Your source for the best in Anaheim Ducks News, Stories, Events, Pictures and Video.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Post Game News

Here is more news and analysis from last nights game.

MVN Analysis of the Game

After a much needed day of rest, the Ducks resumed the pre-season routine with a game against their Pacific Division rivals, the San Jose Sharks. With a roster pared down to 31 players from 49, the Ducks were able to dress the majority of players who will be in the line up at the start of the season.

Jonas Hiller started in goal for the Ducks, with Thomas Greiss in goal for the Sharks. Both goalies stayed in net for the entire game and the Swiss goalie and the German goalie both did well, although they did not see too many shots in the first two periods. Todd Bertuzzi and Drew Miller alternated between the top two lines and split playing time between Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry or Andy McDonald and Chris Kunitz. The Ducks are still looking for someone on the top line to fill in the hole that Teemu Selanne’s unofficial retirement has left. Getzlaf and Perry also have a hole in their line as linemate Dustin Penner went to the Edmonton Oilers in August. Bertuzzi is comfortable playing on either line and fits well on both.

In spite of a combined total of 7 shots on goal in the first period, there were also plenty of missed shots. Most notably was a gaping wide net right in front of Todd Marchant who whiffed on the puck not once but twice and the scoring opportunity was gone. In the second period, the shot total did not improve dramatically and the majority of the period saw 5 on 5 hockey, a rare thing indeed for the Ducks of late. Kent Huskins took two successive penalties with less than 5:00 minutes to play in the period.

Read the rest here - Link

The OC Register has their take on the game and a look at Petteri Wirtanen

ANAHEIM - As competition for the few available Ducks roster spots entered the final stretch of three exhibition games, one candidate who didn't necessarily figure to still be in the mix is Finnish-born center Petteri Wirtanen.

And yet, there was Wirtanen on the ice Wednesday night when the Ducks (2-2-1) dropped a 1-0 decision to the San Jose Sharks at Honda Center.

Dennis Packard scored for San Jose (1-0-1). Despite playing with something close to their season-opening lineup, the Ducks managed only 19 shots against Sharks rookie goaltender Thomas Greiss.

With exhibitions remaining Friday at San Jose and Sunday at home against the Vancouver Canucks before the Ducks leave for London and their Sept. 29-30 NHL regular season-opening, two-game set against the Kings, Wirtanen is among six forwards vying for three or four jobs.

Wirtanen, 21, didn't hurt his cause in Monday's 3-2, overtime victory at Vancouver, scoring two goals, including the winner, and adding an assist while skating between veteran winger Brad May and rugged George Parros. That same trio got another look against the Sharks.

"That's all part of the process, to find the individuals that we feel are going to give us the best chance for success when we open in London," Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said.

A 6-foot-1 195-pounder, Wirtanen envisions himself as the same type of player as Ducks center Samuel Pahlsson, a finalist for last season's Selke Trophy as the NHL's top defensive forward and deserving of front-runner status for the award this season after his Stanley Cup playoff heroics.

Read the rest here - Link

Dan Wood of the OC Register has something to say about the Ducks recent performance

Ducks coach Randy Carlyle spoke Wednesday morning about what he wanted to see from his team in its final three exhibition games, beginning with Wednesday night’s matchup against the San Jose Sharks at Honda Center. “Passion, grit and more overall responsibility” headed the list. So what did Carlyle get in a 1-0 defeat, a game in which the Ducks skated pretty much the lineup they will go with in their regular-season opener Sept. 29 against the Kings in London, and the Sharks iced a mish-mash of veterans and rookies? “I wouldn’t say I would be totally impressed with the passion that was displayed,” Carlyle said. Talk about an understatement “We tried at times, but we complicated things,” Carlyle said. The Ducks generated only 19 shots against San Jose rookie goaltender Thomas Greiss, including just seven in the opening 40 minutes.

Read the rest here - Link

The AP report

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) - Dennis Packard scored on a rebound with 4:52 left in the third period and Thomas Greiss made 19 saves, leading the San Jose Sharks to a 1-0 pre-season victory over the Stanley Cup champion Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday night.

Patrick Rissmiller carried the puck into the right circle and took a wrist shot that bounced off goalie Jonas Hiller, but Anaheim defenceman Todd Bertuzzi checked Packard into the crease area and the puck slid across the goal line.

The Ducks had four power plays, but two ended shortly after they began. In the first period, Bertuzzi received a hooking penalty just eight seconds after San Jose's Doug Murray was sent off for hooking. In the third period, Maxim Kondratriev was whistled for hooking 10 seconds after a hooking penalty to Sharks wing Mike Iggulden.

Two penalties were called in the second period, both against Anaheim defenceman Kent Huskins about four minutes apart. But the Sharks came up empty on both power plays and were 0-for-5 overall with the man advantage.

Read the rest here - Link

The San Jose Mercury News also has coverage

ANAHEIM - The phrase "Stanley Cup Champion Ducks" is still hard to swallow for many in the Bay Area. It was a bitter sight for the Sharks and their fans watching San Jose's fiercest rival hoist hockey's Holy Grail around the ice last June.

But now that Anaheim's summer Cup party is over, the question is whether the Ducks will experience any sort of hangover. And not that anyone in Northern California is shedding tears, there has been no lack of drama in Duck-land.

The Anaheim team that the Sharks defeated Wednesday night 1-0 in an exhibition game is considerably different from the one that beat Ottawa in the finals a few months ago.

Captain Scott Niedermayer and Teemu Selanne, who scored 48 goals last season, haven't been in training camp as they continue to contemplate retirement. The Ducks lost top young wing Dustin Penner when they didn't match a surprising, $21.25 million offer sheet from Edmonton. Veteran defenseman Mathieu Schneider, signed as insurance if Niedermayer doesn't come back, broke his left ankle and is out at least four weeks. Goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere is recovering from sports hernia surgery.

And just to make things interesting, Anaheim opens the regular season with the ultimate trip - two games in London.

"It's plain hard to win the Cup once, let alone twice," Sharks Coach Ron Wilson said. "And the hardest thing in the new NHL is keeping a successful team together. But they won the Stanley Cup. That's permanent. If they finish last in the league this year, it still doesn't diminish what they did."

Read the rest here - Link

BACL of flickr has posted some pictures from last nights game. See them here - Link