Friday, May 05, 2006

Sounding the Call of the Duck

They may not have had much time to rest, but the Anaheim Ducks basically picked up where they left off in Calgary on Wednesday night. It was a convincing victory for the Ducks as they trounced the Colorado Avalanche 5-0 at the Pond.

The Ducks dominated the game from start to finish, taking the play to the Avs on shift after shift. Rookie goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov had reporters scrambling for their statistic books as he posted his second consecutive playoff shutout, the first time that a rookie goaltender has put 120 minutes of consecutive goal free play together since 1945 when Frank McCool had a streak of three consecutive games without a goal against. The way the ducks played in front of Bryzgalov Frank’s consecutive streak may be in imminent danger.

On the offence it was the Teemu Sellanne show, the former Avalanche reminded his old team mates of his value, by putting a goal and two assists on the score sheet by the time the final whistle had gone. The Ducks blew the game open in the second period when they tallied four goals, two of them in the last minute of play, goals that effectively killed any hope of an attempted Avalanche comeback on this night.

Jose Theodore tried his best to hold off the storm, facing 14 shots in the first period alone, he kept the Ducks off the board for twenty minutes but in the second the wave of Ducks continued unabated and finally they began to put the puck past him. By the end of the game the Ducks had scored five goals on their 34 shots. Bryzgalov faced 29 shots and stopped each and every one of them; any other attempts at a scoring play were handled quite easily by the Anaheim defence which played some solid hockey in their own end, shutting down the Colorado attack that was so successful against the Dallas Stars.

It was a solid effort all around for the Mighty Ducks, from their own end, on into the Colorado zone they controlled the bulk of the play, never gave the Avalanche the chance to regroup and dominated all aspects of play for game one. And all of that on one day’s rest!

If Colorado doesn’t solve this riddle pretty fast they’ll be able to book tee times with Dallas, they can compare notes on how something that looked so good at the start, suddenly looks very worrisome.

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