Takes and trash talk from both ALL sides of the NHL's most obscure PATHETIC* rivalry

* Thanks, Kevin Lowe!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Ducks Gameday—Remembering history so I'm not doomed to repeat it

Today: Minnesota Wild (4-0-0. 1st in west) at Anaheim Ducks (2-3-1, t-8th in west)
Tomorrow: Detroit Red Wings (3-1-1, 2nd in west) at Anaheim Ducks (2-3-1, t-8th in west)

Well, back-to-back games starting tonight against the top two teams in the western standings, not to mention the two teams with the greatest tendency to get eliminated by Anaheim in the postseason (both got swept in 2003 and beaten again in 2007).

First off, there's the 4-0 Minnesota Wild, a game I've actually scored some tickets to. I don't know much about my seats, but I'll be somewhere in the Club Level--a first for me. One quick note about the Wild: last year the theme of this series was injuries. Marian Gaborik, Todd Fedoruk, and Chris Pronger all got hurt in the regular season, and Francois Beauchemin and Kim Johnsson were missing for postseason losses.

Now Wild fans everywhere hate the Ducks franchise, and who can blame them? Each time they've made the postseason, it's come to a quick and bitter end at the hands of Giguere and the Ducks. If there's a positive, it's that results were better the second time--the Wild not only won a game but also scored multiple goals.

Anaheim vs. Minnesota

Year

RdResultGF – GAOT gms

2003

3

ANA 4–0

9 – 1

1

2007

1

ANA 4–1

12 – 9

0


I don't want to seem overly crass about the Wild's recurring postseason nightmare, though; I've been through the same thing with Anaheim's own playoff demon--the Detroit Red Wings. The first two times the Mighty Ducks qualified for the playoffs, Detroit was there to knock them out, both times in sweeps. But since then, thanks to the balance of karma the tables have turned. The Ducks swept the cup champs in '03 and ousted the top seeds in '07. Red Wing fans, of course, have understandably developed their own level of bitterness around that.
Anaheim vs. Detroit

Year

RdResultGF – GAOT gms

1997

2

DET 4–0

6 – 17

0

1999

1

DET 4–0

8 – 13

3

2003

1

ANA 4–0

10 – 6

2

2007

3

ANA 4–2

16 – 17

2


Anyway, that's really my main point, Wild fans. For sure, I can understand the bitter hatred; Mickey has had its way with Minny in two postseason matchups thus far. But having seen what happens when fate balances itself, I get very afraid of what will happen the next time these teams match up--are the Ducks now due to be the cup champions swept and frustrated by a monster goalie in Backstrom? I'll tell you one thing--I'm definitely keeping a wary eye on this Duck-hating Wild squad. And for sure I'll be worrying about the Red Wings, but that's a more regular occurrence.

I know it's way too early to be talking about playoffs, obviously, but the schedule kind of made this relevant. Speaking of history repeating, though, this time last year the Ducks hosted a 6-0 Wild squad and a 3-1-1 Red Wings team, and beat them both in regulation. Why mess with history?

Predictions: I'll just stick with last year's scores. Ducks 2, Wild 1. Goals by Kunitz and Pahlsson. Ducks 4, Red Wings 1. Goals by Pronger, Niedermayer, Pahlsson, and Bertuzzi.

Go Ducks.

3 comments:

Kirsten said...

It's time for a little revenge. Backstrom likely won't be playing today given his play last night, but Lemaire likes to change his mind last minute, so you may see him yet.
It's still giving me a complex this Anaheim kicking us out thing, but I'm convinced that sometime soon we will get revenge like the Wings did on the Ducks. The team is better than it was last year.

Finny said...

"mickey has had its way with minny" - funny stuff.

karma came back last night. with a rookie goaltender named josh harding.

bleh. good fights though. ducks lost steam after 2nd goal...

ack.

Earl Sleek said...

Curious stat of the game (at least one I noticed from my seats):

Mark Mowers played 4:51 of power play time. Very strange--that's a whopping 4:40 more than he averaged in 78 games last year for Boston.

Also, that's nearly twice as much time as he got playing even-strength last night.

What gives, Carlyle? Just pulling names out of a hat?