Pre-Season Game 5 (Home Game 3)
Ducks vs. Kings
The game that defense forgot. But hey, at least the Ducks won, right? I mean, they should have destroyed them based off of the King’s roster they iced for this game. But it was a bit closer than I expected as the game was back and forth until late in the second. So, let’s talk about which players stood out and who still needs to shake off the rust before we drop the puck for the season opener in San Jose next week.
My boy finally showed up on the score sheet in a pre-season game! Comtois looked very good this game, finishing on two opportunities and creating a bunch more. His two goals showed two great attributes about his offensive game. The first goal on the partial breakaway showed his finishing ability, speed and awesome wrist shot (video below). The second goal was a result of a clean passing play which ended with a pass to Max in the slot for an easy finish. This goal showed his ability to find some open ice in a dangerous area. It looks to me like this game may have inked him into the opening night line-up.
Henrique has looked great in every pre-season game I’ve seen him in and that continued last night with two goals and an assist. He has been strong on the fore-check, is burying his opportunities and looking sound defensively. There is obviously no replacing a 100% healthy Ryan Kesler but Adam is doing a great job so far filling the number 2 center roll.
I think it’s safe to say no one saw this camp/pre-season showing from Lundeström coming. Our first-round pick from this past draft has looked good, hell, I’ll even say very good to start the pre-season. He is creating opportunities for himself and his line mates and does not look out of place with the big boys. I’m very curious to see what the Ducks decide to do with him to start the year. Send him back to his Swedish team or give him a look in the NHL?
Sherwood, Steel, Manson, Fowler
Needs some work:
Let’s start with the obvious. Miller’s play this pre-season has not been great. He has been giving up a ton of goals in his 3 starts and to me looks to be over committing to shots. This over commitment to the shooter puts him out of position which forces him to scramble to get back in position after the shot. I have never played goalie in the NHL but that is just what it looks like to me from my new comfy seat at Honda Center.
I don’t know about you, but his game looks a bit off to me. It is probably just trying to figure out the new line he is on or the new system in place but I am noticing a ton of blind, behind the back, intercepted passes when trying to find Terry or Rakell. I’m sure with some more time together they will build some chemistry but in the 2 games this line has been together I’m not seeing a lot to get too excited about. Hopefully this will change and Getzlaf won’t miss Perry too much…
His offensive game looks great! Couldn’t be more excited for that. What I think needs a bit more work is his defense. One play in particular last night was him getting the puck at his own blue line, turning it over, and LA scores on the play. It’s never great when you have the opportunity to move up ice but instead you turn the puck over. This is something he will learn from with experience and hey, isn’t that what the pre-season is all about?
With Perry and Kesler out for the start of the season who will be the fill in alternate captains? Last season when one of the big 3 was injured we saw Fowler take the first available “A” and Cogliano take the second. Last night however, Manson was the one to grab the second “A” even with Cogliano in the line-up. Could be an interesting development to keep an eye on. Or it will be exactly what we saw last night. Only time will tell.