I definitely had a feeling this would happen.
The Anaheim Ducks were off to a 2-0 start that included a barrage of 12 goals. I was content none-the-less, but I knew that burst coming out of the gate would be halted and most likely at their home opener on Friday.
First of all, the Ducks were facing off against the Vancouver Canucks – a team the Ducks’ played in the season opener and spoiled their home opener in front of their fans. In that game last Saturday, Anaheim chased out Cory Schneider from the net after five goals got passed him, the Ducks’ power play was a sparkling 3 for 3 and Nucks’ fans watched as their team fell 7-3. At the least, you can say that the Canucks were looking for some payback and that’s exactly what they accomplished.
Another reason I felt like the Ducks would be dealt their first loss of the season on Friday was the fact that they hadn’t played since Tuesday night. Granted it’s only a couple of days and the players are savoring every time off they have in this rapidly-paced short season, but a team with a start like theirs can go from hot to not when broken up by down time.
Don’t get me wrong, since game 1 of this season, I’ve said the Ducks’ number one problem is the penalty kill. Friday night showcased the team we are used to –one that not only takes stupid penalties, but costly ones. Emotions ran high last night as uncalled for penalties and two fights involving Matt Beleskey took place — the thoughtless penalties resulted in three power play goals for the Canucks. The first on a 5-on-3 advantage for Vancouver — an opportunity that changed the momentum for the entirety of the game.
An early season fun fact, and not one to be proud of, is the Ducks are 7 for 16 on the penalty kill. If that’s not atrocious I don’t know what is. Penalty kill is this team’s main concern. If they don’t address it and fix it fast, their season will end just as fast as it began.
Regardless of the 5-0 loss last night, I had a plethora of friends sprinkled in the stands. One was visiting from Maryland and the other won a game worn Ryan Getzlaf jersey. Despite the outcome of the game, I can assure you that all of us are glad that our beloved game is back.
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