Hibernating Ducks Wake Up For Two Periods

 I always thought that only bears and a few other animals hibernated . Some people (Anaheim fans) commented that you do not want to wake a sleeping bear . Well , let us not forget that they are ducks NOT bears . If they were bears , they certainly could not play hockey , I hear that the Bears can hardly play football ,  much less hockey . The same periods that the Ducks finally woke up for , Our Stars decided to forget how to play hockey . When Our Stars finally woke up , they could not get things together fast enough to win the game . 
 The Stars’ Insider show that they ran before the game was entertaining . They showed all the highlights from the previous two games . They showed Lehtinen scoring both his goals in the first two games . I loved seeing that but the show began to grate on my nerves when they began talking about “the defending Stanley Cup champions , the Anaheim Ducks” . We all remember how they bullied their way to Lord Stanley’s Cup last season , please do not remind us . Besides , why can’t anybody just say “the Ducks” ?
 Mike Modano’s pre-game interview was encouraging to me . He said that they had not won anything yet . I liked that they seemed to be concentrating on winning each game as they came . After that , they started talking about why the Ducks lost . Frustration by the Ducks , Stars winning by committee , their defense , special teams and Turco’s defense of the net with help . Tippett was interveiwed later and he said ,”it is only the first two games” and then my personal favorite quote from him ,”..if we play the way that we can , we will get the outcome that we want .” I have said that all season .
 The game started with the Ducks icing the puck . the faceoff was brought back to the Ducks’ zone and Mo got off a hot little shot that Giguere answered in a hurry . Eriksson , Lundqvist and Richards had a great three on two cghance , but either their own miscues or the Ducks defenders forced the issue and the chance fizzled . The Ducks offsides and miscues led the way for Cap’n Morrow , Ribeiro and Lehtinen to have great early chances . Pronger gives Our Stars a powerplay for a crosscheck . A short handed rush by the Ducks turned into Lehtinen’s chance on Giguere that he could not finish out with a goal . Instead , Marchant scored when Moen beat Norstrom to the puck behind Turco’s net for the centering pass . The Ducks seemed to have Our Stars playing out of sorts even further than they already were and they exploit their problems when Getzlav scores less than four minutes later . Hagman got a break away chance but Giguere answered that . Hagman went to the box for hooking and Pronger scored almost immediately . Our Stars still struggle with miscues but , despite that , Hagman gets off two shots on Giguere . All of the bounces seemed to be going the Ducks’ way . Our Stars finally get something moving forward and Daley , Kunitz and O’Donnell are given permission to sit down for two minutes . This was a tertrible period . Our Stars did not look like they had played with each other for weeks . They miscued and did not follow the game plan that they had for the last two games and it showed .
 The second period started with Our Stars on the powerplay for one more minute . It did not help the score from three to nothing . Crombeen , Petersen and Hagman started changing the momentum and had a great chance . Stu had two great chances after that but Robidas took a tripping call to end the building momentum . Almost immediately , Niskanen throws the puck out of play and goes to the box for delaying the game . Proger buries the puck in the twine on the resulting five on three powerplay . Then , adding insult to injury , Daley tossed the puck out of play for yet another five on three powerplay . The brief five on three powerplay ended safley and then a short time later , the five on four was killed off safely as well . Both teams had great attacks after that , with no one team really dominated the gameplay . Bertuzzi took a tripping call and Our stars took over . The resulting powerplay showed that Our Stars wanted to win . They had a great attack set up in the Ducks zone with many shots on goal and a few crazy scrambles in front of Giguere . Our Stars just could not get a point on the board , but it was not for the lack of trying .
 The third period started with the AAC silent . I honestly was not surprised . Ott made a great attempt at a wrap around but it went just a little too far off his stick . Getzlav and Selabnne attacked back but Turco answered . Norstrom and Carter go to the box for offsetting minors and both teams had chances but nothing that could not be handled by the netminders . Getzlav goes to the box for tripping and Ribs , Mo and The Cap’n connect for the Stars’ first goal of the game . May went to the box for his slashing crimes and Ribs , Mo and The Cap’n do it again for Our Stars’ second goal of the game . Eriksson , Hagman and Richards took the next shift and really had a great attack , even if Giguere did answer them . By now , the Ducks were really only playing prevent defense (I hate that) . Schneider took a double minor highsticking and Boucher , Daley , Richards , Eriksson and Hagman had a great attack but nobody would go to the front of the net . Our Stars kept attacking . Turco skated off with about two minutes left , but despite the continued hard attacks by Our Stars , they could not even get to the third goal , much less the fourth .

It Is Only One Game Lost . Not Two ;

 I liked what Tippett said about the loss . He said ,”…no use in whinin’ and cryin’ about it….. ” it is simply time to fix the problems with our game . I could not agree more . It seemed to me that they did not play the way that we know they can .
 Both Ribs and Turco said that they did not expect to win four in a row against the Ducks . I do think it is a good thing to lose at least one game in this series (I know that may sound weird , but I have my reasons) , but absolutely no more than that .
 Brenden Morrow , B. J. Crombeen , Mike Ribeiro , Jere Lehtinen and Niklas Hagman played solid the whole game . They just needed to remind their team to all play hard and as a team .
 This game was the first game that the Ducks forecheck actually worked for them . In the two games before that , it failed utterly and completely . The Ducks management and coaches were proud that it finally worked this game . I expect to see a very arrogant Ducks team on Thursday . I also expect more overpursuit by the Ducks for the extra hits after the play is over .
 Despite a horrid first period and a terrible second period , Our Stars did come back and own the third . It was almost as if they forgot completely how to play the Ducks until the thrid period . It made me ill to watch this game from the outset . I was mentally running through all of my many superstitions making sure that I had not missed anything , but it did not help .
 It still makes me angry that Chris Pronger is playing . I still think he should be suspended for twenty more games . Simon would have been . Pronger should not EVER be able to be allowed to be one of the stars of the game . No matter how hard he plays , he should never be granted that honour because of his past history of low class behaviour . 
 Our Dallas Stars lost this game because they played the Ducks game , not their own . If they had played their own game , the outcome would have been different . Like I quoted Tippett earlier ,”….if we play the way that we can , we will get the outcome that we want.” Our Stars have the ability to win , just not if they fall into playing the Ducks game .

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~ by Adam on April 16, 2008.

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