Saturday, April 25, 2009

Penalty Shot: 3-1 On The Number 1

Anaheim Calling to the hockey world...

Game 5.

The Ducks MUST close this team out. While 3-0 is a dominating force that only two NHL teams have ever overcome, 3-1 is a bit of a manageable beast. NHL teams are 20-230 in series where they were down 3-1. A long shot sure, but as recently as 2003, the Minnesota Wild did it TWICE (to COL and VAN) to reach the Western Conference Finals.

The Ducks have a 10-2 record when closing out a series, and are 2-1 in games where they own a 3-1 lead. The Sharks are 6-12 when facing elimination, and 1-1 in games where the opponent holds the 3-1 edge. But don't forget that this is essentially the same team that forced Dallas to six games (and a bounce away from seven) last year after the Stars went up 3-0 in the series.

The Ducks are 3-2 at HP this year, and Sleek has broken down the Sharks' general home record for you. Suffice to say, the Ducks aren't afraid of The Tank, but the Sharks might have reason to be.

A Mover And A Shaker - A note on Game 4:
I prepared some earthquake info on my way home from the game, but decided to post about the empty seats at Ponda instead. Rather than waste the information, I thought I'd tack it onto the end of this short post.

Daniel and I attended the January 8th game at The Staples Center (Bobby has since signed this game program for me, though the Kings charged me $5 for it) where a 5.0 earthquake gently rocked the stadium at 7:15 of the 1st Period. After a scoreless 1st for the Ducks, Bobby Ryan opened the floodgates at 19:14 of the 2nd, closing them at 1:35 of the 3rd with a Denis Savardian spin that tied the game and capped off a natural hat trick. We were sitting up top, center ice and I wasn't wearing a hat, but I was screaming for Kings fans to throw theirs.

Then on Thursday, the aftershocks of a 4.0 hit The Ponda Center during the 1st intermission of a scoreless 1st. I had my feet up on the rail in front of me and noticed that my legs started to sway gently. Bobby Ryan scored 6:33 into the 2nd and after a 15-minute delay to fix the glass, found the net again at 10:13 of the 2nd. I was so amped, I climbed the very same rail that had made me question its structural integrity just minutes earlier.

Give him a rattle and a 15-minute break, and you basically pull the pin out of the grenade. Must be the spores in the air or something. Check this kid for milky tears!

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