Advertisement

What we learned from the Ducks' loss to Winnipeg

What we learned from the Ducks' loss to Winnipeg
Ducks defenseman Sami Vatanen breaks away from Winnipeg Jets right wing Joel Armia during a Nov. 24 game at Honda Center. (Alex Gallardo / Associated Press)

The Ducks dropped a second consecutive game Friday in a matinee loss to Winnipeg Jets, 4-1. For the first time in three contests, the Ducks didn't allow 40-plus shots, but their usually steady penalty kill was beat twice.

Here's what we learned.

Advertisement

The Ducks' poor starts are becoming a serious issue

How many times can a team start off on the wrong foot? Why aren't the Ducks ready to play at puck drop? The team often appears to possess far more energy in the final period than the opening one. That was the case again Friday, with the Jets netting two goals in the first five minutes of play. The Ducks had to chase the game and, against a much faster team, that was never going to work.

Are the Ducks fast enough to compete with the best skating teams?

It didn't appear that way against the Jets. Patrik Laine, Nikolaj Ehlers and Mark Scheifele skated circles around the slower Ducks, who play more of a grinding style. That's especially the case with Ryan Getzlaf and Ryan Kesler out of the lineup, but even when they return, the Ducks aren't getting any younger (both are in their 30s).

“We have fast players, too," coach Randy Carlyle said. "I just don't think we're playing fast enough for 60 minutes."

Sami Vatanen has been a turnover machine recently.

Two of his turnovers led to goals on Friday — the second an empty-netter. And on Wednesday, a clear attempt in front of the net trickled right into the opposition's stick. He hasn't been himself, but Vatanen says he's 100% following offseason shoulder surgery.

"I feel good," he said. "I'm playing my game and trying to help the team win. And that's all."

Advertisement
Advertisement