In praise of Bobby Ryan

In praise of Bobby Ryan
"The biggest thing is just his poise and his hands are unbelievable. I played with [Evgeni] Malkin and [Sidney] Crosby, and those guys are probably the two best in the league. Bobby's hands are right with those guys... He's a superstar in the making, it seems."
---Ryan Whitney, former Ducks defenseman

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Ducks vs. Detroit Red Wings

I'm finding myself having to remember to breathe as I watch the first period unfold. Both the Ducks and the Red Wings are pressed to deliver defensively, as there are numerous close goals.

Chris Pronger, Steve Montador, and Scotty Niedermayer are on their game tonight, I'm happy to notice. They're right up there, helping J.S. Giguere keep pucks out. Unfortunately, it's not quite enough as the Red Wings capitalize on rookie naivety, scoring despite Brendan Mikkelson's best attempts.

'Course then, these are the Red Wings. They are a top-notch team, taking the Stanley Cup last season and ranking second in the league right now. The fact that we could get to the middle of the first period before that first Red Wing goal... hey, I'll take that!

There's tons of commentary about my boy Bobby Ryan during the game. Seems everyone has caught Bobby fever. Damn, now it'll be even harder for me to track down a size medium number-54 shirt. I've been trying since before Bobby's hat trick.

You realize just how good Red Wings' goaltender Osgood is, the Ducks are making some incredible shots on goal, but are denied everytime. Luckily, he couldn't defend against everything. Ryan Getzlaf decided this would be his big game, scoring the first Ducks goal as the third assailant in what seems to be an Osgood shootout. First, Montador takes a shot on goal, blocked by Osgood. Chris Kunitz catches the rebound and takes a shot from the opposite side, blocked by a flailing Osgood. Then, Getzlaf catches that rebound, shooting it in.

Getzlaf delivers a second time, minutes before the end of the first period. It's a winning Getz/Perry/Ryan lineup, with Corey and Bobby keeping Osgood busy at the goal crease while Getz beautifully weaves the puck around defenders and then assists to Perry, who chips it in for the goal.

The score is 2-1 as the first period ends.

The second period opens with multiple goal attempts by the Red Wings. After playing a lot of defense in the first period, they bring the offense strong and hard. Somehow, Giggy and his defenders manage to keep the puck out of the goal for all but one of those attempts. Red Wings tie it up, 2-2.

It's hard to believe we're already halfway through the game. This is definitely one of the fastest, most active games I've seen in a long time. Even the commentors are calling it a playoff-style game. Ducks grab the lead again with a great play, earning Perry and Getzlaf another assist and Montador his fourth goal of the season.

In the last five minutes of the second period, Brett Festerling takes a puck on the inside of his left knee, bringing him down onto the ice and unable to get back up. He's off to the locker room for evaluation. At the end of the second, you can see the tension between the players begin to mount. There's plenty of one-on-one scuffles between the players, still plenty of drive and action with these guys. If you were actually at this game, I'd say you definitely got your money's worth!

The first half of the third period is even more intense. You don't get the Red Wings down by one goal going into the third without creating a situation where they are in your face every chance they can get. I'm so amazed at our boys' efforts. They are holding up so well, I feel that no matter how this game goes, they should be so proud of themselves for how they played this one.

As if I've spoken way too soon, the Red Wings tie it up with a flying snap shot. And then again, less than a minute later, another goal. Although, this last one was under debate because that goal was pitched in with a high stick. The Red Wings were given this goal, even though the replay reveals it to be a bad call.

Unfortunately, the refs calls stay, replay or no replay. Red Wings take the lead, 4 to 3.

It looks like the wind has been taken out of the Ducks' sails. Perhaps these goals bring just enough disappointment to let the fatigue of such a strenuous game set in. The pace of the game drops noticeably, as the Red Wings retreat to defending their lead. There are a couple of good attempts by the Ducks, but nothing produces a goal.

A valiant attempt by the Ducks ends in defeat, 3 to 4.


Leo said...

...another lost game. *sniff*

My Zimbio
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