To say the first week of the season for the Ducks was tough would be an understatement; to say it was a failure might be a little much. Instead, I prefer the word under-achieving. Sure, the Ducks have been overlooked all offseason by Dallas and San Jose in the division, but the Ducks still have firepower and grit.
Starting the season 0-4 was not the statement a team battling to be a top dog in the Pacific wanted to show for itself. The only face-saving would come in a romping on Friday night against the San Jose Sharks.
Anaheim @ San Jose (1-4 Loss)
The Ducks start the season limping out of the gate, losing to the new and improved Sharks. The Sharks jumped out to a 2-0 lead after the second period (no goals in the first), adding a third goal at 2:52 of the third period. Rob Niedermayer would put the Ducks on the board at 14:35, but the Sharks would add one more at 15:57, leaving the Ducks hurting after the road loss.
Coyotes @ Ducks (4-2 Loss)
The most looked forward to game of the year for me and I turned it off fairly quickly. During the offseason, I had the epiphany of a fantastic song the Ducks should use as pregame music in the home opener ("Indestructible" by Disturbed).
I emailed my contact within the team, Adam Brady (Ducks Director of Media) and he emailed the appropriate people and they liked the idea. Needless to say, as the puck dropped for the season opener, a packed Honda Center believed along with me that their Ducks were “Indestructible.” Apparently Phoenix didn’t get that memo and the Ducks didn’t soak in the lyrics.
(Click Here for the Ducks Indestructible video)
Ken's Note: I'm not generally one to get gushy, but seeing the Ducks use my idea, although only a small part of the finished product made the 80 some articles I have written about the Ducks more than worth it. I recommend to all current CL's and serious writers to make contacts within the organization if possible.
Feel as though you or a part, if only a small one, of the large media body that covers that team. To leave the Ducks behind for the Stars this season seeing that song represent the Ducks seemed like a touching ending to an unforgettable spring and summer writing for them. I leave behind those amazing memories for new ones with the Stars.
Ducks @ Kings (3-6 Loss)
The Ducks jump to an early two-goal lead with goals by Brian Sutherby and Todd Marchant in the first but remain scoreless in the second period when the Kings add two to the 2-1 game after the first period. The final frame sees the Ducks outscored 3-1 making the grand total of 6-3 for the Kings. Clearly, the expected Pacific Division worst Kings are capable of winning after all.
Oilers @ Ducks (3-2 Loss)
Even with Jonas Hiller in goal, the Ducks can't overcome their losing ways. The Ducks keep it close until the third when Edmonton scored to go ahead and held the lead until the final buzzer. Kent Huskins, and Rob Niedermayer scored goals for the Ducks. The Ducks battled hard but still got the “L”.
Sharks @ Ducks (0-4 Win)
The Sharks entered as possibly the hottest team in not only the division but the conference. The goaltending of J.S. Giguere looked more solid than it has in past games. Giguere looked to have returned to past form and ready to stop anything San Jose shot at him. The defense looked sharp, much like the new pairings were finally starting to click.
“It feels really good,” said Giguere in Adam Brady’s recap on the Ducks website. “It was a good night for us. We still have a lot of room for improvement, but this is a good start.”
The Ducks defense got the scoring going, with a goal coming from Francois Beauchemin at 18:13 of the first. Travis Moen scored at 3:56 of the second, with assists from both Niedermayer brothers and Chris Pronger and Sammy Pahlsson scored in the third to seal the deal for the Ducks.
"We got our first win and we’re happy with it," Giguere said in the Ducks recap. "The last game (a 3-2 loss to Edmonton) was a starting point. Now we just have to keep going forward and try to put some good games together."
The Ducks will look to keep their winning streak alive against the Carolina Hurricanes on Sunday at the Honda Center in Anaheim.
Stay tuned next week for the complete weeks analysis.
Image: Courtesy of Getty Images via Yahoo Sports
Quotes: Courtesy of Anaheim Ducks game recaps found on team website.