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

Monday, November 22, 2010

Ducks vs Edmonton Oilers

When a team on a losing streak comes into town, you want to think, "Oh hey, easy two points for us," right? Well, when your team is the Anaheim Ducks, it isn't that easy.

Remember what happened less than a month ago against the New Jersey Devils?

Or last season with the Toronto Maple Leafs??

Unfortunately yeah, I remember those too. I was at both of those games and it stunk. Nevertheless, you hope your boys remember those stinkers just as well, and you hope they try their hardest not to let history repeat itself.

And you look at the little things to make you happy, like Dan Sexton being recalled from the minors

Sexton: "Don't get all up in mah grill, yo."

The first period started well enough. Ducks outshot the Oilers with 19 shots on goal compared to their 4. And they made good plays. Ducks also got power play chances. Teemu Selanne was scratched thanks to groin issues, otherwise I'm pretty certain we would have converted on at least one of those opportunities.

What nobody counted on was the hot goalie. Oilers' Devan Dubnyk frustrated my Ducks to no end... and filled my camera with shots like these:

Dubnyk blocking a puck with his elbow

Dubnyk blocking a redirect from Jason Blake

Dubnyk pouncing on a puck just outside the blue paint

And another save (see the puck?)...

And another (see the puck?)...

Dubnyk left no rebounds on many of his saves. Our boys had some of the best goal attempts I've seen in a while, so it wasn't as if they played poorly. There were plenty of players left sniffing for stray biscuits after many of those attempts, but they came up empty. Honestly, I think it took the wind out of our boys' sails. It certainly took something out of mine. And it raised the confidence of the Oilers.

They would take the lead with two goals in the first half of the second.

In the second half, Ducks got a lucky bounce when Theo Peckham received a penalty for delay of game. The puck actually flew through a camera hole which, in my opinion, isn't technically over the glass. But hey, we'll take it.

No more than eight seconds into the ensuing power play, Bobby Ryan would finally get one past Dubnyk

And 22 seconds after that, Saku Koivu would tie it up.

Unfortunately, there would be no further Duck goals. At least, not into the Oiler net. Corey Perry's empty-netter crossed 200 feet to land squarely into the opposite net. Some would say it was the icing on the cake, finishing off a completely awful third period. The Ducks had checked out. No more urgency, no more brilliant shot attempts on goal, not even in the final minute after Jonas Hiller had been pulled for the extra attacker.

Me, I'm glad that ex-Duck Ryan Whitney's close-range empty net bid missed the net, which prompted an energized round of "Whitney sucks" from a group of raucous fans in the section next to me. It was pretty funny. At least we could be reminded that we got Lubomir Visnovsky from the Oilers for that guy.

It's the little things, people. I'm getting used to finding silver linings.

At least Andy Sutton is back...

Let's file this one with the others under F for "forget about it."


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