Don’t get this twisted. It may have only been Game 2, but down a game and 2-0 last night to Nashville, the Anaheim Ducks were already in big trouble. Lose that game, and after the start they had, it looked like they would, they’re not winning 4 of the next 5 headed back to Nashville. Not the way the Preds have been playing.
And we talked about it Friday. The one thing the Ducks could not afford was to get off to a slow start and let a well-rested Preds team come in and steal one and rip the home ice. And that’s exactly what happened in Game 1.
Then they came out flat again, and before they knew it, they were down 2-0 against a team playing better than anyone else remaining, and a goalie who couldn’t be beat. But then they showed exactly what their made up. Ducks coach Randy Carlyle changed up Ryan Getzlaf’s line and Ryan Kesler started doing what he does best, annoying the hell out of people, in this case, Ryan Johansen, and getting under his skin and in their head. And they throwing their weight around; the longer this series goes the better it is for the Ducks, who are the heavier, more physical team.
They started to pound Nashville, and you could see them wearing down and the lumber taking effect, as the Ducks were able to grind one out and get back in their series.
I know, I know, Preds fan: you got your split. And Pekka Rinne had one bad game. Just one bad game and now it’s out of his system. You better hope it’s that, and not a matter of the Ducks figuring him out; figuring how to beat him. Finding a hole or two in his game. Because while the Preds definitely accomplished what they came here to do, get at least a split, and rip the home ice, had they finished what they started last night, this series would already over.
Instead, you may as well get some popcorn, because this one feels more and more like 7 to me.