The Anaheim Ducks unfortunately fell shot to the Nashville Predators once again, this was a game that you wanted to see the Ducks filled with rage and give those Preds a hard time to get at the net but that is not what happened at Friday’s game. It was like they were playing with no emotion when it is the aggressiveness emotions that they needed to help them put an end to the Predators by taking home the victory. The referees (also known as Zebras or officials) sucked throughout the entire they made calls that shouldn’t have been called and didn’t make a call on plays that should’ve been called. It was kinda like the Zebras came into Honda Center blind, it was rediculious how bad these referees were.
The Ducks have been hit hard this season by injuries so when an Anaheim Duck heads into the locker room there a feeling that stirs something up inside of you. In Fridays game against the Nashville Predators there were 3 players that went into the locker room, Kevin Bieska, Corey Perry and Derek Grant. The good news was that they all returned back in the game.
There were some changes that were made to the lineup. Randy Carlyle had Ondrej Kase on the same line as Corey Perry and Rickard Rakell. He did this to give Kase more ice time and scoring opportunities based off of the ways that Ondrej Kase has been playing. After being the healthy scratch for 5 consecutive games Head Coach Randy Carlyl had Jared Boll back in the game, he had Jared Boll in the same line as Logan Shaw and Dennis Rasmussen. After missing 4 games with a hand injury, Kevin Bieska was back in the lineup and he was paired up with Sami Vatanen on the Blue-line.
With the new rules on the face-off circle violations, that is what gives the linesmen more power than they’ve had in all past seasons in the NHL.
I was at this game, and I had no idea what to expect in the game where the Ducks would battle the Nashville Predators for the big win. They were going up againt last seasons Western Conference Finalists, who beat the Ducks in the process of winning their first division title in their franchise.
The game had a bumpy start for the Anaheim Ducks with the Zebras called a penalty on Nick Ritchie for cross-checking just seconds into the game, off to the box he went and now the Preds have their first power play of the night. They tried hard to generate a goal and the response they got from Ducks goalie John Gibson was, I don’t think so with glove and pad saves, he saved the puck from ever which way that the puck was coming from during that power-play that ended up on the road leading to nowhere.
I seriously am noticing how great of a hockey player Josh Manson is and he really showed that when he put a big and solid hit on Matt Irwin who fell down in the process. Unfortunately, Manson got sent to the box for high-sticking Matt Irwin. Both Ritchie and Manson’s penalties ended and the Preds couldn’t do anything with it, but the Ducks had some breakaways but they couldn’t get the puck past Pekka Rinne.
Then all of the sudden ‘BOO’s started to come out in the stands when Nashville scored a goal, striking first, it was the Preds veteran scorer Scott Hartnel with the goal.
The ‘Let’s Go Ducks’ started getting louder and louder because….Anaheim Ducks are on a power play their first of the night. Mattias Elkholm is off to the box for chross-checking. It was a bummer that the Ducks weren’t able to get anything except breakaways that Pekka Rinne just kept on putting an end to leaving the Ducks out to dry for the power play. Sometime after that (about 7 minutes of play left in the period), the Zebras blew a whistle, calling a penality on Filip Foresberg for slashing. During that power play, Corey Perry showed just how dangerous of a player he is with shot on Rinne that was just less than a inch away from the puck being dumped into the back of the net.
In this game, Ritchie really showed that he is getting back to his old and physical roots with a big hit on Alexei Emelin. I feel that this is only the beginning of what is to come this season from Nick Ritchie, sometimes he’s that beast in disguise, you never know when the monster inside him will be released.
Just like in the beginning of the game, the Preds score. Nashville Predators Goal. It’s Roman Josi with the goal. Making it 2-0 Preds, and now the Anaheim Ducks trail by 2.
A big problem that Antoine Vermette had was in the face-off circle. I lost count how many times that he got thrown out of the face-off circle, it is amazing that he didn’t recieve a penalty for face-off violation. This was an issue that contiued throughout the entire 60 minutes of play, in some way it hurt the Ducks having the ‘Centers’ being thrown out of the face-off circle.
Now the Ducks trail by 2 and one factor of that is that each team took way TOO many penalties. What really stinks is that the Nashville Predators is the most pentalized team in the National Hockey League. That really says a lot when you look back at the way they played on their power plays of the night.
