Last night, the Anaheim Ducks hosted the Nashville Predators in a game that showcased confidence. It was clear that Anaheim put this game away after the first, going into the first intermission up by three. The Ducks’ went on to win it 5-1. Here is my categorized review of the game:
The facts: The shortest month of the year – February – has been good to the Ducks. The team has accumulated the most wins they’ve ever had with 11. It looks like the shortened season and the shortened month are doing Anaheim favors.
The stat: From the start of the season, the obvious trend in Anaheim, besides winning, is their lethargic efforts in the opening period. The team was a minus-7 goals in the first and plus-16 goals in the second in terms of goal differential. Surprisingly, coming off of a loss against the Los Angeles Kings, the Ducks’ notched three goals in the first, and easily put the game away after that.
Hot: I nominate captain Ryan Getzlaf, who has been playing strong hockey on both ends of the rink. He tallied three assists last night and logged in the most minutes as a forward. Could his performance perhaps reflect the fact that his contract is up at the end of this season?
Not: Honestly, overall, I went down the Ducks’ roster and I could remember at least one or two plays from each player that stood out. There’s no one I can put in this category after last night.
Good move: I love the effort from Viktor Fasth when he played the puck to Ryan Getzlaf, which started to rush on Palmieri’s hatty. Too bad he didn’t get an assist, but he did in my book.
Bad move: Things went downhill after goalie Pekka Rinne mishandled the puck behind his net and found Nick Bonino there to fire it in an empty net – it was the first of four unanswered goals for Anaheim.
Notable: Palmieri was finally rewarded with his first career NHL natural hat trick against Nashville, and it only took him roughly 17 minutes of play to accomplish it. He now has seven goals in the season, which I bet is more that what most of us had fathomed for the kid.