Entertaining? Always. Disappointing from the Ducks’ view? Yes.
The traditional day-after-Thanksgiving game between the Ducks and Chicago Blackhawks at Honda Center lived up to what has been one of the more exciting series in the NHL in recent years, although the ending didn’t change in Chicago’s fifth straight win in the Black Friday series, 3-2.
Here’s what we learned:
It might be time to break up the Twins
Longtime linemates Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry are in extended scoring slumps, and Getzlaf took ownership of it postgame when he said that it’s “on our heads.”
Ducks Coach Randy Carlyle recently raised the possibility of taking Perry off the top line in the midst of a scoring slump that reached 13 games Friday. But Carlyle has also said he expects them to snap out of it. He has long relationships with both players and said he doesn’t need to prod them further.
“There’s enough pressure being put on them internally, by themselves, and from their stature in the team, that I don’t think they need the head coach jumping on them, because there’s ample people that will be applying the pressure, right?” Carlyle said.
The last part of that comment was playfully directed at reporters.
The third line is coming on strong
Carlyle put out the line of Antoine Vermette, Nick Ritchie and rookie Ondrej Kase with fewer than 90 seconds remaining, an indication that they’ve earned his trust.
The line has strung together solid games recently, with Kase showing some hands and instincts and both benefiting from Vermette’s faceoff ability.
“These two guys are playing well,” Vermette said. “I think it’s not an easy situation for a young guy coming in, but I think Kase is playing well. He’s playing with speed, determination also, and he’s got some skill.”
Logan Shaw got his feet wet
Shaw centered the fourth line in his Ducks debut. He only played 6 minutes, 41 seconds, but he passed Carlyle’s usual test of not standing out in a negative way.
“He’s a big guy that can skate,” Carlyle said. “He didn’t look out of place out there. He performed well. … He’s going to take some time for him to understand what all our expectations are in that role and where he’s going to play, but I thought he did well.”