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Sunday, September 23, 2007

The Ducks are back. Win 5-0

So not only do am I over my cold, the Ducks get back to old form by dominating the Canucks 5-0. The team looked great and most importantly did not take a lot of dumb, lazy penalties like they did against the Sharks. Jonas Hiller looked good out there but Bobby Ryan(4pts) and Getzlaf(2 goals) shined. There was some passion with multiple fights and scrums along the way. It was a fun game to watch and I am glad I got to go. Another piece of good news is that Beauchmin played for nearly 23 minutes tonight.

So one quick bit, I think the new top 2 lines worked tonight. Perry, McDonald, Kunitz making up the skilled no. 1 line and Ryan, Bertuzzi and Getlaf making up the grinding second line. We will see when we play LA in 6 days, but they did look good against the Vancouver's injury ridden defense.

So now for tonight's links. I've got game coverage, some more analysis of the Ducks and an interview with Earl Sleek of BOC.

Photos of the game courtesy of Yahoo Photos (Yep, there was more than one great photo!)

The Anaheim Ducks Official game coverage

ANAHEIM – With the start of the regular season just six days away, the Ducks picked a fine time to raise their game.

Anaheim got two early goals from Ryan Getzlaf and four assists from linemate Bobby Ryan in rolling to a 5-0 victory over Vancouver at Honda Center. The line of Getzlaf, Ryan and Todd Bertuzzi accounted for nine points, as Bertuzzi had a goal and two assists. They were Bertuzzi's first points of the preseason.

Jonas Hiller recorded a shutout with 40 saves, including several tremendous stops. Hiller has now saved 88 out of 91 for a .970 save percentage.

Getzlaf got the first of his two markers just 4:27 into the contest. After Kent Huskins’ slap shot from the right point bounced off Vancouver goalie Curtis Sanford, Getzlaf poked it back in through a small opening. Ducks forward Todd Bertuzzi was pushed into Sanford, keeping him from seeing the puck.

Getzlaf got another one 12 minutes later, off a nice pass from Ryan. Getzlaf’s first shot hit Sanford, but Getzlaf got his own rebound, came around the back of the cage and stuffed in the wraparound.


Super Stats


Read the rest here - Link

CBC has the AP coverage of the game

ANAHEIM - Ryan Getzlaf scored twice and Jonas Hiller made 40 saves as the Anaheim Ducks closed their exhibition season with a 5-0 victory over the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday night.

Bobby Ryan, the second overall pick behind Sidney Crosby in the 2005 draft, had four assists for the Ducks.

Todd Bertuzzi had a goal and two assists for Anaheim in his first game against Vancouver since being traded by the Canucks to the Florida Panthers in June 2006. Bertuzzi played eight seasons with the Canucks from 1998-2006.

The Ducks will travel to London on Monday in advance of their two-game, season-opening series against the Los Angeles Kings next weekend. The Kings wrapped up the U.S. portion of their pre-season play Saturday with a 3-2 shootout win against Colorado in Las Vegas.

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MVN has their analysis of the game

The Ducks went into their final pre-season game this evening against the Vancouver Canucks hoping to improve upon a 2-3-1 record. This was the last game before the points matter and the results count. Tomorrow they will leave for London, England, in preparation for their opening regular season games against the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday and Sunday. Before they go, the Ducks still need to make at least four more cuts to the roster, so players like Brandon Segal, Ryan Carter, Drew Miller, Bobby Ryan and Petteri Wirtanen needed to make a good impression so that they are not one of the four to be cut.

Jonas Hiller got the nod in goal, with his back up in Gerald Coleman. Hiller will be backing up Ilya Bryzgalov in London as Jean-Sebastian Giguere will not be ready to play the first few games. Giguere is still recovering from hernia surgery in early August and is making slower progress than hoped. Curtis Sanford manned the nets for Vancouver.

