I made some notes about the Ducks v. Flyers game in hopes that I’d have a chance to write about it when it was still fresh. Unfortunately a gnarly nasal infection has had me feeling miserable the past couple of days. I also assumed that the Minnesota game on Sunday would make what I was going to say about last Fridays game against Philadelphia obsolete. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case.
I had the luxury of sitting in Section 227, seat 10, row M for the game against Philadelphia. For those of you who are unaware of the advantages of sitting in this particular seat, it is at just the perfect angle and distance from the ice to hear Ryan Getzlaf scream obscenities and to see his face as he smashes his stick in to the glass. I’d even swear that we made eye contact. It was the perfect ending to what was already a wondrous meltdown by the Ducks.
Against the Flyers the Ducks gave up 47 SOG. Fourty-seven. Shots. On. Goal. 47. Against Minnesota they gave up 35. The Flyers scored four goals and Hiller’s save percentage was still .915. Hiller was hung out to dry by his team. While sitting in a sea of the wrong black and orange (a topic I’ll comment on at a later time) I heard a Flyers fan sitting right next to me say quietly “Man, that Hiller guy is a great goalie”
This comment came after Hiller stopped a deluge of shots from the Flyers in the 2+ minutes he managed to hold the Flyers back after Getzlaf has his little meltdown, giving the Flyers a 4 on 3 advantage in Overtime.
Who would think that a team with so much talent and so much potential could have the self confidence of a dragon shirt kid with a crush on the cheerleader. At the slightest sign of adversity you can just see the collective hands being thrown up, sulky faces, and eyes pointed towards the ground.
But enough of focusing on the negatives (at least for now). Through the miserable losses this past weekend there were some bright spots. The Ducks came out against the Flyers with a fire that I hadn’t seen in them in a while. Sure, it died out, but that first period (and half of the second) was the best 30 minutes of hockey the Ducks have played in a month. It was great to watch the Ducks finally scoring, finally throwing their weight around, and finally looking excited about playing the game.
I checked my tweets during the first intermission and Eric Stephens, the OC Register Ducks writer wrote “What has gotten in to Matt Beleskey.” And holy hell, was he right. Beleskey has stepped his game up quite a few notches. Aside from a horribly unsafe hit in the second, Beleskey played wide open. He could use a bit more discipline, but it was good to see him going full bore. You could see he was playing with a lot of heart.
The Ducks have only been with Boudreau a couple of days, but it looks like that change at least has lit a fire. Now if only they can get some confidence they’ll be a force to be reckoned with, with the slightest possibility of eking out a playoff spot. Even if they don’t get a spot, having a turn around similar to what New Jersey went through last season would at least give us Ducks fans some reason to celebrate.