly impressive all things considered. While they started their break early by failing to show up tonight, they now get a full two days off in a row before taking on the LA Kings Saturday night in LA. After that game they get a lovely 3 straight days off before playing Columbus at home. These are much needed breaks for this team because the wear and tear of that schedule was really catching up to them. All I can do is hope they spend the days off WISELY. And yes, they will eventually clinch their playoff berth, there is no question about that. One final positive is that the loss helps distance themselves from the President’s Trophy Curse, quite honestly, Chicago or Pittsburgh are more than welcome to take that thing.
- Teemu Selanne; Assists: Kyle Palmieri & Francois Beauchemin at 11:16 of the 2nd period.
- John Mitchell; Assists: Matt Duchene & P.A. Parenteau at 1:04 in the 1st period.
- Gabriel Landeskog; Assists: Greg Zanon & unofficially Ryan Getzlaf at 4:07 of the 2nd period. (Short Handed)
- Matt Duchene; Assists: Tyson Barrie & P.A. Parenteau at 7:54 of the 2nd period. (Power Play)
- Jamie McGinn; Assist: David van der Gulik at 17:30 of the 2nd period.
3 Stars of the Game
- Matt Duchene – 1 goal, 1 assist – COL
- Teemu Selanne – 1 goal – ANA
- J.S. Giguere – 21 out of 22 saves FTW – COL
- With Ryan Getzlaf’s return to action the Ducks scratched newbie Radek Dvorak, who had the only 2 goals that led the Ducks past the Oilers on Monday night.
- Avalanche saw the return of Paul Stastny, who had missed the previous 8 games with a nagging foot injury.
- Mark Sanchez, an OC native that is QB for the New York Jets, attended the game tonight in an Anaheim Ducks jersey.
Source for Notes: Greg Beacham via Associated Press.
“We didn’t compete,” said Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau. “When we stink, we stink. When we’re good, we’re good. We’re good as a team, and we stink as a team, and we stunk. That team was ready to play and we thought we knew they were ready to play. We had no push back for them today.”
“We came out a little flat and had a few chances early that we didn’t bury. [Giguere] saved a few early that could’ve changed the momentum a little bit, but we didn’t take advantage of, and they did. They came out, they were skating, they were hitting, and we weren’t.” – Ryan Getzlaf
“You’re facing a team that has nothing to lose,” Getzlaf said. “They’re coming out and throwing it on the ice and going after it. They got called out by their goaltender, and teams usually respond to that. We just didn’t respond to meet that push.”
“It’s an upper body injury, that’s what we’re leaving it at until we see what’s going on tomorrow,” said Boudreau. “I’ve got to look at it again. I don’t think it was much, but sometimes it doesn’t take much to get hurt.” (About Cam Fowler leaving the game with an upper body injury)
Source for Quotes: ducks.nhl.com
The Ducks will have 2 full days off before taking on the LA Kings for part 4 of the Freeway Faceoff that takes place at Staples Center in LA.