As you probably know, even though I'm retired from blogging, I have taken on a weekly update task for The Royal Half's Pacific War Room, which features lots of great Pacific Division bloggers, all sharing stories and silliness over the past week. Go check out today's edition, if you haven't already.
But since I am drawing new toons and such, I also feel a little obligated to share my efforts with BoC readers who are too lazy to click or scroll through, or want to comment on my lazy entry. So here's what I sent in...
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A pretty busy week for the Ducks, so let’s just get started on this tale of magical transformations.
Last Friday, the Ducks were down by a goal late in regulation to the visiting Coyotes, but then Nick "El Niño" Bonino decided to completely re-invent hockey with the discovery of an entirely new type of shot. Why shoot through a screen, where deflections and bounces can send a puck well wide of the net, when you can alternatively shoot over a screen? Over Penner and under the bar! Note how Penner attempts to head the puck in – he misses, fortunately, but I think even if he had got a piece and it went in the net, that would have counted. The Ducks magically transformed that loss into a victory, scoring 4 times in the 6-round shootout.
On Sunday, the Ducks were down by two goals after the first to the visiting Stars, but then fortunes turned quickly and convincingly. After Hiller allowed 3 goals in the first, Coach Kirby decided to throw in Frederik Anderson for his first NHL action and he proceeded to stop everything. The Ducks scored the next five goals (sadly, no Bonino lobs this time) and cruised to a win, and shockingly even scored twice on the power play and once shorthanded – that’s three of Anaheim’s four (!) special-teams goals this season, all in one game. Through that strategic special teams concentration, Ducks also magically transformed that loss into a victory.
On Tuesday, however, the tables were turned. The Ducks hit the road in Toronto, and things were starting nicely. Anaheim was up two goals early in the second period after only allowing 2 shots on goal in the first – one of those from center ice. But then the Ducks got sloppy, probably because Randy Carlyle was in the building – they fell into penalty trouble and had particular trouble with 2-on-1s featuring Phil Kessel, and as a result they surrendered the next four goals. The Ducks magically transformed that victory into a regulation loss.
Yesterday’s game in Montreal actually featured no magical transformations – the game’s start looked like a Ducks loss, and it stayed that way throughout – Habs won this one 4-1. But since I wrote most of this week’s recap before that game happened, let’s just pretend something magically transformed – Hampus Lindholm finally became a man. Stupid Ducks, can’t even blow a lead to help this lazy blogger’s narrative. Grumble grumble. So 2 wins, 2 losses, and while the week did get progressively worse, at least the standings points the Ducks are currently giving away now and in the near future are going to the eastern conference.
PANCAKE WATCH: Dustin Penner got Garbutted, and while his team has headed out on a lengthy east coast road trip, Penner’s stuck in Anaheim going through concussion protocol and Twitter rage. And while hilarious, Penner’s absence does seem to be somehow costing the Ducks.
When Dustin Penner is dressed, the Ducks are 6-0-0, outscoring opponents 4.0 - 2.0. Power play in those games is at 12.5%; penalty kill is at 82.6% (though Penner doesn’t really see time on either special teams unit, I’m guessing he’s a fantastic cheerleader). When Penner is scratched or injured, the Ducks are 1-3-0, getting outscored 2.0 - 3.8. PP in those games is at 0.0%; PK is at 64.3%. At 5-on-5, Penner has been on the ice for seven goals-for and zero goals-against, with a completely sustainable PDO of 1019.
Get well soon, magic man.