Anaheim Ducks Roundup, week of 11/24/14-11/30/14
11/25/14 Anaheim win over Calgary: 3-2
The Ducks got redemption over former goaltender, Jonas Hiller on the night and won their third straight game. Though The ducks were dominant through 2 periods, they again had to hold tightly in the third and only won by 1 after rolling to an early 3 goal lead. Ducks jumped out to a commanding lead off of goals from Beleskey, Perry, and Palmieri. Calgary got third period goals off of a TJ Brodie shot that deflected off of Devante Smith-Pelly and another deflection from Jiri Hudler, this time off of teammate Mark Giordano's slapper. Andersen was his usual self, making 34 saves on the upstart Flames. This game was a tell tale of Anaheim's play lately, when they win it has mostly not been from a full 60 minute effort. If there is anything to be happy about other than Andersen, it is Matt Beleskey scoring his 10th goal on the season, one short of his career high of 11 in 60 games from 2009-2010.
11/28/14 Anaheim loss to Chicago: 4-1
The Ducks did not have it tonight, an unusual blowout at home left the Ducks with a huge L. Freddy Andersen again made 30+ saves (34) Freddy did all he could to keep the Ducks in this game but the offensive onslaught was too much for Anaheim to match. Hampus Lindholm was the lone scorer for the Ducks and Blackhawk goals were scored by Brad Richards, Patrick Kane (2) and Andrew Shaw. Anaheim is hurting, but as professional athletes it is not excuse to be putting up sub par performances. Ryan Kesler did not make any excuses saying the Ducks have plenty of "NHL caliber players" in their lineup. It is always good to have your goaltender be your best player but not at this wide of a margin, Freddy starts nearly every game and chances are he will not be putting pucks in the net, the whole team needs to show up and for more than 1 or 2 periods. With such a capable lineup, it's just not okay for them to be performing this way.
11/29/14 Anaheim loss to San Jose: 6-4
This is not the blowout loss that was sustained on black Friday, but a loss is a loss and The Ducks need to find their game again. It is a good sign to see the Ducks doing their best to erase a 4 goal difference, but that kind of loss hurts that much more, being close to a comeback and losing in the end. Freddy Andersen started AGAIN but this time let in 5 goals off of 19 shots before being replaced by Jason Labarbera. The 2nd half of this game gives Ducks fans hope, getting the game to 5-4 before an empty net goal by Salisbury Hockey alum, Matt Nieto. Corey Perry led the group with 2 goals, also scoring were Captain Ryan Getzlaf and Matt Beleskey who tied his career high out put in 35 less games than his previous mark in 2009-2010. Getzy and Perry agreed that they hadn't been good leaders, they did their best leading in this one, taking over the game just like these two olympians and all starts can, putting the team on their backs. This game marked the Ducks debut of veteran defender Eric Brewer a day after being acquired for a 3rd round pick in the upcoming draft, this gives the Ducks a calm, veteran presence for the backend, a former captain who is essential after the Ducks put Clayton Stoner, Frank Beauchemin, Ben Lovejoy, and Mark Fistric on the Injured Reserve. San Jose goals came from Logan Couture (2), Matt Nieto, Tommy Wingels, Joe Pavelski, and Tomas Hertl. The Ducks close out the week 1-2 and look to get back in the win column on Monday against The ever so tough Boston Bruins.
Matt Beleskey is on fire, scoring 11 goals in just 25 games, this is nice to see from a guy who has mostly been a role player and first line fill in over the course of his career. It is especially nice to see Matt step up while the Ducks are riddled with injuries.
Freddy Andersen has played well under pressure aside from his sub par performance against the Sharks, with injuries to Johnny Gibson and now Jason LaBarbera, Anaheim will keep rolling with Big Fred, this is good news and bad news because Freddy can not put pucks in the net, and he will inevitably have tiresome games and unsuccessful performances.
Decimated Blue line, I was surprised that the Ducks made another trade for a D man until checking back at their IR, The Ducks currently have 4 veteran defenseman on the IR which is incredibly brutal knowing the important roles those guys can play and contribute to the young guns currently on the roster.