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, October 21, 2011

Ducks vs Dallas Stars

When the Stars get a fluky puck past Jonas Hiller a mere 13 seconds into the game, you kinda know things might not go the Ducks' way. Throw in a lackluster effort and an underrated Stars team flying on the shoulders of a hot goalie in Kari Lehtonen, and it was pretty much doomed from the first puck drop.

And don't even get me started on the officiating!

Believe it or not, there were some notable moments in tonight's game. We'll try to focus on those.

It was Hockey Fights Cancer night at the Ponda, and the Ducks wore special stamps on their helmets in support for cancer charities. Thanks, Andrew Gordon, for modeling

Cue the ceremonial puck drop

Francois Beauchemin looked no worse for wear after taking a puck to the visor and luckily ending up with only a compression laceration.

Defenseman Kurtis Foster from Edmonton had been cleared for play.

He'd be a healthy scratch in tonight's contest, but it was great to see him out there. I'm definitely curious to see what this guy can do.


A long awaited Duck goal was waived off when Perry was penalized for goaltender interference

Our boys actually got many opportunities to score. They were outshooting the Stars from the beginning, but just couldn't get anything past Lehtonen.

I have to admit, I was impressed by this goalie.

Lehtonen's impression of a stone wall. For what it's worth, Perry was the only Duck goal of the game

Ryan Getzlaf also impressed with some fancy stickwork

I do think Getzy looks a heck of a lot better this season than last. More fit, more determined, and with a new sense of maturity, he seems more suited to captain this team. Maybe being a new daddy has something to do with that.

Anyway, the winning streak had to end some time. The Ducks have still broken franchise records and started things off on a good note. Let's forget this one and move on to Phoenix!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Ducks vs San Jose Sharks, Home Opener

After spending the first two games of the season abroad in Europe, our Ducks got a few days of rest and relaxation to get over any jet lag before tonight's home opener against the San Jose Sharks. As is customary with home openers, the Ducks rolled out a "Blue Carpet" so that the fans could welcome back their boys in Hollywood star fashion.

Hey, we're a Southern California hockey team, okay?

Unfortunately, I was working the job that pays the bills, so I couldn't get any pictures from the Blue Carpet, but I did get a few from the game itself.

There was live music pre-game (I forget the name of the band)

Big smiles from Captain Ryan Getzlaf during warmups. Heck, everyone was happy to be back!

Notice the "24" patch being worn by all the Ducks in tribute to fallen former Duck Ruslan Salei

Rookie Maxime Macenauer would be the only player to tally a goal in tonight's contest

Keep an eye on this kid. I've liked Maxie since last season, when he was the last of the rookies to be sent down to minors. The boy is very good in the faceoff dot.

What a relief! This would be Toni Lydman's first game back since shoulder surgery during the off-season

The Ducks had a rousing opening video thanking the fans and welcoming us back to the Ponda for a new season of Ducks hockey. The opening ceremony involved the boys entering the rink through the zamboni tunnel, backlit by smoke and red lighting.

MVP Corey Perry was welcomed onto the rink by a standing ovation

The game itself was awesome. I still believe the rivalry between the Sharks and the Ducks makes both teams play all the harder. You really do get the best performances from both. And Hiller? Have no fear, Hiller the Shark Killer is back. He earned his first shutout of the season, 20th in his career.

The boys celebrate a win with Hiller, number one star of the game

Our D looked a complete 180 from this time last season. With most of the guys returning, it definitely shows that they are all comfortable playing together again.

The offense is taking a bit longer to gel, but with two strong scoring lines, and possibly three... it's only a matter of time.

The Sharks fans in attendance (I heard there were busloads of them that came in for this game) were extremely loud. For once, we Duck fans showed them up. I've honestly never heard the Ponda that loud before during a non-playoff game. It was awesome!!

Ducks hockey is back!!

My Zimbio
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