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

* Thanks, Kevin Lowe!

Friday, October 05, 2007

Ducks Gamedays: Rise and shine!

I’ve got to do a two-in-one special for these games, as I’ll be out of town this weekend. I’ll say up front that I’m giving the Ducks a lot of slack this week—between injuries and silly schedules it probably won’t pay off to expect too much for the start of the year. Case in point, the Ducks play their fourth game already after the shortest summer in the league; meanwhile their next two opponents will be just starting their seasons tonight.

Wake up, you lazy late-starters; the champs are here!


Tonight: Anaheim Ducks (1-1-1, 1st in west) at Columbus Blue Jackets (0-0-0, season starts tonight!)

First to Columbus, whose last game was played on April 7th, half a year ago, when they last hosted the Anaheim Ducks. And while the Blue Jackets have been in steady offseason mode since that game, the Ducks have played an additional 24 games since seeing this Columbus squad.

For whatever reason, the Blue Jackets have played tough against the Ducks the past couple of years, despite the standings disparity. The teams split their season series this year and last, though the road team has had the advantage, winning 6 of 8 contests. On a side note, Columbus really would have been a nice un-retirement opponent: in the four-game series last year, Selanne netted 4 goals and 6 assists and Niedermayer chipped in 7 assists.

Prediction: Ducks 5, Blue Jackets 3. Road dominance continues; goals by Bertuzzi, Beauchemin, McDonald, Moen, and Marchant.


Tomorrow: Anaheim Ducks (1-1-1, 1st in west) at Pittsburgh Penguins (0-0-0, season starts tonight!)

Then on to Pittsburgh, the old Battle of the Birds. This will be the third time in four nights the Ducks will be the visitor for another team’s home opener, and the last stop before Anaheim’s own home opener next week. Pittsburgh thus far has the distinction of having more standing points in this calendar year 2007 than any other team—31-9-7, good for 67 points.

I don’t have a ton to say on Pittsburgh; I haven’t really been fond of them ever since they edged the Ducks out on a ping pong ball that turned into Sidney Crosby (but given the choice, I’ll take the cup win). The teams have only seen each other once since the lockout (the Ducks won 3-2 in OT in Anaheim last year)—but the Pens can take solace in the fact that all three stars from that game (S. Niedermayer, D. Penner, and T. Selanne) won’t be dressed up for this one.

Prediction: Ducks 4, Penguins 1. Goals by Kunitz, Pronger, and Getzlaf x2.


There is a bit of personal-life synchronicity here, as I will actually be at a wedding in Columbus tomorrow for a friend who is actually a Penguins fan. Being the short-sighted idiot that I am, though, I neglected to check the NHL schedule when booking flights for this wedding, so I won’t be leaving until well after tonight’s game is done.

Oh well. Go Ducks.


Earl Sleek said...

Good old Prime Ticket.

Hayward reads a graphic that tells us Randy Carlyle has a career 91-47-0 record coaching the Ducks.

That's conveniently forgetting the 26 OT and shootout losses, but hey, they've only had all summer to get it right.

Bitchany said...

Wooo...what a game...I'm happy.

Earl Sleek said...

Good for you, Bitchany. Don't thank us, though, thank the schedule-makers. It was fairly laughable from my end of things--sixteen minutes to record a shot-on-goal, everyone playing flat-footed, and the penalty parade continues.

If there's a bright spot for the lame Ducks, it's that Pahlsson will give the PK a big boost when he returns, and it's pretty needed apparently. Bryzgalov in three starts has surrendered only one even-strength goal, but the eight power play goals against are killing him.

I can't knock him, though. Bryzgalov was easily the best Duck on the Nationwide ice last night. By far.

OK, off to the wedding. Take it easy on us, Pens!

Bitchany said...

I had an entire row of Ducks "fans" behind me...well actually they were Todd Marchant's neighbors when he was here...and they left after the first...it was pretty pathetic. You had to feel bad for the Ducks I know they're tired but I'm glad that Carlyle wasn't using the schedule as an excuse.