Play a full 60 minutes.
It’s a fool-proof idea when you want to win a hockey game. The Anaheim Ducks played about 30 minutes of hockey, which is the reason why they subsequently fell short. The moment the opening face-off took place Anaheim’s coach Bruce Boudreau was impatiently counting down the time until he was able to ream his team in the locker room.
Their lackluster effort, to say the least, was painful to watch in the first period. Luckily the Ducks came out only down a pair, but they were without their starting goaltender Jonas Hiller who didn’t return after the first intermission. Anaheim came flying out of the gates in the middle period, but the Ducks fell 3-1 to a team they easily could’ve beaten. Below is my shortened recap of the Ducks and Dallas Stars match-up.
Stellar save: Kari Lehtonen made a huge save in the 2nd when the score was 2-1 Stars. Anaheim was on a 3-on-1 break with the puck ending up on the stick of Daniel Winnik. Winnik got it off on his backhand, but lifted it up the flashing glove of Lehtonen. If that was a goal the game could’ve easily tilted as the Ducks dominated that period.
Short end of the stick: This one goes to Corey Perry. He was all over the ice, but not necessarily in a good way. First, he dropped the gloves with Stephane Robidas –which is a rare sight to see — he was involved in almost every scrum that took play after the whistle and a slapshot taken by Sheldon Souray took a bite out of him. The only thing Perry could get going was his mouth.
Conspiracy call: This one goes to the controversial “spearing” call that was dealt to Brad Staubitz. It took place during the very frustrating first period, when Staubitz got his stick up on Brenden Dillon near the blue line. After looking at the replays it didn’t look as bad as the bent over Dillon portrayed it. Staubitz did get his stick up, but it look like he got it up high and in between the legs of Dillon. No where did I see a definitive spearing motion. Staubitz got a major and a game misconduct.
Positive point: I liked what I saw from Ben Lovejoy. He played a physical game and even registered the most shots on goal with four.
Negative note: Ducks give up another pair of goals on the penalty kill. Stupid penalties and lack of puck control proved costly.
Side statement: Jonas Hiller left the game after the first with a lower body injury. I’m mixed on how I feel considering the stellar performance by Viktor Fasth. Depending on the injury, I have a feeling this can turn out to be similar to the NFL Alex Smith/Colin Kaepernick story. If Hiller misses a few games and Fasth remains hot, Fasth will be rewarded with the starting position this season.