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Craig Hartsburg


C - Matt Cullen, Travis Green, Josef Marha, Steve Rucchin, Marty McInnis. LW - Johan Davidsson, Ted Drury, Stu Grimson, Paul Kariya, Jim McKenzie. RW - Antti Aalto, Jeff Nielsen, Tomas Sandstrom, Teemu Selanne. D - Mike Crowley, Kevin Haller, Jason Marshall, Frederik Olausson, Jamie Pushor, Ruslan Salei, Pascal Trepanier, Pavel Trnka. G - Guy Hebert, Dominic Roussel.


Jason Marshall, d (torn left hamstring 12/18, week-to-week); Marty McInnis, lw (fractured cheekbone 12/16, playing with shield); Tomas Sandstrom, rw (fractured left wrist 11/08, out until January).


12/10 - Traded Drew Bannister, d, to Tampa Bay for a fifth round draft pick in 2000.


12/09 Vancouver     T 4-4
12/11 Washington    W 1-0
12/13 Los Angeles   W 3-0
12/16 Nashville     W 6-1
12/18 NY Islanders  T 2-2
12/21 Colorado      L 4-2
12/22 at Colorado   W 1-0


Pacific Division    GP   W   L   T   PTS   GF   GA   
  Dallas            30  19   5   6    44   89   62  
  Phoenix           27  18   5   4    40   78   49  
  Anaheim           31  12  12   7    31   75   73   
  San Jose          30   8  15   7    23   62   71   
  Los Angeles       32   9  20   3    21   70   91


by Alex Carswell, Anaheim Correspondent


When last we met, Teemu Selanne was on the sidelines and the Ducks were heading home. And whether it was the vittles grilled up by wives, girlfriends or favorite local eateries, home cooking certainly lit a fire under the Ducks.

The gritty, boring 2-1 road win over San Jose -- achieved once again without Selanne, who was home resting his gimpy thigh -- sent Anaheim back to The Pond with a better taste in their mouths than the rest of their disastrous trip (1-4-1) would have. Which was good, considering the six-game home stand provided an opportunity to forget about their stay in the wasted-days inns of the roadie. And forget they did.

In truth, Selanne wasn't just resting; he was undergoing two days of intense physical therapy that he felt transformed him from a skating "cow" back into "a stallion." Whatever, he's been scoring like a stud ever since.

After being reunited with his top-line mates (Steve Rucchin and Paul Kariya) for the tilt against Vancouver, all three began a gradual climb to the heights of play to which Anaheim fans have become accustomed over the past few seasons. During the home stand, in which the Ducks went 3-1-2, the trio accounted for nine goals (six by Selanne) and 16 assists (10 by Kariya).

Guy Hebert -- ever the backbone of this team -- also continued to shine, with one exception (see below). Gebo was on the verge of racking up three straight shutouts when former Duck Denny Lambert scored with four minutes remaining in the 6-1 win over Nashville. Coming off whitewashes of Washington and LA, Hebert nonetheless established a new personal-best scoreless streak of 191 minutes 47 seconds. The Caps/Kings combo also represented the first career consecutive shutouts for the pride of Troy, NY.


Beyond the re-emergence of the Finnish Flash & Friends, the home stand provided a broad spectrum of ups and downs. The team blew a pair of two-goal leads in letting Vancouver salvage a tie; avenged their season-opening 1-0 loss to former coach Ron Wilson's currently god-awful Capitals with a 1-0 triumph of their own; faced the Kings, with captain Rob Blake under suspension, and played a game that was actually entertaining, as opposed to the slugfest that usually results when cross-town worlds collide; demolished hapless Nashville; and engaged in a war on (fists) and off (words) the ice with hothead Mike Milbury and his New York Islanders.

Then came the home-and-home with Colorado, a series that looked to be a character-shaper for the hot-and-cold Ducks. The games taking place on consecutive nights were pivotal pre-holiday tilts for both teams. Colorado had come in a game below .500, missing Joe Sakic, and winless in four straight; the Ducks, a game above .500 and looking to assert themselves against one of the league's premier teams. As it turned out, the familiar patterns of late would amount to nothing, as the visitors won both halves.

Game one, a fight-filled battle at The Pond, uncharacteristically saw Patrick Roy and Guy Hebert both surrender soft goals. But Hebert gave up two, and the second -- coming after the Ducks had peppered Roy for several minutes -- was a back-breaker. For his part, Roy was roving more than Bill Clinton's eye, and perhaps the President is a good comparison to make for Patty: Both men are extremely good at their jobs, but their self-destructive personal behavior is hard to understand. Having given up a bad opening goal and trailing 2-1 midway through the game, Roy got his stick up on Paul Kariya. When called by referee Mick McGeough, he threw a hissy fit and had two more tacked on. But the Comeback Kid held tough, and when Anaheim couldn't score on the extended power play, the momentum had shifted for good.


Forget Clinton, call him ROY-dney Dangerfield: With the score tied 2-2 and the Avs on a two-man advantage, Colorado coach Bob Hartley pulled Roy as a delay tactic to rest his players. Craig Billington came on, played 1:52, faced no shots...and got the win because the Avs notched the winning goal while he was in net. Talk about no respect.

The rare poor performance by Hebert -- who nonetheless made many good saves along the way -- gave Craig Hartsburg the opening he needed to rest his ace and give backup Dominic Roussel a whirl. After not having played in over a month, Roussel dominated the Avs as thoroughly as they dominated the Ducks. He made 45 saves, several spectacular, in a 1-0 shutout that was his first NHL win since, get this, March 22, 1996.

And the goal that made the difference? It was Jeff Nielsen's first of the year, came courtesy of a blind clearing pass from Roy to, well, to Nielsen. Again, the roaming Roy did himself in as the Ducks winger fired into the unguarded net.

Given that game two also had its share of fractious behavior by both teams, I'd pay to see the return of this road show, which -- thanks to the schedule-maker -- will put on a repeat performance with a home-and-home on consecutive nights in late January, the only other times these teams will meet in the regular season.


The game at Colorado was the first of six on the road for Anaheim. So far, it's been feast or famine with this team: They win at home and lose on the road. On paper, this trip looks a hair tougher than the last one, what with Cujo and the real Dominator standing in the way of at least two wins. But, hey, they already got over on Roy, so who's to say what's possible with this bunch?

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