The Anaheim Ducks have won five games in a row. Their play has been solid lately, and last night they were rewarded with an overtime victory over the best team in the NHL.
The Ducks are finally getting contributions from their scoring lines. In last night's game against the Red Wings, Teemu Selanne netted his 21st career hat-trick and Ryan Getzlaf had five assists. Both players had been struggling earlier in the year.
Scott Niedermayer also tallied two assists, and he now owns the Ducks' career record for assists by a defenseman. He moved ahead of Oleg Tverdovsky. Ducks fans should rejoice that Tverdovsky no longer holds a team record.
The increased production from the Ducks' top players has translated into wins, which should come as no surprise to fans. The team is functioning as it should—the top players provide the main scoring, and the supporting players chip-in occasionally. Last night's depth contribution came from Brian Sutherby, who scored the Ducks' fourth goal.
Now that the top lines are scoring, the Ducks' lineup is relatively set. The only problems are that they could use another top six forward (Bobby Ryan), and Brendan Morrison is still invisible. He had zero points last night, and only has one point on the entire season. It also seems like the team is one injury away from being mediocre, but let's not get ahead of ourselves.
Wednesday's game contained several events that have become common in Ducks games. There was a goal waved off for goaltender interference, which seems to happen to the Ducks at least once per week. This particular situation was unusual since Teemu Selanne was not the one who interfered with Osgood—he shoved Mikael Samuelsson, who fell into the crease.
There were 15 total power plays for both teams, which means that almost half of the game was special teams play (there were a few 5-on-3 situations). The Ducks are well on their way to being the most penalized team in the league once again, as they have been shorthanded 66 times this season. The next team on the list is the Washington Capitals, who have been shorthanded 52 times.
But the most frustrating part of last nights game was the television production. For the third time this season, Fox Sports Prime Ticket used what they call "rinkside view." It is a good idea that does not work well, since it's impossible to track specific players and to see the rush develop when the camera is changing so frequently.
Two goals were completely missed because of the camera work. Teemu Selanne's first goal was not visible because the camera was zoomed in on Ryan Getzlaf, and Brian Sutherby's goal was not visible because the behind-the-net camera cuts off the net. Pavel Datsyuk's second goal was also hard to see because they were using a low-angle camera at center ice.
The "rinkside view" cameras are good for instant replays, but it just isn't a good way to watch the actual game. The camerawork should be relatively invisible during the game, so that the viewer's attention is on the hockey instead of the production. Most people aren't impressed by flashy cinematography.
Tomorrow's game is on KDOC, so it should be a traditional broadcast. The Ducks will be playing the Vancouver Canucks, who have lost four out of their last five games. But they have a good chance of getting back in the win column tonight—they're playing the Kings.
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