The Ducks are back at The Honda Center tonight after their 13 day, 9 game road trip across the States in which they fared very badly. They gained 2 points from shoot out losses to the Blackhawks and Rangers, beat the Wild, and lost the other 6 games, including a 5-0 massacre by the Red Wings.
On Halloween Eve, the Ducks followed up a loss to the Nashville Predators with a loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets, allowing the Jackets’ annoying cannon to be shot off 3 times in their 1-3 loss. Dan Ellis minded the net, Bobby Ryan scored the birds’ only goal, and Selanne became the first player on the club to 10 points this season. The Ducks made sure to go down swinging, however, dropping gloves for three fights in just five minutes during the first period, and then threw in one more fight at the end of the second for good measure.
The Ducks’ next game was against the 2011 Winter Classic Winners, the Washington Capitals. The Ducks lost this game too. This time, they went up 3-0 in the second period before the wheels fell off the wagon. The Ducks allowed the Caps to come back and score four goals, including one by Nicklas Backstrom in the last 42 seconds of regulation when Bruce Boudreau pulled net minder, Tomas Vokoun in the final minute. Although Selanne had four points in the game (2 goals, 2 assists), no one bothered to stop Nicklas Backstrom in over time either as he scored the game winner about halfway through the extra period.
On a slightly more positive note, the Ducks progressed in their next loss to the NY Rangers in that, they made it past the over time period, to the shoot out. After only having two shots in the first period (yes, I said “two”), one would think that the Ducks’ shooters would be amped to have a chance to actually shoot on goal. Only Selanne (of course) was able to connect in the shoot out and the Ducks lost again: 1-2.
No loss was probably as devastating as the Ducks’ loss to the Detroit Red Wings on 11/5. The Ducks were out shot 50 to 22 in the 0-5 butt kicking and Hiller was chased from the net for Dan Ellis after the five goals. Granted, the Ducks seem to struggle at the Joe Louis Arena, having only won three regular season games in franchise history when on the Wings’ home ice. Thankfully, they only stop off in Motor City one more time this season on 2/10/11.
Tonight, the Ducks seemed to pick up where they left off on their road trip with a not-so-great game tonight against the Nashville Predators. At least this game, the Ducks played D for a minute and twenty seconds before allowing Craig Smith to light the lamp. The last time the two teams met up about a week and a half ago, the Ducks allowed Patrick Hornqvist to score just 14 seconds in. Feeling left out, I suppose, Hornqvist did eventually put a puck in about 5 minutes into the first. Fowler tallied his first goal of the year before the end of the bookend period to close the gap to 1-2. A questionable penalty shot by Martin Erat in the second and a quick goal by Craig Smith in the third created too big of a gap that Francois Beauchemin’s one goal could not close. The Ducks lost this one 2-4 as well.
NEXT UP: 11/11/11 Ducks host the Vancouver Canucks on Military Appreciation Night on Veteran’s Day. The Ducks will warm up in camouflage jerseys and rock camouflage tape on their sticks all of which will be auctioned off with the proceeds going to military non-profit organizations supported by the Ducks org on that night. Early thank you to the men and women who serve our country. No one designated day could ever show our appreciation sufficiently.
[Photo by Debora Robinson/NHLI via Getty Images]
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Written by KARLY TAMBARA