PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.
Ryan Getzlaf and Ryan Kesler try out hair replacement solutions for the Ducks’ captain. Getzlaf admits he gets chirped on the ice about his baldness – not sure the wigs will help his cause.
The story behind hockey GIF creator “@myregularface” Stephanie Vail. (Toronto Sun)
Keith Jones and Jeremy Roenick look ahead to Game 3 between the Montreal Canadiens and Tampa Bay Lightning. The analysts note the Habs need to keep their composure as the series heads to Tampa with the Bolts leading 2-0.
Gare Joyce writes Connor McDavid’s draft year run is superior to that of Sidney Crosby’s. (Sporsnet)
For those who didn’t see it, here’s another look at Brandon Prust’s post-game comments, which will likely earn him a fine from the league.
The Anaheim Ducks haven’t advanced past the second round of the playoffs since 2007. There’s no guarantee that they’ll do any better this year, but they’ve put themselves in a very good position with their 3-0 victory over Calgary Sunday night.
Flames goaltender Karri Ramo made his first career playoff start at the age of 28 and at times it looked like he might steal this game for Calgary. The Ducks bombarded him with 20 shots in the first period, but he turned aside all but one of them.
The exception was Matt Beleskey’s one-timer on a 2-on-1 opportunity:
That proved to be all Anaheim needed because at the other end of the ice, Frederik Andersen was also at the top of his game. The Ducks goaltender kicked out all 29 shots he faced to earn his first career postseason shutout. He has a commanding 1.64 GAA and .942 save percentage in six playoff contests this year.
He’s a big part of the reason that Anaheim swept the Winnipeg Jets in the first round and possesses a 2-0 series lead over Calgary, but he’s far from the only reason. Corey Perry has a league-leading 13 points in the playoffs while Ryan Getzlaf reached the 10-point mark with his two assists tonight.
The Ducks have a long road ahead of them, but they couldn’t have asked for a better start.
.@AnaheimDucks are 1st team to open playoffs with 6 straight wins since PIT posted 7 straight victories from April 9-29, 2008. @EliasSports
Line combinations change frequently in the NHL, and the Anaheim Ducks aren’t shy about trying out different wingers alongside Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf. Perhaps they’ve found a more permanent fit in Patrick Maroon, though?
It makes sense in many ways.
Most obviously, the 27-year-old matches up with Perry and Getzlaf in providing a physical presence. NHL.com lists him at 231 lbs., pretty hefty for league standards. He’s been productive in the playoffs so far (four points in five games) and appears to be the Ducks dynamic duo’s most frequentlinemate.
Ducks head coach Bruce Boudreau told NHL.com that it’s all about Maroon becoming more reliable.
“When you’ve only been in this League for a little over two years, the consistency sometimes isn’t there,” Boudreau said. “That’s the only thing that’s plagued him through the course of the year. When he’s on top of his game, he’s a big force for us, but he’s back on that line because he’s been consistent of late and he’s been playing the same way. There’s no letdown in his game.”
“No letdown” is also a good way to describe how the Ducks played against the Flames in Game 1. We’ll see if Maroon & Co. can keep their impressive run going on Sunday night.
Flames’ Gaudreau wasn’t happy with benching in Game 1
The Calder Trophy finalist was the recipient of a hit from behind courtesy Nate Thompson early in the second period.
On Friday Hartley admitted the 21-year-old was not happy watching as his teammates fell 6-1 at the Honda Center.
“I believe he wasn’t OK with this,” said Hartley per the Calgary Herald. “When I told him early in the third period and I told him why wasn’t playing. Johnny wants to be on the ice.”
Gaudreau, who has two goals and four assists in seven playoff games, agreed it was tough to watch.
“Yeah, I mean watching the guys out there skate to a 5-0 game, in a physical game like that,” he said. “I want to be out there with him. But you’ve gotta listen to the coach. He knows what’s best.”
After scoring 24 goals and 64 points in 80 regular season games, Gaudreau feels he can still be better as the series continues Sunday in Anaheim.
“Obviously I need to play better and play harder,” he said. “It was a 5-0 game at that point so I don’t know what the coach was really thinking at that time. But I think I’m going to come out flying in the second game and make sure I’m a little bit better.”
Ouch. What else can you say about the 6-1 beating the Anaheim Ducks handed the Calgary Flames in Game 1?
When the Ducks chased Jonas Hiller in the second period, some may have held out hope that it would light another fire under the Cinderella Flames. Instead, it became clear that this wasn’t all on him, as Karri Ramo let up just as many goals.
Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf were like men among boys in this one, with the Ducks’ dynamic duo grabbing four points each (two goals and two assists for Perry, one goal and three helpers for Getzlaf). The Ducks thoroughly dismantled the Flames to the point that it felt like Anaheim could score at will on Thursday.
.@AnaheimDucks' Perry (also 2-2—4 in GM 1 vs WPG) is 1st player to post multiple 4-pt. games in 1 playoff year since Keith Primeau in 2004.
Frederik Andersen made some key early saves against the Flames. He likely only regrets missing out on a shutout.
If both Flames goalies struggling and a total embarrassment doesn’t scream “worst-case scenario” enough, Calgary even suffered some injuries in this one. The most worrisome loss is Jiri Hudler, their regular season scoring leader (although they may miss Michael Ferland against the big, mean Ducks as well).
Johnny Gaudreau also didn’t see any shifts in the third period. That could very well be a coach’s decision, but he did take a rough-looking cross-check to the back. Either way, it’s a pretty terrible night for the often-sensational line of Gaudreau, Hudler and Sean Monahan.
The Flames need to search long and hard for positives beyond “it’s just one game” and the continued scoring success of Sam Bennett (who scored Calgary’s lone goal). Perhaps “we’ve been in trying positions before” will work, though.
That said, if Game 1 is any indication, this could be an ugly fall for one of the league’s genuine surprise stories.
It also might be a sign that the Ducks are very deserving of the West’s top seed …