The Ducks Remain Mighty in the Western Conference
~ Amy Lignor
Dallas, Texas is a place for stars, no matter what team you happen to love. Whether they be in the NFL, NBA, or NHL – the stars
are always riding high in the Lone Star State. So it must feel like a heavy duty hit from the old hockey stick to know that a little (but with huge quacks), duck brigade came along and wiped them from the NHL scene for the season.
The Dallas Stars brought a little bit of everything this season to their fans – with new management coming on the scene, as well
as new uniforms to set them apart from the rest of the gang. But apparently all the progress could not stop the agony of defeat, which supposedly always must come before the ultimate victory.
The fact remains that Texas can win and win big. Now it will be interesting to see if their football team can rise faster and become the idols they once were, before the Stars beat them to glory and fame.
Sunday morning the Dallas Stars were riding high, perhaps not even too worried about Game 6 against the ‘waddlers’. And with a 4-2 lead, which they were able to maintain for much of the third period, the Stars certainly looked like they would move up and on. Fate, or irony, interceded. (Or perhaps the cloud of Jerry Jones is just covering the city and bringing bad luck to all the sports teams there. Hmmm…something to think about).
Their two goal lead was wonderful, yet they blew it, ruining their dreams of heading to the big game. Now the Stars didn’t do badly. I mean, they worked their proverbial hockey sticks off to make sure the very top of the Western Conference had to play six out of seven to claim victory.
But the Ducks were never down and out – which is what some people seem to forget about them. In fact, studies show that many think of them as nothing more than the team based on the cute movie their kids really loved way back when. But these Ducks are mighty, and it has nothing to do with the entertainment industry.
Bruce Boudreau, the Anaheim Ducks coach, felt a bit of fear at the 4-2 lead by Dallas, and the comeback he was praying for was
a bit of a shock when it was delivered. However, when looking at any NHL playoff game, comebacks are the ingredient that makes them all worth watching.
The Ducks have always kept going. The first five games were difficult, but the team saw an opportunity to end the series and they rose up to do just that. It is Nick Bonino who will be given praise for a while, that’s for sure. Because of his talent and major abilities, fans and teammates jumped on Nick as if he had literally just taken home – all by himself – the ultimate trophy.
He did exactly what YouTube wants when it comes to their videos. When Bonino skated around the net and hit that puck over Kari Lehtonen’s left shoulder to get the Ducks within 4-3, with only 2:10 left in regulation time – YouTube was granted a sports snippet that all wanted to see.
Then, with only 24 seconds left, the Ducks got that goal to send the game into overtime. A wild moment occurred directly in front of the net as skaters duked it out. Anaheim stood under a lucky cloud, apparently, as the 4-4 tie became a reality.
In the end, though, fans have got to give it up for veteran goalie, Jonas Hiller. He made the Ducks more than mighty as he stopped all 12 shots that came his way (after he replaced rookie Frederik Andersen). Jonas had a hand in everything, with Anaheim winning 29 games, giving them the best regular season they have ever had. Just another reason why people need to see that the word ‘veteran’ does not mean ‘old’ – it means extremely learned, and one who knows exactly how to do the job right.
The Lone Star State may be on their backs right now, their gazes a bit surprised as they deal with the fact that the Ducks took them for the ride of their lives. But…they will be back!