Thursday, May 25, 2006

Will the Ducks Make it a Series?

"Our goal scoring this year has been like a ketchup bottle," Teemu Selanne said. "It's hard to get it out sometimes but when it comes, it's going to come a lot. I feel like the momentum is on our side right now. We just have to carry that over next time."

The Ducks are down in the series 3-0. Only two teams have ever come back when down 3-0 in a series, and the last team to do it was the 1975 New York Islanders.

This series has been quite a letdown for me so far, and not because the team I'm rooting for, the Anaheim Mighty Ducks, are down. Until the 3rd period in Game #3, the scoring has been very low, and the # of quality chances to score have also been low. I blame the Edmonton Oilers for playing a system the encourages boring hockey.

The Oilers success has come from clogging up the passing lanes, blocking every shot possible, and never giving the guy with the puck any time or space to work with. It's a tough system to implement unless you have everyone on the team buying in - and the Oilers are doing that very well. The Oilers win by limiting the # of quality scoring chances for their opposition, relying on religion to make a few key saves, and getting a few opportunistic goals per game. I don't necessarily blame the Oilers for doing what they have to do to win, but it does make we wish that San Jose had finished off the Oilers when they were up 2-0 in the series and had a chance.

All three games have been close. The first two were identical 2-1 wins, with an empty nether. Game #3 had a wild finish, with the Oilers scoring three times in a 2:21 span in the 3rd to open up a 4-0 lead, before allowing the Mighty Ducks to score 4 times, and almost tie it in a mad scramble with a few seconds to go.

I hope Selanne is right. Up to the third period in Game #3, Selanne had been held scoreless in the series. If Selanne can build on that first goal, and the Ducks can put together a win tonight, they can still make a series out of it. They've already one 6 in a row once in the playoffs, so I wouldn't count them out just yet.