The Anaheim Ducks have finally started to win some games after underachieving for the first two weeks of the season. This past week was full of some strange games, the strangest being Friday's Halloween showdown with the Canucks that went to a 13-round shootout.
Sunday's close win over the Calgary Flames brings the Ducks to 15 points as they enter a week where they will play three games in four nights.
Some talking points from last week's action:
Production from the Kids
After starting the season with one point in six games each, Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry are now two of the hottest players in the NHL. Getzlaf now has 13 points in his last six games, and Perry has 14 points in his last seven games. If they had started the season in their current form, it's quite possible that they would both be top-five in the league in scoring.
Goaltender Interference Penalties
The Ducks had a goal taken away for goaltender interference against the Red Wings last Wednesday. Unsurprisingly, the same thing happened against the Flames in Sunday's game.
I don't know of a way to research a team's number of goals disallowed due to goaltender interference, but I'd be willing to bet that the Ducks are comfortably leading all other teams in that statistic over the last three seasons.
Part of the story is the way the Ducks play the game. A physical team that crashes the net looking for rebounds is bound to pick up a number of goaltender interference penalties throughout the course of a season.
But Sunday's incident involving Corey Perry and Miikka Kiprusoff was atypical. Perry had been whistled for goaltender interference earlier in the game, on a play that did not result in a goal. He argued with the referees about that call, which leads me to believe that the referees were mentally primed to keep an eye on Perry on future occasions where he stood in front of the net.
During the incident in question, Perry was about three feet in front of the goal crease, skating away from Kiprusoff. The NHL rulebook states that outside of the crease, incidental contact shall not be considered goaltender interference (rule 78).
So should this particular incident be considered incidental contact?
Kiprusoff was not in a set position—his feet were moving and he was advancing toward the shot, which is standard technique for a goaltender attempting to cut down an angle. The problem is that outside of the crease, Perry cannot, and should not, be expected to move out of the way for Kiprusoff to position himself properly.
If such an event occurs inside the crease, it is unquestionably goaltender interference. But outside the crease, with the goaltender moving forward towards a player in a legal screen position, it is incidental contact.
Bad call from the officials.
Apparently, Ryan Getzlaf handed the invisibility cloak over to Brendan Morrison this week. But that's probably being a little too generous to Morrison, since he has not made an impact in a single game so far this season.
Chalk Morrison up as another questionable signing by Ducks GM Brian Burke. There is no problem with making questionable moves, but there is a problem when every questionable move you've made in the last two seasons has ended up being...bad.
By the way, Todd Bertuzzi scored a goal for the Flames in Sunday's game against the Ducks. He already has seven goals, and we're not even a quarter of the way through the season. He only had 14 goals in 68 games for the Ducks last season. No reason for Ducks fans to be bitter...no reason at all.
The Week Ahead
The Ducks have a "road" game on Tuesday against the Kings. Both teams have settled into their normal routines in the past week—the Ducks have been winning and the Kings have been losing. After that game, the Ducks will host St. Louis on Thursday and Dallas on Friday.
Image: Courtesy of Anaheim Ducks official website