Classic road hockey turned into pond hockey in the third period, and the Ducks were fortunate to escape with a point in their first game against a former teammate, Flames goalie Jonas Hiller. A few takeaways after Hiller-a-thon in Calgary.
Two, two teams in one
The duality of the Ducks was never more on display than Tuesday night at the Saddledome. Through two periods, they were a virtual machine, a defensive clinic, allowing a mere seven shots on goal.
You could envision those highlights being shown at a coaching seminar.
Then there was that bothersome matter of the third period.
Perfect hockey turned into flawed hockey. Captain Ryan Getzlaf’s line was on for all three Flames goals and the defensive pair of Bryan Allen and Sami Vatanen had a rough third period.
Ducks Coach Bruce Boudreau afterward said he could not understand how a team could be so good and so bad in the same game.
Bruce, you have plenty of company.
They must really love the dry scrape
Enjoy it while it lasts.
The dry scrape is being put into dry dock. On Tuesday, the NHL’s general managers opted to oust the dry scrape, in which the zambonis scrape the ice but do not resurface it before overtime.
The Ducks must be seeing zambonis in their dreams.
They are on a startling run of not finishing games in regulation.
Three of their last four games have gone to either overtime or a shootout, the exception being Sunday’s 6-2 loss to Florida. They beat the Kings in a shootout on Wednesday and lost to the Kings in overtime on Saturday afternoon, and then there was Tuesday’s defeat in the shootout against the Flames.
An even longer sample study: The Ducks have gone to overtime or a shootout in seven of their last nine games.
As of Saturday, the dry scrape is history. The general managers called it a “buzz kill.”
You just might see it one more time with the Ducks on Thursday. In fact, the way the Ducks are going, it would be a far bigger surprise if the game did not go to overtime or a shootout.
Speed bump gets bigger for Andersen
Ducks goalie Frederik Andersen was reflective, even philosophical, earlier on Tuesday as he talked about his required mental approach now that he’s the Ducks’ No. 1 goalie.
He didn’t have much work for the first 40 minutes, facing a mere seven shots. The 10th shot got past him and so did the 13th and 14th shots by the Flames.
Now Anaheim is hardly the first team to falter against the Flames in the third period. Calgary has outscored its opponents, 27-12, in the third period.
Andersen acknowledged earlier that he has been focusing more on getting the win, rather than the save at hand.
“I’ve got to be in ‘the now’ right away,” he said on Tuesday after the morning skate.
Call him Zen Freddie.
He just needed to be Zen for three periods, not two, along with his up-and-down teammates.