The Dallas Stars landed at Dallas Love Field on their private charter with a smile on their faces due to a 2-0 series lead on the 2007 Stanley Cup Champion Anaheim Ducks.
The Ducks, on the other hand, landed knowing the flight home could mean the start of golf season and off season workouts.
To most teams the quest of “16W” began a week or so ago, and the Stars are 2/16 closer to mission accomplished; the Ducks are nowhere closer after a week.
The Ducks have truly come unraveled at the hands of the Stars; nothing seems to work right, above all goal-tending.
I hate to point blame at a great goaltender like J.S. Giguere, but comparing him to the play of the man across the pond in Marty Turco has made him look like a rookie, not a Stanley Cup champion.
Giguere has not looked the same since his injury that allowed Jonas Hiller to start with only a couple of weeks remaining in the season.
Possibly this is a question the Ducks should raise. Do they start Jonas Hiller? Place the blame squarely on Giguere’s shoulders in the hopes Hiller can somehow inspire the team to protect the net better?
The only answer is that if the Ducks go down three games to none, they are done. They might win game three or four but forcing it to a seventh against a team like Dallas is close to impossible.
That being said, the entire blame can’t be placed on the goalie. My only argument is that when they have needed Jiggy to make saves, he hasn’t. I think the majority of blame goes into coaching.
Have they not seen the Stars eight times in the regular season this year already? Did they honestly not know their style of play?
Come on, act like Stanley Cup Champs! I am almost embarrassed to own a Stanley Cup shirt picturing the Ducks.
For the Ducks to win Game Three, their defense must play at the level a great defensive corps should play, considering the members of the Ducks blue line.
Also, the Ducks must rally behind Giguere and give him the help he needs to keep the game close.
Lastly, The Ducks can’t give up in the final period like they did in Game Two. All they need to pull out a win in Game Three are little tweaks for what they had in Game Two.
Unfortunately, the train known as the Dallas Stars is already on a roll and may be unable to be stopped.
Game three between the Anaheim Ducks and Dallas Stars is Tuesday April 15, 2008 at 5:30 Pacific in the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas.