The Anaheim Ducks’ 4-1 Throwback Night win against the Ottawa Senators was so close to perfect, that it’s actually worth noting the things that didn’t happen:
- Paul Kariya didn’t play in that game, or any NHL game for that matter. He’s still just 38. (Pause for sadness.)
- Teemu Selanne only got an assist, not a goal. Kind of a ripoff.
- Daniel Alfredsson is no longer a member of the Senators, so no one could get revenge for Scott Niedermayer.
- Depending upon how Ducks fans feel, Bobby Ryan scoring Ottawa’s lone goal either provides a sense of closure or a certain amount of irritation
Overall, though, it was a great night for fans of a team that (eventually/maybe) transcended jokes involving a movie featuring one of the eventual stars of “Dawson’s Creek.”*
The Ducks fired a ridiculous 24 shots on net in the first period, an almost-as-absurd 21 in the second and 11 more in the third. Corey Perry scored two goals while Ryan Getzlaf had a goal and an assist. Jonas Hiller was sharp by making 30 out of 31 saves, but really impressed by wearing the mask featured in the video below:
The game also featured the inaugural team taking part in the ceremonial puck drop, which may or may not represent the largest gathering of people to do so:
So, full marks to the Ducks. Although, if you ask Hiller, they should at least look like this every night, as he told Kyle Shohara of the team’s Web site.
“If it’s up to me, we could play the whole season like that,” Hiller said.
There are probably at least a few fans who would agree.
* – Should we pretend this wasn’t widely known?
Newly acquired Toronto Maple Leafs center Dave Bolland has three goals so far this season. Two of them were game-winners, including Saturday’s 6-5 OT stunner:
It’s not the solid scoring that has Leafs head coach Randy Carlyle raving. Instead, he glowed about the 27-year-old’s work ethic to the Toronto Sun on Sunday.
“He practices like a pro. He’s trying to make himself better every day,” Carlyle said. “Some of our young players could take notice of that and we’ve talked to them about it. Just to take notice of how he approaches practice and how intense he is and the level of commitment he puts in.
“It’s guys like David Bolland that sell your program and help coaches in leading by example and showing the way. Those are very, very important intangibles that happen within the team.”
Despite a red-hot start, Carlyle isn’t happy with everything that’s happening with the Buds, particularly last night’s hectic affair. Still, it’s clear that he’s pleased with Bolland.
When a .500 New York Islanders team is the best squad in the general New York/New Jersey* area, you know things are grim. The New Jersey Devils remain in the running for the worst of them all, as they still seek their first win after six games (0-3-3) following a dispiriting 3-0 loss to the Winnipeg Jets.
The score might be a little misleading (strangely, Evander Kane made it 2-0 with an empty-netter and then Andrew Ladd collected the 3-0 goal moments later), but all that matters is that the Devils still have a big, glaring “0” in the W column.
It’s understandable if you feel some sympathy for Cory Schneider. He stopped 33 out of 35 shots as he watched a befuddled Devils offense continue to struggle to put points on the board.
Sure, New Jersey isn’t in as dire a situation scoring-wise as the New York Rangers (nine goals in five games) or Buffalo Sabres (six goals in six games), but the situation is still pretty bleak.
It says a lot that, despite being without a win, the Devils’ three points leaves them fifth in the Metropolitan Division ahead of the Rangers, Washington Capitals and Philadelphia Flyers (all with two points).
The debate regarding which team is the worst in the New York/NJ area – the Devils, Islanders, Rangers and Sabres – might also double as the question of who’s the worst team in the NHL early on this season.
(But you can vote on that very issue here.)
* – Dare we say, tri-state or metropolitan area?