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Sitting Ducks

After an impressive fast start to the season, the Anaheim Ducks find themselves in quite a slump right now. They just finished off a seven game road trip with a 5-0 loss in Detroit to bring their overall record on the season to 5-6-3, with their only win on the road trip coming against Minnesota by a score of 3-2.

        After going 4-1 out of the gate, the Ducks dropped two straight at home to Dallas and Phoenix, before leaving to play seven on the road.  They did not return home with the results desired.  The Ducks earned 5 points out of a possible 14 with a record of 1-3-3.  Those games were often frustrating, as well, especially knowing what this squad is capable of.

        The trip started off okay with Anaheim earning 3 out of a 4 possible points. The Ducks received the extra point in Chicago after losing in a shootout and then went on to win a game in Minnesota in regulation.  So far, pretty good.  The Ducks then traveled to Nashville for a playoff rematch against the team that sent them packing last Spring.  However, the Ducks did not get the start they needed and were chasing the entire game after Hornqvist scored only 14 seconds into the first period.  Pekke Rinne did his part in the game by stopping all 20 shots the Ducks put on net and earning his 100th career win as well as his second shutout of the season.

        Anaheim had the chance to get things back on track immediately, as they had a game the next night in Columbus where they were facing the Blue Jackets, a team that had only won one game so far.  Ellis got the start and stopped 18 shots out of 21, but it was not enough as the Anaheim offense failed to put up more than 1 goal.  The Ducks were once again chasing for a lot of the game, giving up a goal in the first couple of minutes.  The game got a bit of spice, as well, as the mitts were dropped three times.

        Ducks fans eyed the next game a bit warily, as it was in Washington against one the league's top teams.  They got a bit of a surprise, though, as the Ducks offense got things going, earning 3-0 lead and appearing to have the game in hand.  Not so much, however, as they watched their lead get chipped away at by the powerhouse Capitals, thanks to a few not-so-hot moments from the usually solid Jonas Hiller. Regulation ended at a 4-4 score and OT saw Backstrom put the game away.  Usually earning a point in the Caps' barn would have been satisfactory, but this one left a bit of a sour taste.

        The next two games did not bring much relief for the now travel weary Anaheim Ducks.  They earned a point in New York against the Rangers, but fell yet again in the shootout after a lackluster first half of the game.  On their final stop, it looked as if the Ducks were already looking forward to some home cooking and checked out early.  They took a pounding from Detroit and were shutout yet again, ultimately falling to Detroit 5-0 (however, they did get what looked like a good goal waived off).

        Even though the Ducks faced a bit of adversity in the form of a few questionable calls, it is apparent that they did not play well enough on this trip.  One bright spot, however, comes in the form of 41-year old Teemu Selanne, who now leads the team with 14 points on the season and who still seems to carry a fiery passion for the game, speaking up multiple times (one of those times earning him a game misconduct from the ref) about his displeasure.

        The only thing to do now is to look forward.  There isn't reason to push the panic button yet, as all teams go through slumps (some a bit uglier than others) and the season is still young. The Ducks have a chance tomorrow to get back to their winning ways and to once again seek revenge against Pekke Rinne and his Predators team.  This time, though, it is at home, so let's make Honda Center loud and make the Ducks feel at home.  Hopefully a bit of rest in their own beds and a few days off for the Ducks will yield something to cheer for.

By Jenna Janadi

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