The Ducks’ hopes for Lord Stanley’s Cup were dashed Sunday in Nashville where they lost to the Predators 4-2 in Game 6 of the first round of the playoffs. In a series that never had a scoreless period in six games, the Ducks’ defense is what did them in, according to Coach Randy Carlyle, who declared, “…you cannot give up four goals and expect to win consistently.”
The Ducks allowed 30 shots on goal with goals scored Sunday by Nick Spaling in the first period, Steven Sullivan in the second period, and David Legwand and Nick Spaling again in the third. Spaling, not known for scoring a lot of goals, was the 12th different Predator to score for the 1998 expansion team in this series.
Although Teemu, appearing in his 111th career playoff game, scored in the first period, and Jason Blake scored on the power play in the second, the Ducks just couldn’t hold off the Predators in the end. Rocket Richard winner, Corey Perry, and Captain, Ryan Getzlaf, were held scoreless for the second game in a row in which the only person who looked like he was playing at top speed for the Ducks was, once again, Selanne.
According to Carlyle, “Nobody tried harder, nobody cared more, nobody did more in this series than Teemu Selanne.” Selanne had a point in every game this series with six goals and logged up to almost 21 minutes of ice time in Game Two at 40 years of age. It seemed like every other shift, the play-by-play announcer was mentioning Teemu for doing something amazing. Asked about Teemu and his return next season, Carlyle surmised, “There is always that looming ‘this is the last one’ and I’m sure he doesn’t want to go out feeling the way he does right now.”
The Ducks definitely would not have done as well as they did without Selanne in the line up this season. Selanne was second only to Corey Perry in points, with 80. He played 73 games, had 31 goals and 49 assists and took 213 shots during the regular season. More than that, he was their calm, their leader, their coach on the ice. In the days, weeks, months to come, every Duck fan will and hockey in general, will be waiting to see if the Finnish Flash will be back in the line-up for the Ducks again next season. I sure hope so.
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Written by KARLY TAMBARA