The first game of the NHL preseason is a haphazard ritual, its beauty comparable to gargling the morning breath out of one’s mouth at the crack of dawn, its timing and coordination no better than of a pack of hyenas attempting to divide a carcass of raw meat.
There is no need here to romanticize the hockey-viewing experience of 12,544 announced spectators at Honda Center — it was pretty ugly — but there were a few takeaways.
First, the quick and dirty game synopsis:
Igor Bobkov played roughly the first 30 minutes and John Gibson played the last 30. It was the first NHL game action of any sort for either goalie (Bobkov was at last year’s NHL camp and did not appear in an exhibition game), but the seven goals couldn’t totally be pinned on them. “We’ve got to work on defensive-zone coverage. That’s what we have to work on, obviously,” head coach Randy Carlyle said.
Sean Zimmerman, Kyle Palmieri, Andrew Cogliano and Nate Guenin scored goals for the Ducks, who never led in the game. The offensive effort wasn’t much to blink at, either.
“We just seemed to be slapping the puck around in too many situations,” Carlyle said. “From our standpoint it’s an evaluation game.”
On with the evaluating then …