Sharks remain undefeated in regulation time but lost one a OT tilt to Nashville Saturday night. It was the third consecutive game in which San Jose was forced into overtime. The other two coming against the our Ducks and Minnesota Wild.
The Sharks seem to be tapering off after a torrid start while our surging Ducks are among the surprises in the early going of this condensed NHL season. Anybody who predicted that these Sharks and Ducks would be first and second in the Pacific Division at any time has earned a maintenance day. Sharks are four points ahead of the Ducks who have played one less game.
Seems odd to bring up the Standings before either team has played its tenth game. It would be except that in a 48 game schedule nearly 20% of the season is in the books. That’s right, I began drafting this blog’s annual 1/4 pole report over the weekend.
Every game is magnified by a multiple of nearly 2. Every game carries approximately twice the importance in a 48 game schedule as it would in a 82 game season. A four point game becomes an eight game. Lose in regulation and our Ducks fall three (6 points) games behind the Sharks with just two games remaining between the clubs.
This is what a sprint is all about.
Ducks are sporting a little different look than the team visited the Shark Tank a week ago. Coach adjusted his D pairings putting Francois Beauchemin and Sheldon Souray together in support of the checking line. Toni Lydman and Luca Sbisa became the 3rd pairing. Upfront the Bobby Ryan to Center experiment continued though Coach put Bonino out there on the 2nd Unit PP after Bones scored his hat trick Saturday night.
Cam Fowler is listed as day-to-day after Jared Stoll’s cheap check from behind. I don’t understand why the league has refused a hearing on the hit. Maybe the NHL isn’t serious about head injuries. Maybe it’s another in the long line of official decisions that go against our Ducks. Sami Vatanen could play in his second NHL game if Fowler can’t go.
Asking 38-year-old Sheldon Souray to play three games in four nights is expecting a lot. Look for a last-minute call-up later today.
The official anti-Anaheim bias didn’t help the LA Kings Saturday night. Our guys will again have to maintain their composure to beat the Sharks. These Ducks have shown real character since the home opener. We can and will get a fair shake from the league eventually. Fact is, our Ducks have been whiners and crybabies for several seasons. A change in perception will take some time. The whining has to stop. No Ref likes to be F-bombed, and/or hear comments about their mothers, sisters and significant others or that the Ref should perform a physically impossible act upon himself. Even when the player mutters such to himself and not directly to the Ref.
Getzlaf and Perry need to stop whining!
These Ducks are showing that they can beat anybody. All they need do is give themselves the chance.