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

Friday, November 6, 2009

Ducks vs Nashville Predators

Living in Southern California, you get used to seeing lots of the visiting team's jerseys at Ducks home games. It can be a little annoying, especially when the visiting team has obnoxious fans. Never underestimate the annoyance factor of obnoxious people in large numbers.

Nashville Predators on the loose

With the Nashville Predators in town, I witnessed probably the smallest showing of the visiting team's fans. Very few Preds jerseys in the audience. Actually, there weren't very many of anyone's jerseys in the audience.

In a way, I wasn't surprised. Our Ducks could be playing a lot better than they have been. Hopefully, things are turning around. Our boys played well against the Canucks and then the Penguins, they just need to start winning. Then the audience would return.

The Captain leading his men into battle

Starting off the first period, I was happy to see that our Ducks got out there with similar gusto as the past game. There were still too many turnovers in the neutral zone, in my opinion, but our boys possessed the puck for longer stretches of time and were consequently able to put a number of shots on goal.

Coach Randy Carlyle diagrams a play

Our boys would get on the board first, with Ryan Getzlaf knocking a sweet back pass to Teemu Selanne, who would slap that puck home. Taking advantage of multiple Pred penalties, Selanne's power play goal would land him in 10th place for the NHL's top power play goal scorers.

Scoring pretty much ceased for the rest of the 1st period and the entire 2nd. Big George Parros tried to mix things up, dropping gloves with Preds' monster Wade Belak. Unfortunately, it wasn't Georgie's most impressive fight.

Parros and Belak trying to change the momentum in a scoreless period

The 3rd period started with the Ducks still leading 1-0. Our penalty kill continued to look 300% better than we started with, including our team's number one penalty killer, Jonas Hiller.

Hiller in the net

Towards the middle of the period, my boy Bobby Ryan takes a very questionable diving call after being tripped by Joel Ward's aberrant stick (which got caught in Bobby's skate). On the resulting 4-on-4, Teemu would catch a wicked pass in the slot from Saku Koivu down the right wing and, not missing a beat, slams that baby home. His second for the night.

The Finnish duo has begun to make some magic

Shortly thereafter, another veteran makes good on a killer pass into the slot. Todd Marchant, off an effective forecheck is able to free up the puck. Petteri Nokeleinen scoops it up and returns it to an open Marchant left all alone in the middle of the ice. Marchant quickly slaps it past Preds netminder Pekka Rinne for his first of the season.

Would the Ducks stop at 3-0? Heck no! The Legion of Doom line would come together for an absolutely beautiful play. Getzlaf passed the puck along the boards to Corey Perry, who speeds it down the left wing. Then, with a thread-the-needle pass between the feet of a Preds defender, he sends the puck to Bobby in the crease, and it's one-timed in.

Scoring line number one of two... how long have we fans been waiting for two productive scoring lines?

Our Ducks finally see their hard-work pay off in that final period, scoring three goals and shutting out the Predators 4-0.

Ducks celebrate Hiller's first shutout of the season


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