Same old, Same old
Two words can be used to sum up the Ducks opening night loss to the Red Wings, disgusting and embarrassing. Last season the Ducks got off to a record of 4-6-2 in October and were in last place in the conference at the end of the month. They had a hard time bouncing back and they missed the playoffs. This season optimism was renewed, despite the fact that the Ducks defense was totally rebuilt. Instead what we got was pretty much the same under Coach Carlyle, a not ready, lethargic, undisciplined team in a 0-4 loss to the rival Red Wings.
In typical Ducks fashion the first penalty (Bobby Ryan) of the game went to the Ducks but at least they waited until nine minutes into the game. The Ducks also got shafted by Toronto on a replay that was deemed a goal, despite the fact that the net was off its moorings and Pavel Datsyuk hit the puck into the net after making contact with goalie Jonas Hiller. Detroit also doubled up the shot count on Anaheim 43 to 21. To make things worse, shot blocking ace Andy Sutton hurt his thumb while scuffling with Ruslan Salei. Speaking of scuffling after the game got out of hand, the Ducks decided to turn the game into a brawl receiving eight penalties in the 3rd period, not including the too many men on the ice penalty which would make nine. To sum up how bad the 3rd period was, all you need to know was that Corey Perry and Pavel Datsyuk were fighting each other. If you were wondering it was basically a draw. The Ducks were also out shot 24 to 6 in the 3rd. You aren’t going to win any games ever when you are out shot by a 4 to 1 margin in the decisive 3rd period, of course at this point they were mailing it in. The one positive that can be taken from the game was that the Red Wings were 0-6 on the power play, a huge improvement from the 24th place finish of the Ducks last season. Detroit is a tough place to play and the Ducks have now dropped their 5th straight in Joe Louis Arena.
Luca Sbisa did not play in the game but with Sutton unlikely to be play tomorrow against the Blue Jackets, it’s a safe bet to say he will be in the lineup. Cam Fowler played well in his NHL debut and he logged the 3rd most ice time of the Ducks just 2 seconds under Paul Mara who was 2nd. Lubomir Visnovsky logged almost 27 minutes of ice time and it’s unlikely his ice time will ever dip below 25 minutes in any game, unless of course he gets injured. I didn’t think Fowler would make the team but I think it speaks more to the Ducks defensemen woes than to his talent, that he made the team. But he has played well in the preseason and tonight, so he might be a huge bright spot for the Ducks if this season gets ugly. Thankfully Carlyle’s wonderful experiment of turning Bobby Ryan into a center is over. He was skating on the top line with Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf in his usual winger spot. He managed five shots on goal but Getzlaf had a goose egg.
Tomorrow the Ducks face the Predators in Nashville in a game that I hope goes much better, as I’d rather not switch to another game halfway through it. The Ducks were 2-2 against the Preds last year. I hope the Ducks bring seem drive, enthusiasm and motivation to their game.