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, January 23, 2010

Ducks at St. Louis, vs Blues

Our Ducks begin the Eastern portion of their road trip in St. Louis tonight, facing fellow Western Conference bottom feeders, the Blues. Being a cellar dweller isn't saying much in the West, as the teams are so tightly packed that any time can spend time in the cellar with just one or two ill-timed losses.

With that said, our Ducks really need two points here.

The first period has both teams playing rather equally, the Ducks with a number of scoring opportunities but can't capitalize. The Blues can't either, and both Hiller and Mason hold strong.

The first intermission sees a pair of bagels on the scoreboard.

The second period consists of a littany of goal attempts, posts, pipes, and big saves by Chris Mason, but no goals on the scoreboard for our hometown heroes. Yours truly is considering changing the channel.

It isn't as if the Ducks are playing badly. They just can't seem to buy a goal tonight.

Unfortunately, the Blues don't seem to have that problem. They go up two goals in the second and carry the two-goal lead into the second intermission.

At the beginning of the third, the Blues continue to make the Ducks offensive lines work hard. They put another goal up on the scoreboard in the process. Things are looking bleak until about five minutes in, when the Blues defense make a crucial mistake and leave a veritable open net in front of Scott Niedermayer. Corey Perry had run the puck all the way down the right wing, getting it to the Captain while the Blues defense parted before him.

Yours truly is hoping the goal will spark some confidence in our hometown heroes. Kudos to Steve Eminger for some amazing puck protection in front of the crease, helping out his goaltender.

Halfway through the period, Ducks strike again. Dan Sexton works hard to win a battle for the puck behind the Blues net. He scrambles to fire the puck in front of the blue paint, and my boy Bobby Ryan is there to quickly one-time it over Mason and into the top corner.

Ducks fans everywhere are elated as it has now become a one-goal game. Can our boys complete a stellar comeback??

Energized, Ducks spend more time in the Blues zone, increasing their shots on goal this period to twice that of the Blues. Mason comes up big to keep things under control, but he can't stop everything. And the zebras have all but swallowed their whistles. A number of infractions on both sides happen without stoppages in play.

With less than a minute left in regulation, Bobby catches a rebound right in front of the net. Ryan Getzlaf hammers the puck from the point. It bounces off Mason's mask and the netminder can't find it before Bobby has chipped it into the basket.

Suddenly, our boys have at least a point in what was looking like a lost cause only 20 minutes ago.

Sudden death overtime goes without any goals, so we're off to the shootout. Without Teemu Selanne, Saku Koivu, or Joffrey Lupul the starting three become Pears, Getzy, and Bobby.

Pears, using his traditional wide-angle approach, gets one behind Mason. Getzy too. The Blues answer the first three attempts with two of their own, forcing fourth, fifth, and sixth rounds of shooters. We're seeing plenty of shootout first-timers, including Sexton, Matt Beleskey, and Evgeny Artyukhin. Turns continue until the seventh round, with a beautifully unstoppable shot by James Wisniewski.

I never would have taken Wiz for a shooter, but maybe he should be after tonight's performance?

Our Ducks steal, quite literally, two points from the St. Louis Blues, and get a huge boost of confidence for our hometown heroes on their daunting roadtrip.

Let's hope we'll have Koivu back for the team's next contest in Atlanta.


Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for the great post. I've been searching for blogs like this now for 30 minutes and i finall found one
that's worthwhile. I'm really into video games, do you have any information on the new Call of Duty? I know this
is off topic, but I thought I'd ask. Thanks...oh also, I have some video game writings if you want to check them
out. Here are a few of them

WoW Hunter Pets
Shaman Builds
Feral Druid PvP

Suz Broughton said...

This was such a weird game; both tedious and boring and thrilling at the same time.
Great post as usual!

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