Something of great value to the city of Anaheim is missing; somebody sound the alarms.
In fact, if morning breakfast was still founded upon old fashioned milk carton boxes you probably would have seen a photo of any of the 23 players currently on the Anaheim Ducks‘ roster this morning with the words “MISSING” sketched out in big letters above.
With the Anaheim street team no doubt doing their part to “Paint it Orange” around town, it seems everyone has shown up for the playoffs this week but the the No. 1 ranked team in the Western Conference. That’s especially true after Monday night’s grim showing in the second game of the Ducks’ series with cross town rivals the Los Angeles Kings.
But it’s not just the fans left wondering where the chemistry and skill of one of the best put together rosters in the NHL was on Monday night — it seems most of the NHL, including the team itself, is stumped as well.
In postgame locker room interviews the Anaheim players fessed up to a bad game (the obvious), while each player picked apart his performance as more than lackluster. Because with the exception of goalie Jonas Hiller, who had a commanding performance after letting two goals in on five shots, and gritty performances by Ryan Getzlaf, Pat Maroon and defensive edge Hampus Lindholm, the team that has made headlines this season for consistent success was absolutely nowhere to be found — literally.
Anaheim has already fallen to the grave mistake of playing a Kings game rather than their own — the exact issue that got the team into some hot pond water last series against the Dallas Stars.
The Ducks aren’t capable of playing another team’s game and succeeding. This isn’t a bad thing or a good thing; it’s just a matter of fact type thing. Anaheim’s size shouldn’t be underestimated, but the team is not the defensive, hitting machine Los Angeles is — yet that was exactly what the Ducks tried, and failed miserably, to do on Monday night.
Anaheim’s game is one of offensive leadership — their style, skill and speed all works in favor of high scoring games, a few of which have led to some very pretty comebacks this season. Never underestimate a team down with a few minutes to go and four lines with equal parts scoring skill.
The Ducks are absolutely lethal on the ice but only when sticking to what they do best. Tomorrow night at Staples Center would be a really nice place to start. Because it’s not time to plan the black and white parade in the battle for Southern California quite yet, Los Angeles fans (sorry to burst the bubble). If there is a team in the league that understands the meaningless statistics about being down in a series it is without doubt the Kings. And if there is a team that understands the road to an epic comeback, well, that would be the Ducks.
Jessica Bradley is an Anaheim Ducks writer for RantSports.com. Follow her on Twitter @jessiebear23 or add her to your network on Google.