Ducks mix young and old
It's been an interesting past couple of weeks for the Ducks. They went two and two on a road trip which saw George Parros net a breakaway goal and Teemu Selanne pass Bobby Hull on the all time goals list. But then they lost to a slumping Devils team at home and followed it up with a shellacking by the Sharks at the Shark Tank 5-2, which wasn't as close as the score indicated. So the Ducks went back home and tried a few new things and relied on a really old thing. Parros shaved his mustache for charity, rookie phenom Cam Fowler finally returned from his broken nose and the Ducks brought up a couple of young guys in Nick Bonino and Kyle Palmieri to replace all the injured players. So while the youth movement seems to be alive and well in Anaheim, it's really all about the ageless wonder Teemu Selanne. Selanne seems to have found the fountain of youth and is playing like he did in his Finnish Flash days.
Selanne had a handful of decent scoring opportunities throughout and was the Ducks best player in the game. Selanne scored the first goal of the game in a very familiar manner, a power play goal. The Lightning tied up the game in the 2nd period. Steven Stamkos banged home the next Lightning goal that was partially deflected by Andreas Lilja with a pretty redirect at the side of the net on a power play in the 3rd. Hiller made some key stops to keep the Ducks in the game towards the end of the 3rd. Then with about 5 minutes left, Bobby Ryan skated towards the back of the net and set up Kyle Palmari for his first NHL goal. The Ducks had a bad turnover in their own zone with about 90 seconds left in the game but Hiller was able to make the necessary stops to send the game to overtime. In the overtime Selanne turned on the jets from the Ducks blueline and skated all the way around the Lightning net and found Getzlaf in front, who then put home the game winner for the much needed two points.
I like the current blend of young and old on the Ducks currently. Fowler (18) and Palmieri (19) on the young end and Todd Marchant (37) Jason Blake (37) and Selanne (40) on the old (or is that wise?) end. The Palmieri and Bonino call ups were more out of necessity then design but still nice to see something different. Offensively the Ducks are pretty good but they tend to rely on the power play a little too much. It would be nice to see them use their pretty passing ability to set-up more regular strength goals. Defensively I'm glad Cam Fowler is back but they need to cut down on the turnovers. The Ducks still give up too many shots and they have been out shot in six of the last eight games. In one of those games they only out shot the Devils by one. Still coming from behind to beat one of the top teams in the Eastern conference has got to give the Ducks confidence. Hopefully they can take advantage that the Penguins are slumping in the next game.