Instead of having Corey Perry and Getzlaf together on the same line, the Ducks continue to experiment with Perry on the top line with Chris Kunitz and Andy McDonald. Getzlaf continues to be teamed up with Todd Bertuzzi and Bobby Ryan. That line has been coming together with Ryan scoring his first pre-season goal in the last game against the Sharks and Getzlaf scoring the first goal of this game at 4:27. Getzlaf got his second goal on the power play at 16:28, a goal that was reviewed as it was unclear if it was a hand pass before it went in. After some review, it was determined that the puck had deflected off another player before going into the back of the net. Hiller was able to stop all 16 shots that he faced in the first period, keeping the score 2-0.

Read the rest here - Link

The Vancouver Sun has the Canuck's side

ANAHEIM, Calif. - Pre-season isn't about winning, especially to teams that are losing.

But it can be about momentum and urgency and cohesiveness as teams build towards the regular season. After their dismal California weekend, the disjointed Vancouver Canucks are at a dead stop as the National Hockey League season approaches.

With nine players out injured, including four of their six veteran defencemen, the Canucks aren't good enough to beat teams with a genuine NHL lineup like the one the Anaheim Ducks iced for Sunday's 5-0 victory over Vancouver. But the Canucks didn't look especially hungry to compete here or in San Jose, where Vancouver lost 3-1 on Saturday.

Sunday's effort was actually a significant upgrade on Saturday's, although the bar was set disappointingly low in San Jose, where Vancouver was outshot 37-10 and could have lost by a touchdown had Canuck goalie Roberto Luongo not been superb.

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CBS Sportsline has a look at the Ducks via the Sports Xchange

On the heels of his sparkling play last season, particularly in the playoffs, the Ducks gave Jean-Sebastien Giguere a four-year, $24 million contract. Other than his difficulty in shootouts, an issue that is more than balanced by a 12-1 career record in playoff overtimes, really the only valid knock on Giguere throughout his career has been a history of groin and leg injuries. The latest is a sports hernia that necessitated surgery in early August. It could sideline Giguere at the start of the season and, more importantly, could impact his ability to play well early in the season. As long as Giguere is healthy, he might not be in the highest tier of NHL goalies, but he's certainly at the top of the next group.

With Giguere's new contract came uncertainty for backup Ilya Bryzgalov, who has filled in admirably when called upon the past two seasons. Good enough to be a starter on many other NHL teams, Bryzgalov could very well be trade bait, though the luxury of having both he and Giguere has paid off handsomely each of the past two post-seasons. If Bryzgalov is dealt, highly regarded Swiss import Jonas Hiller figures to step into the backup role.

Read the rest here - Link has a great interview with Earl Sleek of BOC.

We begin our series of previews with the Stanley Cup Champions, the Anaheim Ducks. For help in previewing their season, we look no further than Battle of California's Earl Sleek. Earl talked to us about his favorite moment from the Ducks 2006-07 championship season, the possibility of retirement of two key players, and the use of the word "Schneidermayer"
1. At what moment did you realize your team's season had gone to hell last year?
Well, the Ducks never really got to hell last year, but as for the moment when I realized that the Ducks were going to be champions, it was after Game 4 in Ottawa. Not only did Game 4 reveal the team's character (another Pronger-suspended win), but it put the Senators on the brink of elimination. In last year's playoffs, the first team to face elimination lost every series.
2. If You Ran the NHL's TV Department, Name One Thing You'd Change About the Broadcasts.
They'd be on ESPN. It's not so much a personal concern (I'll watch hockey on any channel), but using Versus as a national outlet just cements the NHL as a second-rate league. As for telecasts themselves, I'd demand that player interviews try to get away from the generic-question, generic-response format that's become way too prevalent.
3. Name One NHL Penalty that You Would Legalize and Why?
Even if I were a fan of another team, I'd get rid of the Instigator Penalty. I am a believer in enforcers and fighters, and this regulation compromises and complicates their role. Of course, for the punch-happy Ducks, I have plenty of incentive to pick on this rule, but even as a fan of the game I think it's useless.

Read the rest here - Link