Photo by Anaheim Ducks
Just a few minutes into the period a flying puck says hi to Kevin Bieska and that puck was not very nice to him. That puck hit him right in the mouth which then caused him to fall flat on the ice, I was so relieved to see that he had his mouth-gaurd in and not hanging loose because that would have been really ugly more than it was. And Bieska’s now off to the locker room to get his mouth looked at.
Something that I think is interesting to so is when a goalie gets mad and throughout the period that is exactly what John Gibson was, it all started when Colton Sissons gets too close to Gibson and in the process caused the net to get knocked off of the ice. It should be interesting how or if that makes Gibson play with a little edge.
Oh No. Nashville Predators Goal. It’s Matt Irwin who gets the puck past Gibson but it turns out that he was sticked in the face by his teammate which caused him to be in a position where he couldn’t save the puck from going into the net.
LETS GO DUCKS LETS GO DUCKS LETS GO DUCKS
What do you know… AND THE ANAHEIM DUCKS GOAL!!!!!!! IT’S ANTOINE VERMETTE!!! with a great shot from Kase who missed the net but luckily for the Ducks Vermette was there to get the puck in the net.
Why is it that the Predators always seem to make me angry…ugh…and those blind zebras…ugh. Corey Perry gets knocked and shoved down by Mattias Ekholm. he cross-checked Perry and those blind zebras didn’t make the call. Perry went straight to the locker room and just less than 2 minutes later back on the bench wondering why there was no cross-checking penalty made. Another missed call that should’ve been made was for when the Preds had too many men on the ice half way through the period. After the officials not making that call Kevin Bieska is out of the locker room and back on the Anaheim bench.
It’s penalty time. It’s Roman Josi off to the penalty box for delay of game, since he tossed/launched the puck into the stands. During that penality there should have been a penalty called on P.K. Subban holds Nick Ritchie down on the ice-uncalled for-there was no call made. That brought the physical play right out Nick Ritchie, which he got called to the penalty box for cross-checking. That makes it 4-on-4 for 37 seconds. During both of the penalty kills, it is so rediculous what the refs let the players get away with. I just couldn’t believe that Craig Smith got away interference on Logan Shaw. And it’s Nick Ritchie going off to the box with his third minor penalty for slashing.
And once again, the Nashville Predators Goal, it’s Viktor Arvidsson with the goal, a knuckle ball goal. Now the Anaheim Ducks trail by 3, it’s 4-1 Nashville.
Corey Perry is one of those players that has many sides to him and in the last few minutes we say a small part of the rough/dirty player he is when he mixes things up with Ekholm around the Nashville net. Shortly after that Mattias Ekholm is off to the box for cross-checking. Now the Anaheim Ducks are on the power play and this time the Ducks did generate something on this power-play. AND THE ANAHEIM DUCKS GOAL!!! IT’S HAMPUS LINDHOLM WITH THE POWER PLAY GOAL!!! With the face-off circle win by Rickard Rakell who got it to Hampus Lindholm who just point aim and score. The Anaheim Ducks now trail by 2. They head to the locker room trailing by 2, it’s 4-2 with Nashville in the lead in this game.
When it came to the physicality in this game Mattias Ekholm found himself right in the middle of it, and that is exactly how Nick Ritchie started off in the final period when he just runs Ekholm right over and it was an awesome move by Ritchie. Then with just 5 minutes into the period Corey Perry and Craig Smith go at it mixing things up in the Nashville zone.
Good things are going the Ducks way especially with about 9 minutes played in the period when the ANAHEIM DUCKS GOAL!!! IT’S JAKOB SILVERBERG!!!! Derek Grant shot the puck who just finds Jakob Silverberg and he just shoots it at the net and that puck found the way to get past Pekka Rinne and it’s a good goal.
I mentioned before that an annoyed and mad goalie there is that chance that some rage or anger will come out and that was the case for John Gibson in the third period. When Foresberg iteracted with Gibson he got really angry, so what is a goalie to do in that situation. Well, John Gibson holds Foresberg down with his glove hand on his helmet. The reason Gibson did this was because he ran into him which caused him to knock the net over.
With just 5 minutes remaining in the game, energy starts coming out from the Anaheim Ducks, but that energy just wasn’t enough for the Ducks especially when the Predators score on the empty net with just 17.8 seconds left in the game. It’s P.K. Subban with the empty netter. He made the final goal of the game. Ducks 3 Predators 5.
