Sunday night's 1-0 shutout against the San Jose Sharks probably brought back a lot of great memories from the 08-09 playoffs for us Duck fans, and probably brought back some nightmares for San Jose fans. Hiller was absolutely on his game on Sunday night, stopping all 31 shots he faced, and sending about 200 San Jose fans home drunk and depressed. A massive group of Shark fans went down to Orange County to"invade" the Honda Center. I wonder if all that work was worth it for a six hour bus trip back without even seeing your team score a goal. The Ducks did not have a particularly great game, they were outshot and outchanced throughout the first two periods, but it was Bobby Ryan who cashed in against the Sharks, and that was all we needed. Jonas Hiller closed the door all night long, and earned us another two important points in the standings.
The turning point of the game was in the third period when Jamal Mayers took a hooking penalty, which was the first minor penalty the Sharks took all game. While the Ducks did not score, they had good puck control and wore down Sharks defense. As soon as that penalty was over, Joe Thornton took a cross-checking penalty, and they had to spend another two minutes with their penalty kill unit on the ice. These penalties took the game down to the final 5 minutes, and seemed to really demoralize the Sharks' bench. Anaheim controlled the puck for the rest of period, so much that the Sharks couldn't get Niemi off the ice until there were only 36 seconds left in the game,
Generally, I don't find the All-star game particularly interesting or exciting, and am usually pretty irritated with the selections. This year is not any different for me, with the exception of the "fantasy draft" format the league is trying out this year. In the article on NHL.com, Shannahan made a mention of a few teams who requested that some of their players be omitted from taking part in the game this year to nurse some nagging injuries. I actually respect the wishes of the teams and the players. They work their asses off all year, and taking a weekend in the middle of the season to play a meaningless game is tough. I'm very happy to see Perry, Hiller, and Fowler be recognized by the league, and they are definitely the guys I would send as well. Getzlaf obviously was not chosen due to his broken face, otherwise you have to believe we would have 4. The only disappointment is not having Selanne go. At 40 years old, the guy is still flying, and one of the most productive players in the league. Considering this might be his last season, I would have liked to have seen him chosen.
What do you think? What changes would you make to the AllStar roster? And if you were a captain, who would you take first overall? I would take Steven Stamkos. In a game where the score is typically around 10 goals for both teams, I would definitely take Stamkos. I predict he goes home with the brand new car the league gives out the the MVP. I'd love to hear some opinions on this year's AllStar game, and congrats to Hiller, Perry, and Fowler for representing the Ducks.