The Chicago Blackhawks captain went roof on goalie Frederik Andersen, who once again got no help from his offense. The Anaheim Ducks are stuck on one win and just six goals through eight games.
As if October could get any worse for Anaheim, the Ducks had to roll into Chicago to face the nemesis Blackhawks. And wouldn’t you know it? The end result was a nightmare before Halloween, with Jonathan Toews beating the Ducks on this sweet overtime goal:
Bonk. The Hawks are the first team to win back-to-back shutout overtime games since the extra frame came back in 1983-84, while the Ducks are now 1-5-2, having scored just six goals total through eight games. For a team that was supposed to contend for the Stanley Cup, things have gone south in a hurry. Sure, it’s just eight games, but what the heck is going on with Anaheim?
In the immediacy, that was some pretty pedestrian defense by captain Ryan Getzlaf on the Toews goal. Yes, he was switching off of Patrick Kane, but you can’t let Toews, one of the best players on the planet, get an open lane to your goalie in overtime.
But if Anaheim dings Corey Crawford for even one goal before Toews gets his golden opportunity, the game ends differently. The Ducks threw 39 shots at the Hawks goalie and came away with nothing. It’s hard to fault the effort of a team that outshoots its opponent by 15 and comes away empty-handed.
Right now, the Ducks have a collective shooting percentage of 2.6 percent, which is insanely low. Getzlaf doesn’t have a goal yet, nor do Corey Perry, Jakob Silfverberg or Carl Hagelin. Obviously that will change and really, all of them could score against Dallas tonight and it wouldn’t be shocking.
But much like Columbus in the East, Anaheim needs to get on track fast, because parity dictates that a playoff spot can be won or lost by the slimmest of margins these days. The statistics tell us that a team such as Arizona is playing with house money right now – the Coyotes have a high shooting percentage (10.9 percent in a league where the average ends up at 7.8 percent) and some of the worst possession numbers around, but as Calgary proved last year, sometimes you can beat the curve and land in the playoffs.
The Flames have been smacked back into reality this season, but that’s cold comfort for the Kings, who missed the playoffs last year at Calgary’s expense, despite Los Angeles having sparkling possession stats.
On top of that, there’s the fate of coach Bruce Boudreau, beloved by many even outside Anaheim. For a bench boss that made his name on offense, this drought must be particularly mystifying. It’s crazy to think that a coach who had his team one game away from the Cup final last year is in danger of unemployment, but that’s what we’re looking at right now.
And ironically, Jonathan Toews is once again the source of misery for Boudreau and his boys.