PostGame PostUp: Ducks 3 Kings 1

Posted: 04/10/2011 by bc in Uncategorized

If  games were played in the press box the Kings would have won the Pacific Division, challenged for the President’s Trophy and been a legitimate contender for the Stanley Cup. Again, like last night it was game wherein the Kings had their chances but couldn’t finish.

Credit Dan Ellis who was simply solid, good and great when called upon.Which takes us back to the press box. To hear the noise from the hype machine Kings goalie Jonathon Quick is/was a Vezina and Hart candidate. The reality is Quick got out-dueled by a journeyman backup in back to back games. Last season’s over hyped Norris Trophy candidate Drew Doughty was a non-factor.

The purpose of this isn’t to rub Kings fans nose in it. Far too many of them get their news from hockey wannabees and gossip girls like Matthew Barry who really know little to virtually nothing about the game. Kings fans are like P.T. Barnum’s customers you either laugh, feel sorry for them or both.

Even worse, Philip Anschutz encourages the nonsense.

The Kings lost tonight despite holding a significant territorial advantage, out shot our Ducks by better than a 2 to 1 margin, went 38-21 in the faceoffs and were awarded seven power plays by the refs. With all that going for you it’s fair to ask how did you lose?

The Kings both of these games for the same reason. The Ducks won the majority of the one on one battles in the low slot at both ends of the rinks over six periods of hockey.  Our Ducks didn’t give up any or many second shots from the low slot. Ellis made the first save and controlled the rebounds, directing the bouncing pucks away into the safe areas of the corners and along the boards.

In other words the Kings didn’t win where it matters most. Our Ducks did. Would Kopitar and Williams have made a difference? One can speculate but the fact is, we’ll never know. It’s like saying would Jonas Hiller have made a difference in the outcome.

With about 3 minutes to go the Kings gave up on winning the game and took their frustrations out on Teemu Selanne. It was either Matt Green or Jack Johnson, I need to see the replay to be certain, cross checked the Finnish Flash from behind which sent head first into the dasher and glass. Selanne won the puck battle though and was assaulted by Brad Richardson who ripped Teemu’s helmet off his head. The initial play that sent Teemu head first into the boards and glass happened less than 20′ in front of referee Brad Watson who refused to make the call.

The usually cool Brian Hayward went on a rant of which I wholeheartedly agree. Hazy the fights that ensued were all on Watson. Had Watson called the initial crosschecking  penalty, the ensuing penalties don’t happen. Hayward even predicted that Watson wouldn’t get the calls right and sure enough the incompetent Watson cited Richardson for the initial crosschecking penalty. Richardson was at least twenty away when the crosscheck occurred. Our Ducks analyst said Watson shouldn’t be allowed to ref a playoff game.

The only thing I would add to Hazy’s POV is that it doesn’t matter what the rules are if the referees aren’t competent to call the play.

While we have never met the Kings in the playoffs we did win the season series 4 games to 2 with an impressive P% of .750.

So now we await the outcome of the Red Wings/Blackhawks tilt which will determine who our Ducks face in the first round. If Chicago wins we host the ‘hawks. If Detroit wins we go against Nashville.

Heading into the final two games our guys secured a playoff spot with the win last night. Tonight they earned home ice in the first round. In more than 50 years of playing, coaching, studying and just watching hockey I’ve never seen a playoff race this tight. Wow!

  1. czhokej says:

    I agree, it’s useless to speculate about the absence of Kopitar and Williams now. However it may be helpful to do some conjecture about the next playoff opponent.
    Maybe our guys were celebrating last night a little, and we were protecting 3 goal lead, trying not to get injured. And occasionally we played sloppy.
    Ellis was phenomenal, and victory against the Kings is always sweeter than other wins.
    Lydman took good care of Penner and his +/- deserves commendation. And of course we have to mention Perry and his Maurice Richard trophy (Getzlaf’s low scoring cost Perry the Hart), Lubo (best scoring defenseman) and Teemu the fighter. It was nice to see Koivu scoring – at least a small award for all his hard work.

    • BackCheck says:

      Once again our Ducks won without playing their best game, cz. Maybe that’s the way it is with teams that have to battle, fight through checks and win the game within the game. Maybe the reason our guys play to the level of the competition so often is how we play. Do you think there’s anything to that cz? I’m just wondering here.

      You’re quite right that Lydman owned Penner last night. Smyth didn’t get many if any opportunities either. Dustin Brown had his chance but was beaten by Ellis on his breakaway. That play seemed to sap their energy.

      Otherwise, our Ducks were great on the PK holding the Kings to 1/7, including the double minor to Beauchemin.

  2. czhokej says:

    Many people underestimate the mental preparedness of the team. Sometimes the whole team gets nervous and reacts like one individual under stress. That was our problem mainly during the first half of the season. The Ducks have more cohesiveness and character now, and they are tougher. Nevertheless, as you said, we play better against stronger teams. Part of it could be underrating of the weaker opponnents, or an unfitting game plan imposed on a team by the coaching staff (again the latter applied mostly to the first half of the season).
    Good point about our PK. Our PP is now one of the best in the league. In short, a remarkable improvement almost in every category, including coaching (except SOG DIFF).
    I was very, very wrong with my predictions during the first part of the season

  3. jenelynrusso says:

    Since that dreaded game against the Blues where I called them out for having no heart and no desire to win or get into the playoffs, the Ducks have gone 9-3. And they made a believer out of me. I don’t think they won those games on their skills. They won because they wanted to win and because they believed they could win. Not because they played their best hockey every game either, because they didn’t. As said above, they have come together as a team, with a whole lot of character and heart. And at this time of year, that’s what wins games, IMO. Can’t wait to see what they do in the playoffs.

  4. buick22 says:

    I would say Ellis is more than a journeyman backup, he has been in playoff before, and maybe needed some support offensively to get some wins. Quick is a good goalie my fear for the Kings, (only because I want them to beat the Sharks), is that Quick has a tendency to lose composure when he gets scored on more than once in a short time, he tries to tighten up his game, and it backfires…if they are close, he is great. If they give up a few, expect a few more, and w/o Kopitar and Williams they may not be able to answer back, and that will doom them in the playoffs if that happens.

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