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, February 26, 2011

Ducks vs Minnesota Wild

A lot has happened between the pipes since the last game I attended! For one, check out the new goaltending tandem for the Anaheim Ducks:

Introducing, starter Dan Ellis and backup Ray Emery

Yup, THAT Dan Ellis. And yes, THAT Ray Emery.

With all due respect to former Ducks goalie Curtis McElhinney, we need someone who can stop pucks and we need him NOW. There's no timetable as to how long it will be before Jonas Hiller is ready to play again, and the Ducks are steadily losing ground in the playoff race.

Ellis flew in the night before and had maybe two practices at best with his new team on Ponda ice. Nonetheless, he would be starting in tonight's game. Needless to say, lots of Duck faithful would be very curious as to how well he'd do.

You can put a Ducks' jersey on him, but his mask still screams "Tampa Bay Lightning"

Emery remains up from the AHL just in case, but I'd much prefer to see him get more conditioning before he has to take over the net

Also back in tonight's game, new daddy Ryan Getzlaf

Pretty soon, he'll be coming to the rink just to get some rest away from the screaming baby!

Ellis came up big on the first few saves. I started to feel that maybe we'd be okay. A few things I noticed about him. Ellis is much more expressive on the ice. He talks to the defense and directs play. He looks much more comfortable in his puck handling skills. He also rallied the boys a number of times, slapping his stick on the ice for momentum. I'm hoping the team develops a chemistry with him.

I thought our offense played well. The Ducks earned their chances to pepper Wild goalie Jose Theodore.

Rookie Brandon McMillan. Keep an eye on this kid

There was no way defenseman Toni Lydman could stop the bids on net from a 2-on-1 that led to the Wild's first goal early in the first

As it became apparent that Theodore was nothing short of on fire tonight, coach Carlyle started to mix up the lines.

Theodore on "forcefield mode"

Ellis in position

The Wild held the lead for a good 25 minutes of play until finally, Bobby Ryan got one under, and behind, Theodore.

Bobby would score his 100th NHL goal tonight, tying up the game, and becoming (I believe) only the 6th Duck to break the 100-goals mark

Cam Fowler, up close and personal

In the third, the Wild would take the lead again with a little over five minutes left in regulation. As our Ducks put 30, 35, 40 shots on goal, those two points felt like they were slipping away with each passing second.

At the 18:00 mark, Francois Beauchemin netted the equalizer

Fans were treated to five minutes of overtime and, when it looked like we'd get the chance to size up Ellis in the shootout, the Wild stole it all away and brought the game to an abrupt halt. With only six seconds left, a major fumble on the part of the Ducks defense resulted in a puck behind Ellis.

Well, at least we got a point. But more importantly, I do feel that things will improve with a capable goalie between the pipes.

Bring on the Avalanche!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Trade Deadline 2011

A few days ago, I got the opportunity to join a few other Pacific Division fans and share my opinions on the movers and shakers for this season's trade deadline. Big thanks to the folks over at "View From My Seats" for letting me contribute!

Please check out the collaborative post at View From My Seats

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Ducks vs San Jose Sharks

Nothing all too remarkable about this game... Ducks didn't show up to play until the 2nd period, after the Sharks had already put three goals on the board. Although, it didn't help matters much that the first Shark goal got past Jonas Hiller only 14 seconds into the game.

Yes, 14 seconds. It was gonna be one of those games.

You could see it too, Hiller wasn't on the ball. He looked slow and sluggish. After the game, the news was released that Hiller wasn't feeling well. Fatigue and dizziness would take him out of the next couple of games.

Luckily, backup Curtis McElhinney was able to stop the bleeding. The Ducks turned up to play, with goals from Joffrey Lupul, Cam Fowler, and Bobby Ryan bringing the Ducks within one. But bringing the equalizer just wasn't in the cards tonight. Our boys would lose this one 3-4.

I'd paid good money for great seats in the lower bowl, so at least I have a few good pictures to show for it!

Jason Blake, Luca Sbisa, and Teemu Selanne waiting for the puck drop

Corey Perry trying to get one past Sharks' netminder Antti Niemi

As center, one of Bobby Ryan's new tasks is facing off against some of the league's best centers at the faceoff dot

Curtis McElhinney, taking over for Jonas Hiller after the 3rd unanswered Shark goal in the 1st

Bobby, Perry, and Andreas Lilja

Joffrey Lupul was credited with the Ducks' first goal of the night

And Cam Fowler got the second

The next time I splurge for awesome seats, I'd really appreciate a win!

My Zimbio
Top Stories