After beating Calgary, 3-0, in Game 2 of the Western Conference semifinals Sunday, the Anaheim Ducks improved to a perfect 6-0 in the playoffs. They swept Winnipeg in the first round of the playoffs and have outscored the Flames 9-1 through two games.
The Ducks have just been dominating.
Or have they?
“To be honest with you, that Winnipeg series in the first round, every game was tight – really could have gone either way,” Ducks radio color analyst Dan Wood said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “And as you mentioned, there were times last night when Calgary definitely had the better of the play. I think the Ducks obviously dominated the first period – probably should have been up 3-, 4-0. But Karri Ramo was tremendous and then the Flames kind of got going. So the Ducks are playing well and obviously they’re winning, but there’s a long way to go and obviously the challenge in Calgary is going to be considerable.”
Game 3 is Tuesday at 9:30 p.m. ET.
The Ducks chased Calgary goalie Jonas Hiller in Game 1 of the series, scoring three goals on their first 14 shots. Hiller spent the first seven years of his career in Anaheim before signing with Calgary last July. In Game 3, the Flames, facing a 2-0 deficit, had to pull Ramo with more than three minutes remaining.
Anaheim’s Nate Thompson scored the dagger from mid-ice about a minute later.
“It was desperation time when they pulled the goaltender obviously down two goals late,” Wood said. “Bob Hartley’s been around. He knows what he’s doing. He’s won a Stanley Cup. He obviously was going to change some things up after that 6-1 loss in Game 1, and we may see something different tomorrow night in Calgary. I think from a Flames perspective, as frustrated as they might be, they’re going to feel like yeah, they did play pretty well last night, and now they’re going to go home, they’re going to be in front of their crowd – which is going to be loud and enthusiastic – and I think the Flames figure they can build on last night. If things go their way, they get the series back to Anaheim evened up.”
The Ducks, meanwhile, are just the sixth team since 1990 to win their first six playoff games. They’ve really handled their business thus far.
“I didn’t think that they dominated,” Wood said, “but you used a phrase that I think said an awful lot: The Ducks handled their business. That is what has been most impressive to me about this team – really all season, but especially in the playoffs. Since the postseason began, they seem to have a real focus and a real understanding of why they’re here and what it is they’re trying to do. It’s a very business-like, workman-like approach. Obviously in the first series against Winnipeg, they had to come from behind in every game – in the third period the first three games – and just as they did during the regular season, when they won so many one-goal games and so many in come-from-behind fashion, the greatest strength of this team is the ability to find ways to win, to do whatever needs to be done to get the job done. To this point, they’ve done it. And I think that, more than anything, is what gives fans in Anaheim legitimate hope that this could be a very special year.”