This had to be arguably the worst performance of the year for the Anaheim Ducks. The Tampa Bay Lightning started off hot and the Ducks were caught a bit flat-footed and they pretty much remained that way through the entirety of the game. I wasn’t the only one who could tell right from the start that the Ducks didn’t have it tonight. The Ducks were out-skated, out-worked and out-muscled. The Ducks may have outshot the Lightning, but they were clearly out-played tonight.
The Lightning dominated early but didn’t get on the board until nearly half way through the period when Valtteri Filppula would take the cross-ice pass from Teddy Purcell have pretty much an empty net. Shortly afterwards, Martin St. Louis would cash in on a rebound during a power play to give the Lightning a 2-0 lead. On both goals, the Ducks were just standing around their own zone letting Tampa just pass the puck around and in between them with ease, which would become a theme tonight. In the second, Filppula would tally another one, again on the powerplay, as he was given too much room in the circle and Jonas Hiller didn’t challenge whatsoever, 3-1. Later in the second, Alex Killorn charged towards the net, Luca Sbisa tried to block his shot, but deflected it a little and Hiller gave a juicy rebound, which Killorn potted into the net. Also, Tampa defenseman Radko Gudas really laid a big hit on Teemu Selanne in the corner and then proceeded to rough him up a little bit more along the boards. There was a whistle shortly after and the Ducks stood up for Teemu a little bit, but not enough in my opinion. The Ducks showed some life late in the second period, though. They finally got on the board when Emerson Etem would charge through the neutral zone make a move to shake a Tampa defenseman and then caught Bishop leaning and put it below his right pad. The energy would carry over into the third period, which was the Ducks’ best period. The only goal scored in the third would belong to Tampa defenseman Victor Hedman, who was given a ton of room at the circle while the Ducks just stood around doing nothing and Hiller sat barely out of the net, 5-1 final.
All in all, a terrible performance by the Ducks. They had no energy and no fight whatsoever. Like I said before, there was constant play by the Ducks in their own end where they weren’t moving their feet and working hard. I only noticed a couple of guys in this game show any kind of fight or heart tonight and they were Andrew Cogliano, Emerson Etem and Patrick Maroon, who literally fought in this game. Bryan Allen also was in a fight, but he turtled, even I said, “Oh, you p***y.” At one point in this game, the Lightning really started taking advantage of their four goal lead. They were physically trying to beat the sh*t out of the Ducks, especially Gudas. The Ducks just couldn’t match their physicality. Bishop was huge in net. And I don’t mean his play, he’s literally a GIANT. The Ducks didn’t get in his crease enough. One suggestion Brian Heyward made during the Ducks broadcast was that when these two teams meet again soon, that the Ducks “rough him up a little bit.” He had a too comfortable of a night. Anyway, I don’t know if the flue epidemic is worse than the Ducks are saying and that literally EVERYONE is sick right now, but it was just awful to watch tonight. The Ducks have lost two straight now and let’s hope they get more of these kinds of games out of their system sooner rather than later.
Scoring Breakdown by Period:
Shot Breakdown by Period
|C Valtteri Filppula||2 G, A|
|RW Martin St. Louis||G, 2 A|
|D Victor Hedman||G, A, 23:50 TOI|
Up next tomorrow night is a visit to the Carolina Hurricanes.
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Topics: Alex Killorn, Anaheim Ducks, Andrew Cogliano, Ben Bishop, Bryan Allen, Emerson Etem, Jonas Hiller, Luca Sbisa, Martin St. Louis, NHL, Patrick Maroon, Radko Gudas, Teddy Purcell, Teemu Selanne, Valtteri Filppula, Victor Hedman