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NO CAPTAIN, NO PROBLEM

Posted By KARLY TAMBARA On Jan 10 2011 @ 12:03 am In Anaheim Ducks | 2 Comments

I was going to write an article arguing about how statistically useless I feel that George Parros is, aside from his ability and willingness to drop gloves with any one at any time, and then I saw the article and advertisements for the 4th Annual “George Parros Cut for Kids.”  The event supports the Childhood Leukemia Foundation to make 100% human wigs for children during their Leukemia treatments.  This year it will take place Monday, 1/10/11, at The Rinks in Huntington Beach.  A $10 donation will get you a chance to take pictures and get an autograph from, George Parros.  You can also watch him have his hair cut, after having grown it out all year for this event.  So, regardless of his statistical uselessness as a hockey player, he is still using his professional hockey player status to try to make a difference for others, so I’ll refrain from criticizing him…at least for this article.

Also not worthy of criticism at this time, are the Ducks.  Having won four of their last five home games, and five of their last six, Jonas Hiller and the Getzlaf-less Ducks have now moved up to fourth place in the Western Conference Standings.

The Ducks only loss in this home stand thus far came at the hands of the Nashville Predators last Wednesday (1/5/11).  In a game that was closer than the score reflects, the Ducks were down 2-1 throughout an aggressive third period in which they were hitting everything but the net.  This game was only their 14th this season in which they outshot their opponent (41 to 24) but of those 14, the Ducks have only won three of those games.  Hiller was pulled for the extra man with 1:42 remaining in the third.  A move that resulted in two empty net goals by the Preds who were backed by the red-hot Pekka Rinne, who stopped 40 shots while in between the pipes.  The Ducks’ lone goal came from Saku Koivu with assists from Dan Sexton and the 40 years young Selanne.

After the loss to the Preds, the Ducks bounced back with consecutive shutouts by Jonas Hiller against the Columbus Blue Jackets and Division rivals, the San Jose Sharks.  Friday was Hiller’s third shut out of the season, in which he stopped 27 shots.  In a feisty game with the Jackets, the Ducks’ special teams were phenomenal.  Going into Friday’s game, the Ducks’ power play was one for fourteen but the Ducks got two PPGs from Selanne, one PPG from Bobby Ryan, and a short-handed goal from Brandon McMillan.  Lubomir Visnovsky tallied two assists and Cam Fowler had three. Fowler, is only one of five NHL 2010 draftees who are currently playing for an NHL club and the only defenseman from the 2010 NHL draft currently playing for an NHL club.  Defenseman Tony Lydman was also extremely effective in shutting down Rick Nash all night, only allowing him four shots in 16 minutes of ice time, while Luca Sbisa was blocking shots with his body throughout the penalty laden evening.  At one point in time in the second period, a fracas broke out in the goal crease, in which gloves, sticks, and helmets flew cartoonishly into the air, while everyone on the ice mingled with the zebras in a scuffle that took several minutes to clean up and sort out.

Tonight’s game against the Sharks was far less dramatic.  Despite the fact that the Ducks were the hosts, the crowd seemed heavily laden with turquoise and black fans chanting continuously throughout a somewhat dull game.  The game’s only goal came from a weaving Bobby Ryan in the second period, who forced one into the net with the assistance of Dan Boyle obstructing his netminder, Antti Niemi’s, view.  Hiller got his first back-to-back shut outs of his career and stopped 37 Shark shots. Hiller is tied for second in the NHL for wins this season (21) and leads all goalies in games played this season, with 39.

The Ducks last game of their six game home stand, is Wednesday against the St Louis Blues.

Also without their Captain are the Pittsburgh Penguins, who suffered a 0-4 loss to the Minnesota Wild on Saturday after routing the Lightning just three days earlier 8-1 in which Chris Kunitz had his second career hat trick.

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