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

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Ducks at San Jose, vs Sharks

Here we are, the day after Christmas (also Boxing Day to all you Canadians out there), hoping our hometown heroes can finally come out on top for the first time this season against the San Jose Sharks.

The starting lineup announcement reveals J.S. Giguere in net versus Sharks' Evgeni Nabokov. Personally, yours truly would prefer our Shark Killer, but he ended up playing back-to-backs earlier in the week (I am still upset about that).

Nick Boynton and Evgeny Artyukhin are healthy scratches, and this worries me because 1) Steve Eminger is back out defending the blue line, after being scratched for the past 11 games, and I honestly haven't been impressed with his performance and 2) Nicky B has been doing a great job out there and I see no reason to mess with that!

Coach Carlyle, you kill me.

The game starts off very physical, as it always tends to be against these division rivals. Unfortunately, the Sharks go up first with the early lead after a whiffed feed turns into a lucky pass. Big George Parros tries to send a message soon after with a good scrap against Frazer McLaren.

Kudos to Brett Festerling who took and dealt a number of hard hits during this game. You need guys who are willing to do that, especially against the Sharks who are more than willing to exact physical payback against the team that snuffed out their playoff dreams early last season. This rivalry is alive and kicking.

By the end of the first period, the shots on goal are equal (11 each) but the Sharks are up 2-0. I'm already not liking the look of this...

The Ducks tighten up their passes in the second period, but are still not able to generate anything on the scoreboard, not even on the power play.

My boy Bobby Ryan is back on the top line along with Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry, with Kyle Calder down on the second with Saku Koivu and Dan Sexton. I don't know, maybe it's better to have Bobby helping out on that second line? Especially since you know coach McLellan is going to have the big Joe Thorton line out against Getzy and Perry. We need to get some kind of scoring somewhere!

As the Sharks pot yet another goal, this one has the puck pinballing between James Wisniewski and Captain Scott Niedermayer before getting past Jiggy, I can't believe how unlucky our bounces are. Getzlaf leaves the game late in the second after a self-inflicted leg laceration a la Teemu Selanne. Argh.

In tonight's game, it seems WE are our own worst enemy!

At some point, Sharks are up 5-0 and I'm about to turn off the television. Then, Kyle Chipchura knocks ex-Duck Kent Huskins away from the puck. He steals the turnover and goes one on one against Naby.

Yay, a Ducks goal! There's a collective "ThankGodItWontBeAShutout" sigh amongst Duck fans everywhere.

The third period (my gosh, there's more of this torture to endure??) sees our boys with a number of chances, but it's not until Bobby is able to grab a puck off a Perry rebound and stuff it five-hole, do we get another goal.

There's a small amount of momentum in an already doomed game, but I have to say our boys made the most of it. A series of fights break out, Chimichanga versus Scott Nichol and even rookie Matt Belesky versus Jed Ortmeyer. I'm impressed by Belesky. That kid can throw a punch!

And even in a 2-5 loss, our boys didn't go out with their tails tucked between their legs. Of course I would much rather have taken a win, but if we had to lose, at least our boys went down fighting.


Suz Broughton said...

I swear I could feel a couple of those hits on Festerling, I too appreciate him. Also I liked Belesky's fight. He really looked pissed. I thought they both played well last night.
It's a sad affair when you change from LET'S WIN THIS to "Let's at least score one." They did make an effort, especially in the third, but yeah, I would have rather had a "W."

My Zimbio
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