March 22, 2019— Three-Point Game Against the San Jose Sharks
Near the end of the season, we began to see a glimpse of the old Rickard Rakell. Playing under the guidance of Randy Carlyle had weighed heavy on the Swedish forward; the negative effect it had on Rakell was honestly hard to watch. Fortunately, he seemed to have an extra pep in his step once Bob Murray took over behind the bench.
On March 22, 2019, the Anaheim Ducks met the San Jose Sharks for the final time during the 2018-19 season. While their rivalry doesn’t run as deep as the one between the Ducks and the Los Angeles Kings, the two teams are still considered cross-state rivals, so games between the two are always entertaining to watch.
The game started off a little rocky for the Ducks, they had a few good chances but struggled to keep up when the Sharks gained possession of the puck. However, things started to go their way when Ryan Getzlaf stole the puck away from the Sharks as they are attempting to fly down the ice towards Gibson.
Getzlaf feeds the puck to Silfverberg who then puts the puck on Rakell’s tape; the chemistry between the three of them is absolutely undeniable. Rakell winds up for a wrist shot, and rips it into the top corner, past Aaron Dell.
The Sharks tied up the game early in the second period and although Adam Henrique stole it back with a power-play goal in the third, San Jose was relentless and scored another power-play goal just minutes later. The Anaheim Ducks were given another opportunity to have the advantage, however, when Melker Karlsson took a 2-minute penalty for holding.
Without hesitating, the Sharks put the pressure on. Brent Burns trapped the puck against the boards in an attempt to slap it around to the other side. Rakell barely managed to hold onto the puck, passing it to Henrique and out of harm’s way.
Henrique sent it back to Troy Terry, who, although young, made a smart move in putting the puck on the tape of Cam Fowler‘s stick. Henrique positioned himself perfectly in front of the net so that when Rakell regained possession of the puck, he had no issues getting it through the traffic near the net and past Dell.
Once again, the Sharks would tie it up, and the game would be forced into overtime. However, it didn’t last long. At the start of the OT period, Rickard Rakell went in for the kill as he crisscrossed over the neutral zone. With only one option before him, he passed the puck to Jakob Silfverberg, who had a perfect pathway to the net, right down the middle. Dell was unable to make the save, and the Anaheim Ducks came out victorious.
The game against the San Jose Sharks would spark something in Rakell. In the final seven games of the season, he would go on to register 10 points. While we would have loved to see him play with that much passion from day 1, it was a good sign going into the offseason that Rick Rak was back!