HEARTBREAKER: Nashville 4 Anaheim 3 (OT)

Posted: 04/22/2011 by bc in Uncategorized

Saw the game and am just exhausted. Need to catch some zzz’s and will do the postgame when I wakeup.

It doesn’t feel any better a few hours later. I imagine there’s a huge pall over Ducks Nation tonight. Usually rain on the roof, as I’m hearing now, evokes a gentle, relaxing mood. Not on this night. It truly does sound like the tears of angels.

What a huge task befalls our team this day and weekend.The guys don’t feel any different from what we fans feel. Unlike us though, our Ducks players must pull themselves up from this abyss and re-engage in a little more than 36 hours. Less than 24 hours ago very knowledgeable hockey people were telling me that our Ducks are poised for a deep playoff run. From novice and neophyte to former NHL players, we all believed.

A popular cliché goes, perfect is the enemy of the good. Oh man does that fit our Ducks or what, eh? We came out in the first period playing a very deliberate game. To a man we seemed petrified of making THE mistake that would cost us the game and quite possibly the series. We didn’t skate. Consequently we were entirely reactive rather than proactive in the first.

In simpler hockey words, we didn’t take it to the Preds as we had done in Game 4. In a series locked at two games each, our guys played as though they were protecting a two goal lead midway through the third period.

It begs the question. On a team with so many Stanley Cup rings, Olympic medals and numerous other international and junior successes does such a notion permeate the room? You can bet the slow, deliberate start wasn’t part of any game plan the coaches had drawn up. “Be careful out there” are the words of Hockey Moms and girlfriends, not something players discuss among themselves. I flat-out don’t get it. Never have, never will. Never did when I inside a room and part of it.

And now once again, our guys are right on the edge where it’s win or go home. In this emotional roller coaster of a hockey year, how many times can you go to the well? Do our guys have one more in them? Two more?

For a solid analyses of the game’s final moments read poster ffe155’s comment below this post. I’m more focused on what’s going on between the ears and in the hearts of players and fans this night.

As I stated at the beginning of these playoffs the team that survives this series may not have much left in the tank for round 2. We’ll see in due time of course, but the immediate task ahead of our Ducks is huge.

First is one day to rest, re-hydrate and travel across two time zones for a 3:00p.m. PDT start on Sunday. Second is to break free of the false notions that is preventing each player and this team from playing their shift, period and game consecutively. Third of course is to just play. No thinking, just play.

Such is the task before our Ducks this day.

  1. ffe155 says:

    Last minute of regulation was brutal – panic in the defensive end that culminates with a lost face-off, blown defensive coverage on Weber by Teemu, and puck in the net.

    Ducks needed to bring the A game and fell short. After a season of inconsistent play this shouldn’t be a surprise, but it’s still tough to take.

  2. jenelynrusso says:

    That was the most heartbreaking moment in sports I’ve ever witnessed in person. It’s the day after, and I still feel sick. Only consolation? It wasn’t the deciding game of the series. Although it could be. My thoughts immediately went back to Gm 5 vs Detroit in ’07, when the Ducks stole that game in similar fashion. The boys have a chance to make the outcome of this Gm 6 different. Do they have it in them? They’ve been on the ropes all season. I guess we’ll find out soon enough.

  3. Terrible game for the Ducks’ confidence. I don’t think it’s looking too good for them, but who knows? This is the NHL Playoffs after all. Anything’s possible.

  4. BackCheck says:

    One thing that is true about this series is that just when you think one team has control it changes. As a Ducks fan I’m very proud of this group. Win or lose now, this is bonus hockey.

    Very true Jenelyn, Wings spirit was broken in Game 5 of that ’07 WCF. We will find out Sunday, if the spirit of our guys was broken Friday night as you said. Give these Predators credit. They have exposed some holes. Most people point to the D-men but I count 5 skaters on the ice and will have more on this later.

    Right now, for each player it’s all about summoning the will. It turns slowly between games. You don’t as RC instructs, flush it in ten minutes. Not this kind of defeat. Regardless of what happens Sunday, I’m already proud of this edition of our Anaheim Ducks.

    There will be so much to talk about when the season ends. This isn’t the time though. This is the time to prepare for the next game. Go Ducks!

  5. silentboba says:

    Yeah… I can’t count the number of times we had forwards standing around in the neutral zone watching like they thought they were about to screw up. No way to play a game. There were many moments where they made area passes into areas with more Preds than Ducks because it seemed liked the safe play and ended up heading the other direction. The short passes, quick feet plays seemed to be the most successful… those and the crycle/crash the net sequences. Way too many blown assignments/miscues on defense though. How many times did Beauch and Fowler turn each other inside out on a breakout? Hope the guys breathe a bit and come out skating tomorrow night. Make something happen and good things will follow.

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