If one game has looked like so many games of the past few seasons the win tonight was it. Except for the result. Ducks come out dominating and all of sudden they can’t handle success. They quit skating and their game falls apart. Flames are beating us everywhere and claw back from a 3 goal deficit to tie it up.
What a difference a Coach makes. We’ll never know exactly what Gabby said between the second and third periods but an F-bomb or two was likely involved. Amazingly though Coach didn’t change the plan. He didn’t shorten the bench and wear down the stars. He trusted the second line to get going and they did have at least one scoring chance in the third. He threw rookie Kyle Palmieri out there in the waning minutes with the game on the line. Coach also entrusted key TOI to the 4th line with less than 5 minutes to play in a one goal game.
This is how a Coach builds a team. As bbdux93 once posted here, ‘You play hockey to earn the respect and trust of your teammates.”
That’s the takeaway from this road trip. The seeds of a team is being established. It’s very young. Two games young to be exact. It can turn. It’s too soon to make predictions. Just as its unreasonable to hope Dan Winnick to score 96 goals in 48 games.
Tonight our Ducks caught themselves before they let one get away against a team they must beat if they are to make the playoffs.
They forced Flames Coach Bob Hartley to keep; the Iginla line away the Top Line and the Stopper Line.
Our Ducks are 2-0 even though Bobby Ryan has yet to register a point. Even though Jonas Hiller has had great moments but wasn’t required to steal either game for us. Even though Nick Bonino is playing like a 4th liner. Even though the PK unit allowed 2 PP goals in each game. Even though they quit skating for ten consecutive minutes and worse skated with the Flames for another ten minutes.
Obviously this team is a long way from firing on all cylinders. Still they won back2back road games without having to play perfect hockey for 60 minutes. What they do with that will speak volumes in the coming days and weeks.