Chicago Blackhawks v Anaheim Ducks

Ducks prove ‘first 22 wins weren’t a fluke’


The Anaheim Ducks have maintained a torrid pace so far, topped in the Western Conference only by the Chicago Blackhawks.

So, four straight losses in Anaheim probably seemed like a bit of a shock to the Ducks’ system. They were outscored 16-5 in those four games, and shut out in one of those games.

Friday’s 2-1 victory over the Blackhawks in Chicago got the Ducks back into the win column. It put them six points ahead of the third-place Vancouver Canucks and just three points back of the Blackhawks.

“I know I can’t win the game myself… we need everybody. Nobody was happy after the last game (against the Sharks), I know I wasn’t happy with the way I played and I don’t think many guys were,” Ducks goalie Jonas Hiller told CSN Chicago. “We knew we had to play better and we proved that if everybody plays at 100 percent, we have a chance to win against anybody.”

The top seed in the West is still within the Ducks’ reach.

But more importantly, Friday’s performance can go a long way in getting their collective confidence back.

“At least they know in their mind that when they put their mind to it, they’re a good hockey team and that the first 22 wins weren’t a fluke,” Ducks head coach Bruce  Boudreau told the Orange County Register.

The Ducks improved their record to 23-7-4.

Kane scores OT-winner, caps Islanders’ bumpy start in Brooklyn

Patrick Kane
1 Comment

On paper, it’s the perfect way to kick off meaningful hockey in Brooklyn, as the New York Islanders faced the defending champion Chicago Blackhawks on Friday.

In reality, there were some highs and lows, culminating with Patrick Kane scoring a power-play overtime-winner to give Chicago a 3-2 (OT) win.

The Barclays Center crowd was going to be a big part of the story one way or another, but even by building-opening standards, the audience made some waves.

Indeed, Kane was greeted with some jeers during his first road appearance of the 2015-16 season, though he didn’t sound surprised.

(There were other controversial chants, apparently.)

Speaking of the crowd, it may not have been the greatest turnout:

ESPN goes way, way in depth on how the change of locale was received, by the way.

It wasn’t a perfect night inside the rink, either, as there weren’t exactly rave reviews about ice quality. New York Newsday’s Arthur Staple compared the ice to a “slushy” and “soup,” with an anonymous Islander (or Islanders) describing the conditions as “awful.”

Kane was pretty diplomatic about it, for what it’s worth.


So, no, it was not a perfect night for the Islanders.

They probably envisioned a teeming, perfectly mannered crowd. Management likely expected Jaroslav Halak to be in net, too.

Sometimes breaking ground is often about overcoming those early stumbles, though, and maybe the best review is to parallel the on-ice results: the Isles at least got a point out of it.

Let’s not forget that there are some cool perks that come with this situation, even if the specifics may vary.

If you want even more information/photos/etc., you’d probably do well to check out #IslesOpeningNight.

Columbus collapse: Rangers spoil Blue Jackets’ opener

1 Comment

For a little more than a minute, Brandon Saad was going to be the story of the Columbus Blue Jackets’ opener. Instead, his power-play goal merely got the ball rolling on a flabbergasting finish.

The New York Rangers scored three goals in 1:17 of game time to manage a 4-2 win.

They’ve now spoiled home openers for the Chicago Blackhawks and Columbus Blue Jackets to begin their 2015-16 season.

It might be easiest just to show you when the goals were scored, noting that the third period began with a 1-1 tie.

Brandon Saad power-play goal: 16:10 into third period (2-1 Columbus)
Oscar Lindberg: 17:24 (2-2 tie)
Kevin Hayes: 17:41 (3-2 Rangers)
Mats Zuccarello: 18:41 (4-2 Rangers)

Yikes. Zuccarello scored two of the Rangers’ goals, while a beauty by Cam Atkinson is likely long forgotten.