Was it about a lack of preparation for the Anaheim Ducks or the improving play of the Ottawa Senators’ most promising young players?
That may be a matter of opinion, yet the line of Mike Hoffman, Mika Zibanejad and Bobby Ryan had a big night on Saturday in powering Ottawa to a 6-2 win against Anaheim.
Signs of a strong set for the future?
Zibanejad had a goal and an assist, Ryan collected two assists and Hoffman scored two goals. (Ryan’s expected partner-in-crime Kyle Turris wasn’t too shabby in his own right, collecting two tallies, including a shorthanded goal.)
Ottawa might be most excited about what could very well be a breakout for Zibanejad, the sixth pick of the 2011 NHL Draft. It’s not merely a matter of crediting a coaching change alone, either, as the 21-year-old has 11 points in nine December contests.
The line was strong enough that the Senators’ official Twitter feed was crowing about it:
Tough night for Anaheim
It represents a rare loss for the Ducks, who admitted that it was pretty ugly at times.
Indeed, the Ducks seem disgusted by their efforts as Bruce Boudreau said “we weren’t ready” and Ryan Getzlaf was frustrated by their overall play.
Ultimately, Ilya Bryzgalov’s first Ducks start since Nov. 7, 2007 was a dud, as he allowed six goals on 31 shots.
Many will note that Anaheim seems to lose ugly when it does fall; the Ducks’ last loss was also a 6-2 decision on a rough night against the Toronto Maple Leafs.