Showing posts with label Ryan Getzlaf. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ryan Getzlaf. Show all posts

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Predators Battle But Can't Defeat the Ducks

The Anaheim Ducks defeated the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena 5-2.

If one just looked at the score, you might conclude that the Ducks dominated the Predators. And while the Ducks prevailed on the scoreboard, the game was anything but a dominating contest.

It was a game of crazy bounces, as the first three goals of the game were...weird. Or lucky, depending on your perspective.

The Predators opened the scoring as Viktor Stalberg, returning to the line up after being out five games with an upper body injury, got his stick on a rebound of a Victor Bartley shot and slapped the puck toward the net, A sprawling Jonas Hiller stopped the puck with his body but the puck crawled over his chest and landed on the ice behind him. Hiller reached back and tried to control the puck but knocked it into the net to get the Predators on the board at 11:35 of the first period.

The Ducks tied it at 18:49 of the first period as Ryan Getzlaf threw the puck at the net and it glanced off the backside of Mike Fisher and re-directed past Carter Hutton.

The Ducks took a 2-1 lead as Corey Perry tried to backhand a pass from below the goal line that deflected off Bartley and over the shoulder of Hutton at 11:45 of the second period.

The third period opened with the Predators on the power play and Mike Fisher tallied with a slap shot from the slot over the shoulder of Hiller at 1:05 to tie the game at 2.

The Ducks regained the lead as Hampas Lindholm took a shot from the blue line that was re-directed by Emerson Etam in traffic at 4:51 of the third period.

The Ducks made it 4-2 as Mathieu Perreault was left alone at the front of the net while both teams battled for control of the puck on the boards. Daniel Winnick got control of the puck and quickly got the pass to Perreault who beat Hutton with a quick snap shot at 8:04 of the third.

Getzlaf sealed it with an empty net goal at 19:24 of the the third.

Some observations:

  • I thought Hutton played a solid game. The first two goals by the Ducks were flukes and the next two were quality goals that would be difficult for most any goalie to stop. Hutton is 6-2-2 in his last 10 games.

  • I liked the line of Stalberg, Simon Moser, and Colin Wilson. They has good chemistry and used their speed to create chances. Moving Stalberg off the fourth line has been a move that should have been made a long time ago, and tonight, this line was one of the best for the Predators. Moser picked up his first NHL point with an assist on Stalberg's goal.

  • Fisher's power play goal was the first power play tally for the Predators in three games.

  • The effort by the Predators tonight was outstanding. They were physical, moved the puck well, and out shot the Ducks 38-24. This game points out the dilemma that the Predators face; a hard working, gritty team faced a hard working, gritty team with exceptional offensive talent. And that offensive talent was the deciding factor in this game. Obviously, grit and effort are important, but it helps to have offensive talent to go along with those traits.

  • The Ducks have now defeated the Predators in five straight games.
The Predators now have 19 days off to rest and regroup.

They will need the time to recharge for the final push after the Olympic break.

My three stars:

1. Ryan Getzlaf

2. Jonas Hiller

3. Viktor Stalberg

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Predators Squander Two goal Lead in Loss to the Ducks

The Nashville Predators had an opportunity to do something only a handful of teams have done this season: defeat the Anaheim Ducks.

The Predators started that mission well, scoring 2 goals on 6 shots in the first period.

A brutal second period doomed the Predators as they gave up 4 goals en route to a 4-3 loss at Bridgestone Arena.

The Predators opened the scoring at 1:52 of the first period as Gabriel Bourque controlled the puck behind the Ducks net. He found Paul Gaustad, who split three Ducks players and beat Frederik Andersen glove side to give the Predators a 1-0 lead.

Craig Smith made it 2-0 at 2:22 of the first as he took a pass from Matt Cullen and whipped a shot past Andersen glove side.

The Ducks were sluggish in the first period, but their forecheck was working and was effective in bottling the Predators up for most of the first period. The Predators had to know that the Ducks would come out with more fire and push in the second period.

Did they ever.

The Ducks outshot the Predators 17-8 and controlled the play in the second period with their strong forecheck and offensive play.

The Ducks took just 55 seconds to get on the board in the second period as Ryan Getzlaf fired a shot into a narrow space over the glove of Predators netminder Marek Mazanec.

The ducks tied the game on Getzlaf's second goal at 4:36 of the period as he beat Mazanec badly to the glove side. Mazanec was unscreened but could not stop the shot.

The Predators took a 3-2 lead at 5:31 of the second as Craig Smith fired a shot toward the net from below the face off circle. The puck bounced off Rich Clune and past Andersen.

As the Predators have disappointingly done all season, they quickly gave up the tying goal as Getzlaf made a great pass to spring Corey Perry. Perry fired a shot toward Mazanec with no traffic in front but the shot beat him five hole.

The Ducks took a 4-3 lead on the power play as Patrick Maroon took the puck at the top of the crease and backhanded a pass to Teemu Selanne. Selanne buried the shot into the wide open net for the game winner at 18:52 of the second period.

The Predators had some good opportunities on the power play in the third period but could not get a puck past Andersen. The Predators out shot the Ducks 12-4 in the third period but could not finish their chances.

What had been a promising start to a pivotal contest saw the Predators squander an opportunity to get a much needed win.

Some observations:

  • With his goal, Paul Gaustad tallied his 200th point.

  • For the life of me, some of the line combinations, especially late in the game, made no sense. Why on earth was Rich Clune getting top line minutes in critical situations late in the game when you had more offensive minded players on the bench?

  • Craig Smith continues to play well. his goal off a nice pass from Matt Cullen showed some sweet hands and the shot was placed perfectly.

  • Note to David Poile: see what offensively skilled players can do. It is not enough to have guys on the roseter that are gritty, or "Predator hard" (whatever that is). You have to have guys that can finish and can put pucks into the net.

  • The second Getzlaf goal and the goal given up to Perry were brutal. Both came on unscreened shots that abused Mazanec. Those were shots that Mazanec has to stop.

  • The Predators were without Patric Hornqvist, who is day to day with an injury.

  • Colin Wilson is struggling badly. He is ineffective in the offensive zone and tonight registered one shot on goal. he was a -3 and played only 12:03 with one shot on goal.

  • Roman Josi showed his skill at carrying the puck. Josi is one of the few Predators that is reliable in getting the puck through the neutral zone and carrying the puck through traffic. He logged 25:35 TOI tonight.

  • The Ducks forecheck caused problems for the Predators all night. That effort is one the Predators attempt to emulate every game. The difference between the two teams is that the Ducks can transition from gritty forechecking to dynamic offense. That is something to which the Predators can only aspire.
This is a disappointing loss in that the Predators folded in the face of the relentless pressure and talent of the Ducks.

It is two points that the team cannot afford to give away.

My three stars:

1. Ryan Getzlaf

2. Craig Smith

3. Matt Cullen

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Predators Go to the SO (Again), Lose to the Ducks 3-2

The Nashville Predators were looking to rebound from a 3-0 drubbing by the St. Louis Blues as they traveled to the Honda Center to take on the Anaheim Ducks. The Ducks were flattened by the Vancouver Canucks 5-0 in their last game on Friday night.

The Predators have won 6 consecutive regular season games against the Ducks and were attempting to keep that streak alive in their first meeting of the season.

The Predators had Pekka Rinne in net, while the Ducks went with Viktor Fasth as Jonas Hiller had the start the night before.

The key to the Predators getting back on track was simple: they had to control the puck, get through the neutral zone, and get shots on net.

The Predators did just that with their fourth line on the ice as Brandon Yip broke in 2 on 1 with Rich Clune. Fasth stopped Yip's initial shot but gave up a juicy rebound that Yip gathered in a fired into the net to give the Predators a 1-0 lead at 1:52 of the first period. This was Yip's first goal of the year.

The remainder of the first period saw both teams trade some good scoring chances. In particular, Pekka Rinne had to come up with a big save off a flurry in front of the net to keep the Ducks off the board. The shots on goal were 7 apiece in the first period.

For the Predators, they had better jump and skated much better than they did in the game against the Blues.

The Predators opened the second period with good jump and had a decided advantage in the offensive zone. Although they peppered Fasth with shots, they couldn't get a puck past the rookie netminder. It was going to be important for the Predators to keep up the offensive pressure in this game.

Although the Predators had the 1-0 lead and had controlled much of the play in the second period, the lead felt uneasy as the Ducks were just one good shot from tying the game. That sense of foreboding became a reality with just 32 seconds remaining in the period as Cam Fowler took a hard wrist shot from the point that was re-directed by Stompin' Bobby Ryan past Rinne to tie the game at one.

The shots were 6 for each team in the second period.

The third period was going to be a test of character for the Predators. They had to keep up the pressure and continue to skate hard. 

The third period was wide open, with both teams getting some good scoring chances and both keepers equal to the task.

The Predators broke the tie at 10:09 of the third period as they had good offensive zone presence. Kevin Klein took a shot from the high slot and Fasth gave up a rebound that David Legwand gathered in slid a backhand in to give the Predators a 2-1 lead.

The Ducks tied the game just over a minute later as Corey Perry drove the left side of the Predators defense and was able to get a pass to Daniel Winnik. Winnik out worked Hal Gill to get his stick on the puck and tipped it past Rinne, who had no chance on the shot.

Neither team could score, although each had several good chances, and for the third time in five games, the Predators were heading to overtime.

Shots were 19-19 at the end of the regulation time.

The Predators lost Patric Hornqvist in the third period as he took a Shea Weber slapshot off his thigh and was able to fight through that injury, but was lost when Ryan Getzlaf fell on his leg at an awkward angle.

In the extra period, both the Predators and the Ducks had some glorious scoring chances, but neither team could capitalize. So for the third time this season, the Predators were heading to a shootout and were looking for their first victory in the skills competition.

The Predators sent Marty Erat, Mike Fisher, and David Legwand out in the shootout, and all were stopped by Fasth. Ryan Getzlaf was stopped by Rinne, but Corey Perry scored the lone goal to give the Ducks the win.

This was a much better effort by the Predators. Once again, they desperately need to finish some of their scoring chances, but I cannot fault their jump and their effort.

This is a team that continues to gel. It is going to be important for them to gel quickly and begin to get some regulation wins.

My three stars:

1. Viktor Fasth

2. Brandon Yip

3. Daniel Winnik

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Ducks Downed by the Predators 3-1

The Nashville Predators finished their west coast road swing with a visit to the Duck Pond, otherwise known as the Honda Center, to face another dangerous team in the Anaheim Ducks. The Predators lead the season series 3-0 and Anaheim would like for nothing better than to exact a measure of revenge against the Predators.

Anders Lindback got the start in net for the Predators, while the Ducks went with Jonas Hiller. For the Predators, it was going to be important to get off to a good start, give Lindback some help, and play a full 60 minutes of hockey.

With Bobby Ryan in the box for high sticking, the Predators looked to get their power play clicking. Instead, it was the Ducks that struck shorthanded as Ryan Getzlaf fed the puck to Devonte Smith-Pelly on a 2 on 1 and the Smith Pelly buried the puck to give the Ducks a 1-0 lead at 7:32 of the first period.

Once again, a slow start was the bane of the Predators as the did not get their first shot on goal until 10:45 had elapsed in the first period. Unacceptable and frustrating, the Predators are a team that recently has looked like they are just not ready to play when the puck drops.

The Predators finally got their legs going and started to generate some good scoring chances. Unfortunately, they could not get a puck past Hiller, but their response in the second half of the first period was heartening.

For the first period, the Ducks out shot the Predators 9-8 and led 1-0 due to the gaffe on the power play.

Just 33 seconds into the second period, Marty Erat drove the net and was shoved into Hiller and had no chance to avoid the contact. Erat was nevertheless called for goaltender interference, a very weak call. Fortunately for the Predators, they were able to kill the penalty.

Once again, the Ducks, aided by the power play opened the second period as they did the first period, with more jump and desire than the Predators. They had a decided territorial advantage and had the first 6 shots of the period to none for the Predators.

Anders Lindback made several huge saves, one on Jason Blake and one on Kyle Palmieri to keep the Preds at a one goal deficit in the second. Once again, Lindback was waiting for his teammates to give him some goal support.

The second period was scoreless thanks to the effort by Lindback. The Ducks out shot the Predators 13-8 in the second period. Once again, the second period was 20 minutes of frustration for the Predator faithful as the Predators lost puck battles and did not seem to have any desire to compete with the Ducks.

The Predators finally showed some jump and compete just 1:19 into the period as David Legwand found Patric Hornqvist streaking alone down the slot. Hornqvist gathered the puck in and roofed the shot over the shoulder of Hiller to tie the game at 1.

Now we would see if that goal and that effort energized the Predators.

At 10:27, the Predators answered that question, as Marty Erat hustled to take off an icing call and flipped the puck to Ryan Suter. Suter's shot could not be controlled by Hiller, and with the puck in the blue paint, Mike Fisher hacked at the puck and slid it under Hiller to give the Predators a 2-1 lead.

Just prior to that score, Lindback came up with a huge save on a partial breakaway to preserve the tie.

Now the Predators were playing with some jump and were starting to look like... well, the Predators. They were starting to win puck battles and control the puck in the zone and were firing shots on the Ducks net. This is how they have to play if they are going to win games, and it was the way they were playing now.

The Predators defense broke down and left Kyle Palmieri all alone in front of the net, and Lindback came up with a critical stop at the 5:50 mark of the third. Lindback had been spectacular tonight, making some amazing saves to keep the Predators in the game.

The Ducks pulled Hiller with 1:40 remaining in the game for the extra attacker, and the Ducks were swarming. The Ducks short circuited that effort as Bobby Ryan was called for hooking with 45 seconds left in the period.

David Legwand executed his patented scoring play- the empty net goal- with 16 seconds remaining to give the Predators a 3-1 lead and seal the win. The half empty Honda Center looked as if a bomb threat had been called in as it quickly started to empty out.

In the third period, the Predators out shot the Ducks 11-9, and for the game were out shot by the Ducks 31-27.

The Predators victory over the Ducks was not a thing of beauty, yet it was a most beautiful win. Completely outplayed for long stretches of the game, the Predators dug down and gutted out a much needed win. With this victory, the Predators swept the Ducks in the season series.

This two points ties them with Detroit at 92 points and moves them into fourth place in the Western Conference by virtue of one more ROW than the Wings.

The Predators manage to capture 5 of the possible 8 points on the west coast trip. Those 5 points are precious to the Predators as they are fighting for home ice advantage in the playoffs.

More importantly, this game has to be a confidence builder for the Predators. They reached down and got a win in a game where their compete level was not the best and where they struggled at times. The third period in particular showed this squad that they are difficult to defeat when they play Predator hockey.

There are 10 games left in the season and 20 vital points on the line. They are yours for the taking, boys.

If you play Predator hockey.

My three stars:

1. Anders Lindback

2. Mike Fisher

3. Patric Hornqvist

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Predators Outlast the Ducks 4-3, Take 2-1 Series Lead

The Anaheim Ducks ventured into Bridgestone Arena and found out that the fans in Nashville aren't granola eating, patchouli wearing, tie dyed types as the raucous sellout crowd willed the Predators to victory over the Ducks by a 4-3 margin. Frankly, the game was much closer than it should have been as the Predators dominated the Ducks in all phases of the game.

With the win, the Predators now have a 2-1 lead in the series.

It is apparent that the Ducks need the power play to generate their offense. Five on five, the Ducks have been quashed by the Predators. Should the Predators decide to stop taking stupid penalties- I'm talking to you Shane O'Brien- this series could be over quickly.

Ray Emery got the start for the Ducks, and he was outstanding early on, making some big saves to keep the Predators off the board. Pekka Rinne, on the other hand, had plenty of time to listen to his I-Pod and relax as the the Predators only allowed 10 shots through two periods. Although Rinne didn't get a tremendous amount of work- the Ducks only mustered 16 shots total for the game- he was still challenged and was called upon to make some big saves for the Predators.

The Predators fired 37 shots on Emery.

The Ducks were without Stompy McStomperson Stompin' Bobby Ryan, who is serving a two game suspension for an egregious stomp with his skate on the foot of Jonathan Blum in game two.

The Predators opened the game with good pressure in the offensive zone and a stifling defense that throttled the Ducks. As good as the pressure was by the Predators, they could not get a puck past Ray Emery, who was solid and made some good saves to thwart the Predators.

That would change in a 38 second span of the first period.Marty Erat would lift a puck over the shoulder of Emery at the 15:00 mark while the Predators were on the power play. Erat tallied with just 8 seconds left on the man advantage as he took a pass from Cody Franson and was able to beat Emery with the high shot.

On the next shift, Jordin Tootoo would drive hard to the net and bang a shot off the post. Tootoo followed his shot and backhanded the puck into the net to give the Predators a 2-0 advantage.

The Predators would continue their domination of the Ducks in the second period, creating some good scoring chances but unable to pot the nest goal. While the Predators looked in control of the game, one knew that the Ducks would assert themselves at some point in the contest.

That would occur with just under two minutes left in the second period. The Predators took an ill-advised penalty for elbowing- I'm looking at you Shane O'Brien- and the Ducks made them pay. Teemu Selanne was the beneficiary of a nice cross ice pass from Corey Perry to beat Rinne to make the score 2-1 at 18:10.

Selanne would strike again just 30 seconds later as he tallied an even strength goal off an assist from Perry. This was just the Ducks 4th even strength goal in the series, and we were knotted at 2-2 going into the third period.

The third period would see the Predators take a 3-2 lead on a goal by David Legwand, his first of the playoffs.Legwand's tally came at 5:25 of the third period off an assist from Ryan Suter.

Anaheim tied the game at 6:48 of the third as Saku Koivu launched a shot from the point. The puck hit a falling Matt Blelesky and caromed off the skate of Cody Franson and past Rinne to tie the game at 3. At best, this was a fluke goal, but a goal nevertheless.

The Predators would take a 4-3 lead as Mike Fisher nailed the game winner off a beautiful pass from Sergei Kostitsyn at 10:21 of the third. Kostitsyn had the puck outside the faceoff circle and spied Fisher driving the net. He rifled a nifty backhand pass to Fisher who beat Emery for the game winner.

The final 10:21 of the contest saw the Predators defense choke the life out the Ducks, as they mustered only three shots on goal in the remainder of the contest. Saku Koivu was called for a hooking penalty at 17:10, effectively limiting the chances of the Ducks to get Emery off the ice for the extra attacker.

As this series unfolds, the Predators have shown that they can absolutely dominate the Ducks five on five. The key for the Predators is to stay out of the box, as the Ducks are dangerous and have made the Predators pay for their crimes.

I'm talking to you, Shane O'Brien.

It was good to see the third and fourth lines have such a strong game. Jordin Tootoo has been very strong in this series, and it was good to see him rewarded with a goal tonight. The Predators are going to have to continue to have strong play out of these lines in this series.

The acquisition of Mike Fisher looks better and better. Fisher now has 3 goals in this series, has been solid on defense, and tonight continued to frustrate Ryan Getzlaf. Getzlaf got so frustrated, he dropped the gloves with Fisher, who got in some very good shots before the linesmen stepped in to separate them.

The Predators are going to have to play another strong game in the fourth game. I expect another push back from the Ducks. If the Predators play their game, it won't matter. They are better than the Ducks.

This win feels good. You got to get two more in this series, boys.

Continue to take care of business. Continue to play the strong game that you are playing. Continue to frustrate the Ducks and this series is yours.

Oh yeah, stay out of the box.

The Ducks can't score otherwise.

My three stars:

1. Mike Fisher

2. Teemu Selanne

3. Jordin Tootoo

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Predators Hand the Ducks a 5-3 Victory

The Nashville Predators handed the second game of their Stanley Cup Series to the Anaheim Ducks by a margin of 5-3 to even their series at one. The Predators gave up a 5 on 3 power play as well as a power play goal and a goal one second after a power play had expired .

Nashville would open with their stalwart, Pekka Rinne, in net, while the Ducks would counter with a new netminder, Ray Emery.

The Predators opened the game in the worst possible way as Marty Erat was called for a ticky tack slashing call and that was subsequently followed up by a stupid slash by Shane O'Brien. Corey Perry tallied on the 5 on 3 advantage at  5:24. Jonathan Blum failed to clear a puck on a bad bounce and Teemu Selanne capitalized with the Predators still a man down to quickly make it  2-0 Ducks. Rinne had no chance on either of the Ducks goals, and for a while it appeared as if the Ducks were only going to be able to get a puck past him on the power play.

The Predators scored to make it 2-1 on a shot from Shea Weber, but the goal was waived off on a very close goaltender interference call against David Legwand.

As the period ended, the Predators were going to skate off the ice knowing they had not played a solid period of hockey. Now the test for the Predators was to going to be their ability to regroup and keep the game from getting out of hand.

The Predators brought the deficit to 1 with a goal on the power play from Shea Weber. The Predators did a good job o f getting the puck on net with traffic and that effort was enough to get the puck past Emery.

With the Predators threatening to seize momentum, the Ducks quickly swung Mo back their way when Bobby Ryan got behind the defense and beat Rinne with a follow up shot after a pad save at 7:12 of the second to make it 3-1.

The Ducks extended the lead to 4-1 as Ryan Getzlaf scored an even strength goal at 15:54. Game over, right?

The third period would prove that the Predators were not out of the game. Patric Hornqvist scored while doing the tough work in front of the net at 1:30 of the period. Hornqvist gathered in a rebound of of a Shea Weber shot and potted the goal to make it 4-2 Ducks.

Early in the period, Marty Erat was butt ended by Sheldon Brookbank and lost four teeth. Was there a call on the play? C'mon, this is the Ducks. This is their modus operendi. There was no call. Kudos to Erat for not missing a shift.

Joel Ward brought the Predators to within 1 at 4-3 with a shot from the slot that beat Emery at 10:17 of the third.

The Predators battled and generated some good scoring chances, but could not get another puck past Emery. Bobby Ryan sealed the win with an empty net goal.

As for the aforementioned Mr. Ryan. he was the perpetrator of a stomp on the top of the foot of Jonathan Blum in a scrum along the boards. The stomp was clearly caught on camera, and late word is that the NHL is going to review the play for supplemental discipline.

The Predators handed this game to the Ducks. Keep this factoid in mind: the Ducks have scored 6 goals; only 2 have been at even strength.

I don't think the Ducks can beat the Predators 5 on 5. So what does this mean? Simply put, the Predators have to stay out of the box. Stop taking stupid penalties and go back to simple Predator hockey: shoot the puck, crash the net, and make life miserable for Emery, Ellis, or whomever the Ducks drag out of the stands to play net.

I hope the boys learned from this tonight. Learn that you can't take stupid penalties; learn that you are going to have to amp up your intensity; and learn that you are better than the Ducks at even strength.

The Predators were not going to sweep the Ducks. They can beat them.

If you don't hand them the game.

My three stars:

1. Bobby Ryan

2. Shea Weber

3. Patric Hornqvist