Thursday, September 24, 2009

Penalty Shot: Ducks/Nucks Pre-season II

It sounded like a great game for the Ducks tonight.

Anaheim got on the board with a pass by Brendan Mikkelson into traffic (and Corey Perry's stick) in the slot and a rocket from the point by Ryan Whitney. The Canucks answered with a tough play in front of the net, created by Michael Grabner and cashed in by Matt Pope, and a last minute desperation blast by Shane O'Brien.

In overtime, Selanne took a pass from Koivu and sniped his way past Andrew Raycroft from the shallowest of angles. Ducks win.

Wood and Carroll gushed about Hiller's performance; the netminder seemed to face a train of scoring chances on minimal shots. And the broadcasters were also impressed with the line combinations of Ebbett/Koivu/Selanne and Nokelainen/Marchant/Artyukhin. But the play of Getzlaf and Mikkelson seemed particularly noteworthy throughout the broadcast.

Mikkelson was confident and aggressive before and after he created the first goal of the game, and needed only one serious bailout from Eminger. Getzlaf, in his first action this year, had the top line buzzing and sounded downright chippy between plays.

Dan Wood turned in a couple of great interviews with Hiller and Giguere. The former reported that he's kept his conditioning the same and is experimenting with new carbon fiber masks (meaning we should look forward to more terrific helmet saves this season), and the latter spoke of a sweet home life and a laid back training schedule this offseason.

This was Anaheim calling to the hockey world...

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