Expecting to come back every time you fall behind is a bad habit to get into. The Ducks were not able to come back against Nashville on Friday night, losing 5-2.
“We can’t keep doing this,” said coach Bruce Boudreau. “We’re a good team with the lead, but we haven’t had that in the last four games.”
Sure, salmon swim upstream every year, but I’ll bet more than a few have thought, “can’t we just go downstream with the current for once?” While salmon don’t have that option (if they want to survive as a species), the Ducks do.
Time to swim downstream boys, and make the other team do all the uphill work for a change.
Colin Wilson had two goals and Mike Fisher added a third on Jonas Hiller before the Ducks got on the board. It was Hiller’s first start in four games and he was not stellar.
Kyle Palmieri gave the Ducks a little life, but Patric Hornqvist gave Nashville back the three goal lead. At that point, Hiller was pulled and Frederik Anderson was sent in for relief (which, in my opinion, he should have been after goal #3).
The Ducks made it 4-2 with a goal from Daniel Winnik and the crowd finally got a little lively. By the end of the second period, Fisher’s second goal made it 5-2 and the Ducks could not get anything else past Pekke Rinne.
Anderson, who made six saves, did not come back in the third period. On the Fisher goal, Anderson unfortunately got a slap shot from Shea Weber right in the mask. The puck landed in the crease, where Fisher was able to tap it in. Nashville got the goal. The Ducks lost Anderson to a vaguely described “headache.
Most headaches go away. This one hasn’t. Anderson did not make the trip to Canada and Anaheim has recalled John Gibson to back up Hiller. Hopefully Anderson is ok and does not have a concussion.
Because the Ducks were not able to get the win against Nashville, they left themselves open to the San Jose Sharks regaining the lead in the Pacific Division.
This time Anaheim was rooting for Nashville, who somehow managed to shut out San Jose 3-0 on Saturday. Ducks still have the top spot in the Pacific and two games in hand on San Jose.
In order to keep the Pacific Division title (and home ice advantage in the first couple rounds of the playoffs) Anaheim needs six points to clinch.
For now, the Ducks visit Edmonton (haven’t we just seen them twice in the past week already?) and Vancouver before coming home to play San Jose on Wednesday.
A gentle suggestion for Sunday’s game against Edmonton? Score first. It should help immensely.