Twenty games down, just 62 more occasions of ineptitude, errors and eventual losses before the season ends.
After yet another loss, this one a 4-2 fiasco against the Detroit Red Wings, the Anaheim Ducks are looker lamer by the minute. 6-10-4 in the first quarter and only two teams with worse records in the entire NHL.
Number one draft pick, here we come?
The Red Wings played the Kings the night before, defeating Los Angeles. However, instead of putting in the back up goaltender, the Red Wings continued to use Jimmy Howard for the second consecutive night. They really did not need him until midway through the second period, which is when the Ducks finally realized they were in a hockey game.
Of course by that time, it was 3-0 Red Wings and the term “technical difficulties” did not just refer to the power outage in period one.
It only took 1:26 for the Ducks fate to be sealed when Henrik Zetterberg basically undressed Brandon McMillan and put the puck in behind Jonas Hiller.
After trekking through a downpour of rain, Ducks fans were less than enthused. Wings fans? Always happy to be at the Honda Center.
The Red Wings were on their first power play when perhaps the hockey gods felt that something needed to be done. Out go the lights. For the second game in a row. Unlike Thursday, when they could not reset the full lights before the start of the third period, only some of the lights went out. Those in the middle section, the jumbotron and one half of the press box. Weird stuff.
While it took 17 minutes to correct the problem on Thursday, both teams headed off to the locker room for a 26 minute break. That will disrupt any momentum you had going on the power play. Cause of the outage? Unknown, but city related, probable due to weather. Perhaps the Ducks should consider a flashlight promotion.
When things came back on fully, period 1.5 began. If the hockey gods were trying to give Anaheim a reset, it seemed to work. Somewhat. The Red Wings did not score for the remainder of the period.
Instead, they scored :14 seconds into the next frame, with a goal from Johan Franzen. Brad Stuart made it 3-0 at 7:10 as things went from bad to worse.
By the middle of the second period, the Ducks had been outshot 20-6 and Howard could have used a newspaper to catch up on current events.
It was a good thing he didn’t have one, but you cannot fault Howard for not being in the zone when Saku Koivu turned on the jets and put one past the goaltender at 11:24. The goal was the first shot on goal for that period.
In a sudden turn, the Ducks had nearly gotten on the board again at 13:00. The puck seemed to go over the line, but the goal was waived off by the referees. After the play stopped, the play was reviewed and they needed irrefutable evidence that the puck crossed the line for it to count. The puck was in Howard’s glove and his glove went over the line. The question was where was the puck in the glove? Did it fully cross the line itself? Because that information was unknown, the call on the ice could not be overruled and it was still 3-1.
A power play, their second of the night, did yield goal number two for Anaheim. Teemu Selanne was able to bat in a loose puck at 16:21 and suddenly the hole they had dug seemed conquerable.
As the Ducks continued to play the way they should have all evening, it appeared once more that a puck went in the net. But would it count? Of course not! A penalty was called on Devante Smith-Pelly right before the puck went in at 19:16. No goal, which would have tied the game.
The Ducks headed to the locker room having outshot the Red Wings in the final half of the period 12-1. If they could keep that up in the third, there just might be a chance that the Ducks could win their first game without having scored first.
And if you believe that they could do that, I have a bridge for sale in Brooklyn. Contact me for purchase information.
The Ducks were not without their chances, and just like on Thursday night, they got a late power play. Just like Thursday night, they pulled the goaltender for the extra attacker to make it 6 on 4. Just like Thursday night the opposing team cleared the puck and landed it right into the empty net for a short handed goal. This time it was Stuart’s second of the game.
“We made enough mistakes that cost us the hockey game,” said coach Randy Carlyle. “There is no other way to describe it. We again mounted a comeback in the hockey game, but it just seems that we’re one goal short again.”
So where do they go from here? Besides Phoenix, that is, for a road game on Wednesday night?
“It’s not a matter of what I can say now,” said captain Ryan Getzlaf. “We are in a situation where we have to play ourselves out of it and that includes me. I just have to keep playing and we have to lead by example. Our group here, who I have been with for a little while, we have a great core of leaders and we just have to keep pushing.”
Only 62 more pushes to go and then yours (and our) misery can be over for the year.