Heartbreak Before the Break
Wednesday, 01.25.2012 / 8:57 AM PT
|"Moneyball? Are you kidding me?? You obviously haven't seen The Descendants."
A somewhat fluky goal by the Stars and an incredibly stingy goalie overtook sixty minutes of dilligence by the Ducks in a gut-wrenching 1-0 loss to Dallas that snapped a five-game winning streak for Anaheim. Jonas Hiller only had to make 15 stops as the Ducks left little space on the ice in front of him, but one Dallas shot got by him in ugh fashion. Late in the first, Alex Goligoski's one-timer was headed way wide of the net, but it deflected off Cam Fowler's hip and skipped past Hiller.
"What are you going to do?" Fowler told the OC Register. "Blocked a shot right off my pants and over Hillsy's shoulder. You just shake you head and ask why sometimes. Why do those things happen? It's a part of the game."
That was the only puck that found the net all night, as Kari Lehtonen was a wall with 27 saves and his first shutout of the season. But not all the credit goes to the one Finn Ducks fans weren't rooting for last night. The Stars did their best Ducks impression by blocking 27 shots, and a number of Anaheim chances were launched wide of the cage. But the Ducks went down scratching a clawing for a goal until the final horn, including the final moments when they sent Hiller to the bench for a sixth dude in the Dallas zone.
"You don't like to end something like we've got going on a situation like that," Bruce Boudreau said. "You could tell early on that Lehtonen was really on his game and it was going to take something special. Again, we had open nets and we missed the net. We get those chances and we put them in, no matter how good the goalie is, we're going to probably win the game. Didn't happen that way."
It didn't, and it's a rough way to go into the break, when any momentum Anaheim might have had will be hopefully not be slowed by the week between now and their next game -- Tuesday night in Phoenix. That game, followed by a rematch with Dallas the next day at Honda Center are going to prove vital for the Ducks, who fell back to 12 points out of a playoff spot last night.
For now, the only Ducks hockey we'll be seeing over the next several days is Corey Perry in the All-Star Game on Sunday. Tomorrow night at 5 p.m. Pacific, we can see who Perry will be playing with as the NHL is bringing back the popular Fantasy Draft format for the game.
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Add this to the You've Got to Love Bruce Boudreau file:
Boudreau was talking to reporters yesterday morning about the surprise bowling outing he set up for the team after the Ducks arrived in Dallas on Monday. Apparently, the bowling took a lot out of the Ducks coach.
“I’m out of shape,” he said. ”When you’re sore after bowling, something’s wrong. I was in the high 200s of course." (He later admitted that he rolled a 138 and 110 and that Francois Beauchemin had the high score with 202. The Finns won the team competition.)
"I woke up at midnight and I thought I needed a hip replacement and I couldn’t understand what was going on. [Assistant coach] Bob [Woods] says, ‘You bowl left-handed. It’s your right hip, right” I said, ‘Yeah.’ He goes, ‘Well, you idiot, it’s sore because you’re doing lunges every time you come down.”
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In case you haven't gotten enough Casino Night coverage, below is a video feature from KDOC, which I'm including partly because the host is rather striking (and British, no less).
Also, just when you think the Ducks have run out of things to autograph and offer the fans, you can now bid on the Vans the players wore with their all-white suits during the night by clicking here.