Monday, May 08, 2006

No goals, no contest

Ilya Bryzgalov continued his mastery over opposition scorers, as the Anaheim Mighty Ducks goaltender recorded his third consecutive NHL Playoff shut out, leading his Ducks to a 3-0 victory over the Colorado Avalanche.

Brygalov’s shutting down of the Avs, tied him for an NHL record with Frank McCool of the 1945 Toronto Maple Leafs, who stepped up as an unheralded rookie and put together his own streak as the Leafs collected the 45 Stanley Cup. While it’s a little early for Bryzgalov to worry about a Stanley Cup final, taking the record of consecutive shut outs for his own is certainly within grasp in game three on Tuesday in Denver.

As for Sunday’s match up it was once again an impressive display of domination by the Ducks who are playing Randy Carlyle’s system to perfection, the held Colorado to only ten shots over two periods of play, Colorado finally solving a bit of the riddle in the third with an outburst of twelve shots but yet no goals. They didn’t get their first shot on net until the 7 minute mark of the first period, which goes to show how much of a defensive lock down the Ducks can put in place. Beyond Bryzgalov’s net mastery, the Ducks have been solid in their own end, the defense have done a very good job of blocking shots and moving the puck out of the end, the forwards come back and pick up their assignments al of which combines to seemingly confuse and control the Avalanche attack.

As good as they looked against Dallas in round one; the Avs seem out of their depth all of a sudden in round two, something that must have Joel Quennville scratching his head. All of that offensive power that they unleashed on the Stars has no impact on the Duck style of play, until the Avs figure out a solution to that and to Bryzgalov things are going to continue to go the way of the Ducks. They seemingly can out skate, out hit and out score the Avs with relative ease, if they don’t change that pattern soon they’ll be out of the playoffs. Colorado at times seem, to be doing everything in slow motion, always a step behind the Ducks and as the scores have shown more than a goal behind as well.

Mission number one for Tuesday should be getting that one goal, from there they can move on to the bigger issue of getting back into the series. But until they get that first goal it will be clear flying for the Ducks.

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