In sports, we often hear the term “Cinderella story”; used for miraculous, come-from-behind, against-all-odds type feats. The sport of hockey has had a few of its own, most notably probably being the matchup of the USA verse the Soviets in the 1980 Olympic games in Lake Placid.
With the USA up 4-3 on the powerhouse that was the Soviets, and with five seconds left, Al Michaels delivered his most famous quote, “Do you believe in miracles? YES!” And with that, the nation became joyously uproarious.
It’s doubtful that we’ll see anything of that magnitude again, but for a brief and shining moment this season, it appeared as though the Anaheim Ducks at pulling off their very own Cinderella story this season.
At their lowest point, the Ducks were twenty points back of playoff contention and no team has ever overcome a deficit that large and made it into the playoffs, but on February 24, they were only four points back and with plenty of time left in the season to pull off the Cinderella story.
However, after some tough losses and some unfortunate injuries, it appears as though when the clock began to strike midnight, this Cinderella left it’s glass slipper behind and went back to a life of chores and rags.
Prior to entering Friday night’s game against their cross-town rival, the Los Angeles Kings, the Ducks were ten points back of a spot in the playoffs with a mere eleven games left to play. It would take much more than the appearance of a fairy godmother and a wave of her magic wand for the Ducks to make it into the playoffs. If they are able to pull it off, it would definitely be another “Do you believe in miracles?” moment.
“We keep believing until it’s clear we have no chance to make it,” declared Luca Sbisa on the Ducks hopes at the playoffs.
The Kings, who came into the game only three points out of playoff contention, came out strong with three goals in the first: a goal by Alec Martinez less than three minutes in, one from Anze Kopitar about halfway through and one with just eight seconds left in the period from Justin Williams.
Captain Ryan Getzlaf stated, “We didn’t come out ready to play a hockey game and they came ready to play.”
“They outplayed us really badly and they came away with a three-nothing lead,” coach Bruce Boudreau added.
The Ducks trailed by three heading into the second, but they were not about to give up. A few minutes into the second, Cam Fowler scored a power play goal, putting the Ducks on the scoreboard. They were unable to score again in the period, but got another goal, this one from Sbisa early in the third, giving the Ducks plenty of time to tie up the game.
They were even given a power play opportunity with about six minutes remaining, but they were unable to capitalize. To seal the game, the Kings got an empty netter from Mike Richards with ten seconds left to play and the Kings won 4-2.
The Ducks will host the Nashville Predators at Honda Center on Sunday.