Home Sweet Home, A View on Hunting Ducks from the English Isles

As previously stated, this report is a little late I did end up watching the entire game last night, just a little delayed. The wonders of NHL TV. But by the time the game was done, it was pretty late this side of the pond.

Anyways, on with the report, written with the aid of a nice cup of tea. The stereotypes write themselves.

Typical Cappy, starting with what is often referred to as the '4th' line. The Energy line. Insert further Butchisms here. Although, I do have to agree with Butch when we says that there's no clear numbered lines with the Isles, apart from the 1st obviously because that's Tavares and calling him anything other than a first liner is absurd. But I am liking the combo of Cizikas, Clutterbuck and Kulemin, they seem to be consistent in making things happen. Before the season we all thought Chimera would be the one to replace Martin, but I'm glad the Isles didn't go that route. Also, Cappy continued to alternate the rookies, because why not?

Right from the first puck drop it seemed like the Isles were determined to get things done, as obvious as that sounds, but I liked the early sustained pressure that they gave the Ducks. Made me less nervous. That Nelson goal on the early PP. That was a ridiculously pretty goal. And the goal made better that it put the Isles in the lead for the first time in this new season. Followed by the sweet sound of the 'Yes! Yes! Yes!' chant. The continued pressure in the first continued to make me feel at ease, a strange proposition when watching the Isles play, but when you get halfway through the period and shots on goal are 9-0 Isles, they have to be doing something right. Shame that Beauvillier couldn't claim a souvenir puck, but he'll get more chances. The PP was starting to look a lot better as well, they were actually shooting a lot more.

Just when I was getting used to seeing the Isles dominate in a game, the pressure dropped in the second, causing a few nervous moments. One of the most nerve wracking moments was seeing Kesler 2 hand slash Tavares on the same spot he got slashed before. Tavares coming off the ice was enough to bring on the fear that he was seriously injured this time. The period wore on, with a beautiful play from Nelson and Lee getting me ready for more of the 'Yes! Yes! Yes!', even the goal horn guy was fooled. Play was starting to get chippy, a scramble in front of the Isles goal getting a bit rough. PK getting called upon a fair bit and continuing to impress, with Jaro making timely saves to rob the Ducks of an equaliser. I was cautiously optimistic that Isles would hold on to the lead into the third, and they managed to do it, allowing me to relax for a brief period of time.

Listening to Butch interview Trottier and Smith was pretty amusing. I loved Smith when he said about players getting close to goalies 'Hit him in the head', would've been pretty awesome to be able to see him play.

By the time the third period started my nerves were shooting pretty high, the Isles held out for two, but it was only a one goal lead and I was on the edge of my seat hoping they could go the distance. For a brief moment I though we might actually do it when Clutterbuck's ridiculous kicking assist after breaking a stick finally got the Captain on the scoresheet with a goal to put the Isles up 2. The set up for the goal prompted Butch to ask if it was a soccer game. That's a dirty word, soccer, doesn't sit right with my English sensibilities. My feeling of elation after the goal was short lived, with the Ducks clawing their way back pretty quick. The only word for it was balls, or maybe bollocks. The fear started to creep up on me when the Ducks started to provide pressure, I was starting to get the feeling it had been going to well, and I was proved right, but not before the Isles toying with me by having some more chances. The sweet chance with the 3 on 1 being a prime example. Then my worst fears were realised. One minute left on the clock and there's the equaliser, leaving me to hope we can still see it out to get at least a point.

On a side note, I can't say I'll dispute all the offside calls made, but I do wish the broadcasts would show more replays on those calls, just so I can see. Football (yes, football, not soccer) pretty much always show a replay when a whistle blows for offside, with a little line drawn on a graphic to show the offside players position. Of course you don't need to draw a line because the blue line is already there. But I digress.

So on to overtime and at least a point to show for the first 3 games of the season, but here's a chance to make it 2 out of a possible 6. I don't feel like I need to describe the play that lead to Bailey's goal, the highlight reel will do that for me, but it was a beauty of a goal. It can be difficult to contain the emotions when celebrating a game winning goal like that. It was around 3am when I saw that goal and the other inhabitants of the house would have been pretty pissed off with me if I started shouting and jumping for joy, so self restraint was needed.

All in all, another performance to be debated. A strong start with the Isles then losing the drive through the second. Understandable coming off a back to back, but still showing a need to keep things tight for a full 60 minutes, or else we could be singing a different tune. But it's a good tune at the moment. Yes! Yes! Yes!

Here's to more wins in the run of games on home ice, starting with the Sharks. Quite possibly the toughest test so far.

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