After going blogless for the entire month of March, I’m finally posting again and there’s so much to blog about. I also think that by me watching the Ducks again, I might have sent bad luck their way. Prior to this weekend, the Ducks had won 7 of their last 8 games but are now on a two game losing streak to Pacific Division Rivals just when it counts the most.
On Saturday, the Ducks flew the hour up to HP Pavilion to take on their rivals, the San Jose Sharks, who earlier that day clinched a Western Conference playoff berth. Going into the game, there were high hopes for high scores, as the Ducks and the Sharks are the only two teams with five players with at least 60 points this season. But despite early goals from Bobby Ryan and Lubomir Visnovsky in the first half of the first period, the Ducks were unable to generate any more offense, or to contain Devin Setoguichi and Patrick Marleau, who combined for three goals and three assists as the Sharks scored four unanswered goals for the win. The Ducks have a chance to redeem themselves against the Sharks this Wednesday at home. The Sharks also have a chance to clinch their fourth straight division title by beating the Kings at the Staples Center on Monday.
The Ducks piled back onto the plane and headed down south to the Honda Center to play host to the Dallas Stars, who came into tonight’s game having lost six in a row, including the day before to the Los Angeles Kings. If the Ducks won tonight’s game in regulation, not only would they clinch a playoff berth, but so too would the Kings and the Predators. It would be first time in 18 years that both the Kings and the Ducks were in the playoffs at the same time. Apparently, however, the Kings, Ducks, Preds, and now the Dallas Stars will have to wait yet another game to see who squeezes their way into the playoff contention. The first two periods saw seven goals between the two teams (advantage Dallas), but no goals were scored…well, no goals were counted during the third period. The Finnish Flash scored in the last four minutes and had his goal called back due to interference by Koivu on Kari Lehtonen. Three minutes later, and with a 6 on 4 man advantage, Bobby Ryan’s goal was also called back due to a hand pass by Perry. In the end, the Ducks lost 3-4, one point ahead of Chicago and two points ahead of Calgary and four points ahead of the Stars, who are now within playoff contention.
In other news, netminder, Ray Emery, who has now played nine games as a Duck (and has gone 6-2 thus far), was nominated by the Professional Hockey Writers Association as a nominee for the 2010-11 Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy. An accolade that goes to the NHL player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey. The trophy will be awarded at the end of the regular season.
The Ducks play the Sharks again on Wednesday at home, and then the Kings on Friday (Fan Appreciation Night) at home, and end their regular season at the Staples Center next Saturday.
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Written by KARLY TAMBARA