“The Ducks had a fantastic bounce back game tonight”, is what I was hoping to write prior to watching the Ducks/Sharks game tonight. Instead, well, this one just wasn’t much fun at all.
Anaheim again fell victim to a slow start as they allowed San Jose center Joe Pavelski to score just one minute into the game. Just about 3 minutes later San Jose would do it again as Patrick Marleau would score, followed by Brent Burns how would make it 3-0 about halfway through the first.. Needless to say, it was a bad first period.
The Ducks would shut the door during the second period, but San Jose never opened it for Anaheim. The Ducks began to show signs of life but were forced to take defensive risks throughout the game after going down early. In the third the Ducks would get their second powerplay of the game during which San Jose would score on an odd man rush, (Tommy Wingels), making it 4-0. Antti Niemi would keep the Ducks from getting on the scoreboard and the game would conclude at 4-0, the fourth straight loss for the Ducks.
Despite having a huge lead in the standings the Ducks would lose the season series with the Sharks, who won 3 of the 5 regular season meetings. The Ducks now have 7 regular season losses on the season, 4 of which are part of the current streak. To make matters worse, the Ducks were shutout for only the second time this season, (their first shutout being in the home opener against Vancouver). Clearly, the Ducks have had some problems since beating Chicago.
What should have been an exciting night where the Ducks welcomed Radek Dvorak to the lineup instead became a miserable evening from the moment the puck was dropped. On the flip side of that coin, San Jose looked more like the team that started the season at 7-0. Apparently that Douglas Murray trade was successful in bringing the Sharks back to life.
So now the questions about Anaheim begin, (if they haven’t already). Are they a pretender, or a contender? Are they a true contender going through a slump, or are they the pretender finally returning back to earth?
The Ducks will be facing Chicago on Friday, and all Ducks fans can hope is that the Ducks aren’t pretenders, and that they bounce back on Friday. The good news is, this may very well be the type of game the Ducks need to bounce back. Chicago and Anaheim is sure to be a hyped event once again, with the Blackhawks seeking revenge, especially in front of their home crowd.
So, let’s all take a deep breath and begin whatever superstitious traditions we do that somehow help Anaheim win, (or that we at least lie to ourselves about), because right now, they need all the help they can get.