Ho ho ho! Merry Christmas early! In the spirit of giving, the Ducks decided to not show up for 20 minutes in the game against the Islanders and gave them three goals in a 99 second time span. That was enough for the Islanders, who defeated the Ducks 3-2. It was just the sixth win for the Islanders on the season and their first since November 26.
Not to be Scrooge-like, but is it always necessary for the Ducks to be so generous and giving with teams that are below them in the standings, especially bottom dwelling teams?
“They’re obviously not a great hockey team,” said Joffrey Lupul, who had one of the Ducks two goals. “This year, they have five or six wins but they came out and played hard. And we just weren’t ready to go to match it. I don’t know if we thought if it wasn’t going to be that hard.”
You don’t know? It was pretty obvious to Ducks fans, who have had to watch their team, one that is capable of playing with and beating the best teams in the league, underestimate their opponents over and over and over again. Last season there was that incident with a winless Toronto Maple Leafs team that were granted their first win of the season thanks to the Ducks crappy play.
This is not the first time the Ducks have hit the snooze button and woken up only to find themselves in a heap load of trouble that they cannot redeem.
The Ducks played the night before, defeating the Washington Capitals in overtime. The Capitals coach described the Ducks as a team that knew what they needed to do and had the heart to get things done.
Apparently the Ducks did not leave their heart in San Francisco. They left it in Washington.
Then they left Curtis McElhinney high and dry. McElhinney did not have much support from his teammates, who looked grossly overmatched by a determined and gutsy Islanders team.
P.A. Parenteau got a power play goal at 15:06 of the first period that boosted the Isles confidence in a big way. Previously one for 48 tries on the power play, they finally got one with the extra man.
That boost in morale gave them the oomph on the next shift with Blake Comeau making it 2-0 just :28 seconds later.
Did Anaheim wake up after that one, two punch? Nope. Parenteau forced a turnover and Matt Moulson happily put it behind McElhinney to make it 3-0 in a span of 1:39. Goodbye McElhinney, hello Jonas Hiller.
Apparently coach Randy Carlyle put his team through electro shock therapy between periods, because his team came out flying in the second period. Can you say too little, too late?
Finally on their fourth power play opportunity, Lupul put the Ducks on the board at 10:35. Lupul also scored a power play goal the night before in Washington, which helped the Ducks get to overtime.
The third period also started well for Anaheim, who came within one goal thanks to Jason Blake’s tally at 1:30. But that was as close as they came.
Rick DiPietro stopped everything else, for a total of 30 saves, helping his team earn two points, a rare thing for them indeed this year.
“It’s wasted points as far as I’m concerned,” Carlyle commented. “We had an emotional win last night in Washington. And we have an opportunity to come in and we didn’t play 60 minutes of hockey. That’s the disappointing part.”
Disappointing is an understatement. Frustrating. Annoying. Bothersome. Inexcusable.
How long have these guys been playing hockey? Since they could put on skates in childhood. They know a game is 60 minutes long and you have to show for every second. That 99 second span proved that point.
The question is when will the Ducks learn this lesson? It continues to be a thorn in their side and something that needs to be addressed. In this day and age, this is unacceptable from a team that should know better.