So far the Ducks have been outscored 13-5 in the first two games of the pre-season. I am going to make a safe guess that they want to clean that up just a bit before the regular season commences.
Playing the second night in a row, this time against the San Jose Sharks, the Ducks did not fare any better than their first game, despite the different roster.
Not getting any shots on goal for the first 17 minutes of the period did not help Anaheim’s cause. There was a smattering of applause when Francois Beauchemin finally registered the first shot, because up til then, there was not much to cheer about.
The Ducks finally seemed to wake up and finished the first period well, including a goal from Andrew Gordon, who had a great scrimmage on Monday. He was no less impressive in this game, always seeming to be in the right place at the right time and showing plenty of speed and hustle. Nonetheless he, was dissatisfied with the Ducks overall effort.
“We went about 15 minutes without a shot on net,” Gordon analyzed. “We were having trouble breaking out of our zone right from the get-go. We have a lot of speed on this team and we weren’t really using it because we were stuck in our own end so much. Scoring the first goal doesn’t always mean that you’re off to a good start. We have to have a better effort off the puck drop. That is one thing we have to take from this.”
There is no question he is fighting for a spot on the team. He certainly has the right attitude.
Bobby Ryan, Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry made their pre-season debut, but the most telling item about their on-ice performance was in the third period, when the person next to me commented “Getzlaf and Perry and Ryan are playing? I hadn’t noticed them earlier.”
Despite several power plays, the Ducks could not get things going, but San Jose managed three power play goals, including one 5 on 3 goal.
Iiro Tarkki and Jeff Deslauriers split time in net. Deslauriers fared better in the first half of the game, only letting in two goals. Tarkki did not look spectacular, and still has a ways to develop if he wants to play in the NHL.
Logan Couture netted two of the six Sharks goals and San Jose fans went home very happy. Ducks fans left the building early.
Thursday will be a day for the players to regroup, refocus and prepare for three consecutive games on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. One thing is certain – they have to score more and stop more. If not, it’s going to be another bumpy beginning for Anaheim, and I don’t mean the turbulence on the way to Finland.