Randy Carlyle keeps saying he doesn’t like shootouts, but I think his players are starting to disagree.
I didn’t cover the Ducks last year when, apparently, shootouts weren’t their strongsuit. I’ve only seen them play in three shootouts this season and win two of them. Giguere supposedly not a shootout goalie, he actually went 4-6 last year in the SO has looked fine in the two wins.
The Sharks’ Evgeni Nabokov, on the other hand, is hands-down not a shootout goaltender. I remember this very clearly watching him when I was in San Jose. Ever notice why the Sharks kept a second high-quality goaltender (Miikka Kiprusoff, Vesa Toskala) on their roster during their playoff runs the last 10 years or so? It’s because Nabokov doesn’t do shootouts.
But sometimes rather, always a team needs a combination of “lucky” factors working in its favor to break out of a slump. McDonald and Getzlaf, not coincidentally the two goal-scorers in regulation, put their shots past Nabokov, and Giguere did very little work to stop the Sharks’ Joe Pavelski (a seemingly odd choice) and Jonathan Cheechoo on their shootout attempts.
I’m going to go out on a limb and declare myself in favor of the shootout.
The team practices at 10:30 tomorrow, then has Sunday off.
Emptying out the notebook:
It took me about 15 minutes before I started paying more attention to the Ducks, and less attention to the Sharks, from up in the press box. That’s what growing up in a cloud of Silicon Valley teal will do to you.
Maxim Kondratiev went unclaimed and cleared waivers on Friday morning. The Ducks gave him permission to discuss his options with his agent. One of those options is a trip to Portland.
Somehow, 7-8-1 is good enough for first place in the Pacific Division. I’m sure the Ducks will take it. Their 17 points in the standings are 1 better than San Jose and Dallas. If I’m not mistaken, Phoenix is the only team that hasn’t seen first place in the division at some point this year.