Monday, the Anaheim Ducks took on the San Jose Sharks at the Honda Center just six days after their last meeting up North. Last nights’ game showcased similar facets from last Tuesdays meeting, but this time the Ducks hooked the Sharks — tagging them with their first loss in regulation.
Instead of doing recaps of each game, I’ve now decided to nominate Duck players for each category that I’ve come up with. Below are my categories and winners for each:
Crushing check: Unlike Saturday nights game against the Los Angeles Kings, tonight lacked the chippiness you’d assume that would take place in a division rival game. The main check that stood out in my mind was the one Matt Beleskey laid out on Jason Demers who was racing to touch the puck on an icing call. The icing was waived off and Beleskey crushed a vulnerable Demers, which subsequently started a fight shortly after.
Skillful shot: There were several nominees in this category, but the winner would be none other than Patrick Marleau who was set up beautifully by Joe Thornton, but a hot Viktor Fasth was there with the blocker save.
Stellar save: You probably assume that this category goes to a goaltender by default, but this time it goes to defenseman Jason Demers. Saku Koivu threads the puck to a wide open Andrew Cogliano who is denied of an open net by Demers who is able to barely get the heel of his stick to deflect it from the back of his own net.
Face-off feat: Usually this category would include the names of either Koivu or Ryan Getzlaf, but for last night’s game it goes to Nick Bonino who was perfect in the circle for the first half of the game.
Conspiracy call: There were a few controversial calls that didn’t go in Anaheim’s favor, but one definitely stood out. The conspiracy call winner goes to Adam Burish who ever so gracefully flung his head back to draw a interference call on Bryan Allen. Replays blatantly show the Burish was a good actor. It’s instances such as this that make me an advocate of a possible “embellishment” penalty that goes somewhat in hand with calls for diving, but refers to the flinging back of one’s head or the flailing of one’s arms.
Short end of the stick: I’m giving this to the captain. Getzlaf was on both ends of the ice, getting scoring chances and also putting in some crucial time on the penalty kill. He definitely used his stick in his favor by clearing pucks and getting it into passing lanes. Out of his team-high four shots on goal, he had a pretty good chance in the slot that didn’t find its way in.
Quirky quote: Koivu gets the win in this category after explicating his goal that came from a weird carom off the boards, “When it happens against your team, you’re cursing the boards. But we were happy about it.” I too like to curse at inanimate objects and I’m sure Koivu speaks for the majority as well.
I’m just throwing it out there, but the Ducks are 4-0-1 when I’m having to work their game. I hate to jinx it, but I’m enjoying every winning highlight that comes my way.
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