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Saturday, October 6, 2007

Uninspired - Ducks Lose 4-0

Well that game reminded me of how the Ducks looked last January. They were listless and only occasionally motivated to play. Hopefully they will feel inspired by the fact that they will be playing against Pittsburgh tonight. Here is coverage of last nights game.

Picture of the game

Jay LaPrete / AP)

TSN Video - Link

Game Report and Video

Super Stats

Video - 700K



AP Coverage of the game

The Anaheim Ducks' World Tour took a wrong turn Friday night.

Rick Nash had two goals and a career-best four points and Pascal Leclaire stopped 28 shots to help the Columbus Blue Jackets beat the road-weary Ducks 4-0.

Asked if his team was tired after playing four games on two continents and in three arenas in less than a week, Ducks coach Randy Carlyle refused to take the easy way out.

"Those are excuses," he said. "That's the way it goes. We didn't have the energy that was necessary to compete at the level they played at."

Sergei Fedorov and Ron Hainsey each added a power-play goal and an assist for the Blue Jackets, opening their first full season under coach Ken Hitchcock.

The defending Stanley Cup champions looked tired and disorganized for the first two periods, which was to be expected after what they've been through this week. They opened the season by splitting two games with Los Angeles in London - England, not Ontario - last weekend. They flew to Detroit and lost in a shootout on Wednesday night before traveling on to Columbus. They complete the grueling road trip on Saturday night against Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins.

"They came at us right from the start of the game," forward Ryan Getzlaff said of the Blue Jackets. "We weren't prepared for it. We did a lot of things tonight and none of them were the right ones."

It was Leclaire's second career shutout. He missed most of last year with leg and knee injuries.

"We were right there in their face and stayed there all night," Leclaire said.

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LA Times Coverage

Try as they might to convince themselves that they're not feeling the effects of an unprecedented trip to open the season, the Ducks didn't put forth an convincing argument Friday night.
Looking as if they were skating around in slush rather than ice, the Ducks were inept throughout as the Columbus Blue Jackets rolled to a 4-0 victory at Nationwide Arena.

No one expected a repeat of their NHL-record 12-0-4 start, especially with goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere, center Samuel Pahlsson and defenseman Mathieu Schneider out with injuries and with Scott Niedermayer and Teemu Selanne at home watching on television in their favorite chairs.
But being schooled by the Blue Jackets, a franchise that has never played a playoff game? Being outplayed by the Detroit Red Wings is one thing, but this wasn't supposed to be in the cards.
"Tonight, they flat outplayed us," Ducks center Todd Marchant said. "We were flat from the start, and we finished flat.
The Stanley Cup champions knew they would be up against it after agreeing to start the season in London and take on additional road games on the way back home.
It didn't help that they would serve as the marquee home opener for Detroit, Columbus and Pittsburgh, whom they face tonight. The Blue Jackets, who've never finished above .500, figured to be the weak link in that chain.
"We knew that coming in," Marchant said of the schedule. "It wasn't like it all of a sudden was sprung upon us a couple of days ago. We knew that when training camp started. We knew it when the schedule came out in the summertime.

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MVN Analysis

The Ducks continue their extended road trip with a game in Columbus against the Blue Jackets. They were without Brandon Segal, however, who was sent to Portland yesterday. Historically the Ducks have struggled against the feisty Blue Jackets team and struggled in their building, which comes equipped with a brand new cannon to help celebrate goals. The Ducks did not play this game well, either, perhaps having jet lag catching up with them.

The first period was all Columbus. Goaltender Pascal LeClaire did not face a single shot on goal until 16 minutes into the period. Ilya Bryzgalov, on the other hand, faced 16 shots on goal. Two of those went in and the cannon boomed along with the crowd. Rick Nash scored at 6:44 with a deflection off of Shane Hnidy’s skate. The second goal came two minutes later on the power play from Sergei Fedorov. Coach Randy Carlyle decided it would be a good time to take his timeout of the game and snap a little sense into his team. It took a while longer, but the team started to get going in the final minutes, including a good power play late in the period.

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It is not about the fatigue according to the LA Times

Not often do NHL teams start a five-game, 14-day trip in England and finish it in Pittsburgh.
But that's what the Ducks took on when they signed up to start the regular season in London and requested some additional road games stateside on the way back to Anaheim.

The Ducks haven't been home since Sept. 24 and with that comes the concern of being worn out from over 10,000 miles of travel. Some players, such as defenseman Sean O'Donnell, said the concern is overblown.
"A lot of times, you're only as tired as your mind convinces yourself you are," O'Donnell said. "You're mind is a pretty powerful thing. I think if you look at this trip as it's a long way to go to start the year, you'll find yourself tired."
Ducks Coach Randy Carlyle said using fatigue as a reason for their sluggish play would only be an excuse.
"We try to take the proper steps to give them the best chance at recovery," Carlyle said. "We force them to do some things, but it's their responsibility to eat properly, to get the proper rest, to hydrate properly."
If there's anything that is making the Ducks weary, it's the many questions about being tired from the travel.
"That's the thing," O'Donnell said. "So many people are talking to us about it, asking us all the time and wondering what's going on. That where being a professional comes in.
"We're getting paid well to do what we do. You've got to put those things aside and just focus on what you've got to do."
The Ducks were generally mixed about the London experience, but it will always be special for Jonas Hiller, who won his first NHL start in a 4-1 victory over the Kings.

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I agree with this - Via AnaheimDuckFan

The game tonight against the Columbus Blue Jackets was exactly that. It was one of those horrendous games where you really just want to turn off the TV and walk away. Of course, as big a fan as I am, I couldn't do that. The Ducks had no heart it this game, and no will to win. Then again, even if they did have the heart or the will, there was no way the would win while taking 12 penalties (7 of which were lazy penalties). They looked completely lost in this game.

''They came at us right from the start of the game. We weren't prepared for it. We did a lot of things tonight and none of them were the right ones.'' - Ryan Getzlaf

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Chris Pronger pregame interview

Giggy not quite ready

Jean-Sebastien Giguere would love to tell his teammates and anyone else asking that he is ready to take his place in net.
For the moment, Giguere can't do that because the recovery from sports hernia surgery to correct his long-standing groin problems is a painstaking one. It is becoming apparent that a return for Wednesday's home opener against Boston is a long shot at best.
"Right now, it's day to day," Giguere said after Thursday's workout at the Columbus Blue Jackets' practice rink. "We have a big week of practice coming up with one game [next week].
"Hopefully at the end of the week, I can make myself game-ready."
Giguere was rewarded with a four-year, $24-million contract after he reaffirmed his status as the team's franchise goaltender. But he hasn't played competitively since the title-clinching Game 5 of the Stanley Cup finals.
Even though he has been facing shots in practice the last three days, the thought of aggravating the injury has become the bigger hurdle.
"I've got to try to put myself past the injury now and not think about it when I practice or skate and stuff like that," Giguere said. "A lot of times, that's the hardest part of having an injury. I've been through it many times now. I know that it's an important part of it."

Read the other part of this mishmash of an article here - Link