When someone talks about Black Friday, it’s usually about tradition: shopping the crazy sales at the local mall at insane hours (or staying far away from them), what to do with all of the Thanksgiving leftovers, and how it is now socially acceptable to start listening to Christmas music (although some people start much earlier).
However, the Anaheim Ducks have a Black Friday tradition all their own, an afternoon game. On a sunny So Cal afternoon, the Ducks hosted their eleventh of such contests and their opponent would be the Chicago Blackhawks, for the seventh time.
The Ducks held a 4-1-1 record in their previous six Black Friday meetings against the Hawks and an 8-3-4 record in their Black Friday history.
Last year on Black Friday, the Ducks debuted their third jerseys, featuring more orange paneling and the duck-foot “D” logo on the front. They lost that game 4-1 to the Blackhawks.
But typically, Black Friday has been good to the Ducks, and with a 2-10-4 record in their last 16 contests, the Ducks could use some Black Friday magic.
Sporting their one-year old third jerseys and ready to get back in the win column, the Ducks took to the ice, anxious to face off against the Hawks.
The Ducks came out strong, scoring two goals in their 2:13 of the first period, getting goals from Bobby Ryan and Andrew Cogliano. A few minutes later, Patrick Sharp cut the Ducks lead in half. Towards the end of the period, Teemu Selanne scored a power play goal for the Ducks and Dave Bolland got one for the Blackhawks, ending the period 3-2 in favor of the Ducks.
Ryan added a fourth goal and his second of the night in second, giving the Ducks a two goal lead going into the third.
Ryan, whose game status was uncertain leading up the game due to a hip contusion, mentioned, “I felt ready to play and obviously showed it. It felt good early. There was a little wear-and-tear on it through the game, but I was okay.”
However, Chicago came out in attack mode in the third. Sharp and Jonathan Toews each added tallies for Chicago in the first ninety-two seconds of the period, tying up the game and a couple minutes later, Sharp rounded out the hat trick, giving Chicago the lead for the first time in the game. Toews added yet another giving the Blackhawks a two-goal lead with just about ten minutes to play.
“It’s been a while since we’ve gone out in the third with a lead and a lead that we felt comfortable protecting, “ Ryan mentioned. “Two goal within a minute span is heartbreaking.”
With seven seconds remaining, Corey Perry scored the Ducks fifth of the game, but the Ducks dropped their second Black Friday game in a row to the Blackhawks 6-5.
As the Ducks are now 2-11-4 in their last seventeen games, head coach Randy Carlyle stated, “It’s very frustrating and very confusing for everyone involved.”
The Ducks will face the Toronto Maple Leafs on Sunday, trying once again to see if they can turn their season around.