Anaheim Ducks Get Lonely Point in Shootout Loss to Ottawa Senators
When your team is sitting at the bottom of the Western Conference standings, it's hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
There are very few commendable aspects surrounding a team in last place, so bear with me, I'm trying.
Anaheim was able to pick up one point in the shootout loss, but that is definitely not enough for this struggling team.
Personally, my hopes went out the window when Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf were selected, once again, as two of the three shooters. To put it mildly, they have been completely useless in the getting the job done this season. Yet, Randy Carlyle chooses them again and again. It's a good thing Bob Murray wants to keep that guy around (insert your own sarcastic tone here).
While Getzlaf was finally able to convert on his attempt, both Perry and Joffrey Lupul's shots were just wide of the net, giving the Senators their long awaited victory over the Ducks since the cup finals in 2007.
However, in an attempt to try and put another ugly game behind us, let's focus on a few positives.
On three occasions in the game, the Ducks were able to fight back from one goal deficits. True, Getzlaf had a crazy goal off of the glass, but it was a goal none-the-less. However, what is most important is that the team was able to fight back, and quickly at that. Never allowing Ottawa to hold a lead for more than a minute shows a sense of urgency in the Ducks that I don't think we've seen much of this season.
Now, if the team could only find a way to play that way when the score is tied, at zero, or in the third period when leading, then they might get somewhere.
Having Joffrey Lupul back in the line-up has done wonders for the Ducks offensive boost. In only two games back, the winger already has three goals. In his first 20 games of the season Lupul had six goals and four assists for a total of 10 points. Hopefully the rest and recuperation has righted his personal course and we'll be seeing this continued improvement from him in the upcoming months.
In addition to having a big named goal scorer return to the lineup, the Ducks are actually lucky to have two rookies currently on the roster. Both Dan Sexton and Matt Beleskey are playing the type of hockey many of us would love to see from our big named superstars.
They're pressuring the puck, playing physical (which says a lot for the listed 5'10", 170 pound Sexton—who looks like he's barely 5'7'' on skates), and they're taking shots on goal.
Everything these rookies are bringing to the ice is an encouraging sign for two young guys looking to stay in the NHL for as long as possible. More importantly, they might actually motivate the players around them to step up their own game.
At this point, I'll take anything to get this team on track.
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