Ducks 4, Vancouver 3.

Ryan Getzlaf and the Ducks didn’t ease into anything in Vancouver.

The captain played 21:45 in his first game since Dec. 28, and the Ducks used a big lead to help hold off the Canucks. Getzlaf’s only point was this beautiful assist on Bobby Ryan’s first goal of the game, which gave the Ducks a 3-0 lead at 4:12 of the second period.

He also made an impact on Dan Hamhuis, planting the defenseman dangerously into the end boards on this shoulder-on-shoulder check. There’s already a debate raging over whether or not it was a clean hit.

Ryan had two goals, Jason Blake and Brandon McMillan had the others, and Curtis McElhinney made 16 of his 36 saves in the final period.

A few more notes:

Maxim Lapierre had primarily been on the wing the last two years in Montreal, but found himself at left wing for the first time as a Duck Thursday after playing a lot of center. McMillan handled the pivot position on the third line and handled all but one of the faceoffs (going 3-4). Sexton lined up at right wing.

As familiar as he seems, Francois Beauchemin has never played with any of the defensemen currently on the Ducks’ roster, at any level of hockey. That’s why at this point it’s easy to like the timing of today’s trade, saying nothing for the trade itself. Will Beauchemin be paired with Cam Fowler? Luca Sbisa? Lubomir Visnovsky? Because Bob Murray and Brian Burke didn’t wait until the day of the trade deadline to make the deal, Randy Carlyle gets more time to figure out which pairings work best. Same goes for the new-look third line, which could be the target of a deadline-day upgrade if Sexton, Lapierre and McMillan don’t jell right away (though Wednesday’s goal certainly helped their case to stay together).

Before tonight, the Canucks had lost only three times in regulation in their last 34 games (25-3-6) and had not lost at home in regulation in 15 straight (11-0-4). They also had a 6-game win streak overall and 9-game standings point streak (6-0-3). Their last regulation loss was Jan 16 at Minnesota and their last regulation loss at home was Dec. 5.

Blake played a strong 18:57, putting seven shots on goal, starting with his 11th goal of the season 56 seconds into the game.

6 thoughts on “Ducks 4, Vancouver 3.

  1. I have just stumbled on your site JP and think it looks pretty good. I’d sure like to see some place for updates on the team that is maybe a little less bubbly than the team site and a different from the Register blogs. I have two suggestions for you. Change the name. I mean, really, do you think anyone is gonna say “oh yeah, I heard Bob Murray quoted about Gardiner the link is at “quackalackin”. Please.

    And second, don’t become a Rich Hammond cheerleader. Maintain a semblance of journalism!

    Do those two things and you will go far!

  2. NIce. Now here’s the deal on these trades. WRONG timing. This team has been good since January 1, but not before for a year and a half or longer. They slid, slid, slid since the Cup run and finally it looks like hit bottom and are headed up. And what does Murray do? Freak out and sell a prized asset in order to sell some playoff tickets this year. I’d have rather MISSED the playoffs and kept the picks and prospects. Lets play this out.

    Maybe NEXT year would be the time to make this type of move.

  3. Great comments, all.

    In response to this one

    I’ll agree with you about Gardiner. Lupul will probably end up being seen as the throw-in in this deal for Toronto. It’s a fascinating case study watching the two GMs in Southern California go about their business. L.A. fans would kill for Dean Lombardi to give up on just one of his blue-chip defense prospects (Teubert, Hickey, Voynov) for scoring help at the NHL level, given how good the team’s defense corps is at the NHL level. Ducks fans wish the pipeline weren’t so dry. You might end up being right about the deal being better left for next year. It’ll be interesting to see.

    The point I was trying to make about the timing was merely about the timing for Beauchemin to find his nice on this defense, because even though he knows the system he doesn’t really know the other defensemen. If you think about it, the NHL trade deadline is quite late in the season compared to, say, MLB and NBA. It’s a nice luxury that teams have until Feb. 28, but if you can make the trade you want to make earlier, why not?

  4. Thanks for the feedback and encouragement.

    I’ve always wondered how the title “Quackalackin'” strikes people. I get very little feedback. Honestly, yours is the first constructive criticism I’ve received, which I genuinely appreciate. I’d rather be memorable than unmemorable, and as long as the level of journalism in the content is high, I’m not worried about it. So yes, I’m very mindful of the “semblance of journalism” here.

    Thanks again for reading. Hit counts help me go far, too!

  5. Part of my “deal” with the trade is this. I just got my playoff invoice and my invoice for next years tickets .. TODAY. February. It’s pretty transparent, and not in a good way. Sign Emery, trade for a fan favorite, give up a big long contract for a smaller short one and hope no one notices you just gave up a highly rated college phenom. OH, then send out your invoices. As big a blowhard as Burke may have been, he did not treat the fans like Murray does. He had a lot more respect.

    I like Beauch, btw and I think he and Fowler are gonna make a nice pairing. I just think this team isn’t ready to be making this step right now – a little more patience. But I also think Murray fears for his job if he doesn’t get in the playoffs this year. This impatience and “win now” might hurt us in the long run. Go back to when the Ducks lost to the Kings, just about 15 games ago. They were 1 game over .500 and reeling. This whole “we can make the playoffs and make some noise” idea is based on the last month of play, and ignores the prior couple of years of getting worse.

    I’d let you call your blog letsgoducksdotcom, but I own that one!

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