Thoughts from the Anaheim Ducks Players and Coaches: Hampus Lindholm, Chris Wagner, and Head Coach Randy Carlyle:
Hampus Lindholm (on the first period): We didn’t come ouut like we wanted to in the first period. No emotion, really. That’s something we need to clean up. You just have to look at yourself in the mirror and see what you can do to yourself to get motivated and play as hard as you can.
Hampus Lindholm (on falling behind early): You’d rather see the other team try to dig itself out. We don’t have all our top guys, but you can’t expect to win games when you let in four goals. Not many teams in the league win games like that. If we’re going to win games, we need to get it down to one or two.
Chris Wagner (on the first period): We just weren’t involved physically, mentally, and emotionally. We didn’t execute. We woke up in the second and third, and that’s encouraging, but we need to bring it for 60 minutes. That just didn’t happen.
Chris Wagner (on falling behind early): It’s embarrassing to start that way. For probably the majority of the games this year, it was a good wakeup call, especially against that team. It’s a good team. Rivalry game. The second half I thought we played pretty well. We were involved in every aspect of the game. We have to carry that into tomorrow.
Head Coach Randy Carlyle (on the first period): I didn’t think we handled the puck and controlled the puck at all. We were making passes at our teammates’ feet. We were slapping the puck away. It was like we were caught in a funk for the first 20 minutes. We didn’t demonstrate any emotion that was necessary. We didn’t out-work the hockey club. We recieved the game. It starts with execution. If you can’t make a tape-to-tape pass and share the puck with your teammates, you’re going to have a difficult time getting through the neutral ice.
Head Coach Randy Carlyle (on shuffling lines): I don’t know if that gave us the energy or they were embarrassed with what happened in the first period. If you can’t execute with the puck, it’s going to be difficult to have any kind of momentum swing or any kind of change on the ice. They dug back, reached down and started to play a much more intense game. Our execution, work ethic and emotion started to get channeled in the right direction for the last 40 minutes, but you can’t win in the NHL playing 40-minute hockey.
Photo by Seat.Buy.com
Thoughts from the Nashville Predators Players: Roman Josi and Matt Irwin
Roman Josi (on how he judges his performance): I know when I have a bad game. First of all, I’m a defenseman. I have to make sure the puck stays out of our net. I try to be offensive too if there’s a chance.
Roman Josi (on first period momentum): I thought we started pretty well. We got two early power plays that gave us some momentum. I thought we had a good period and obviously it was huge for us to have a 2-0 lead.
Matt Irwin (on creating traffic in front of the goaltender): Any goalie in this league, when they see it there’s a good chance they’ll stop it. To get traffic and second and third opportunities off rebounds and create chaos in front of the net is tough to defend.
Matt Irwin (on jumping out to an early lead): You don’t want to be chasing all night and that’s bigger when you’re on the road. To get that first one and to get that second one, we knew they were going to fight back and they did.
Matt Irwin (on Roman Josi’s play since coming back from injury): He’s our leader, he’s our rock back there. He takes on heavy minutes against the other team’s top lines and when he’s rolling he’s contributing offensively like he is rigt now. He’s making plays that very few guys in this league can do from the back end.
The Nick Ritchie we all know and love-Ritchie is getting physical.
Nick Ritchie is a force to be reckoned with and it seems to me that he back to playing his normal PHYSICAL game. Click here to check out Ritchie’s hit: Nick Ritchie nasty hit on Preds
The Anaheim head down to San Jose SAP Arena to go swimming with the Shark. I hope that the Ducks fly out of there all in one piece. Ducks vs Sharks coming up next…
LET’S GO DUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Sources: Anaheim Ducks Player News- Ducks Daily and Twitter @AnaheimDucks
Sources are all by The Anaheim Ducks/ anaheimducks.com
Source: Adam Brady- “Recap: Ducks Shackled by Predators Again, 5-3”
Source Anaheim Ducks- “Postgame Notes and Quotes- November 3 vs. Nashville” – (Interviews with: Hampus Lindholm, Chris Wagner, Head Coach Randy Carlyle, Roman Josi, and Matt Irwin)
Photos by The Anaheim Ducks