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Kevin Boyle has a "mighty" good night for the Ducks

February 14, 2019, 3:37 PM ET [1 Comments]
Steve Palumbo
Anaheim Ducks Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
It's Silver Celebration week in Anaheim. It's all very cheesy and kind of embarrassing considering the state of Anaheim Ducks recently. But for one night at least, it was vintage Ducks hockey for the hometown fans.

San Diego Gulls goalie Kevin Boyle did his best J.S. Giguere impersonation on Wednesday night in leading the Ducks to a 1-0 victory against the Vancouver Canucks.

Anaheim won for just the third time in the last two months. It's the first win of the post-Carlyle era and the first behind the bench for General Manager, Bob Murray.

But none of that info trumps what Boyle accomplished in his first NHL start between the pipes.

 With all goalies of note banged up and out of commision and the rest of the ream reeling, Boyle got the nod and made the most of the opportunity. The 26-year-old turned aside all 35 rubber disks sent his way by Vancouver sticks in winning his first National Hockey League start. He joins John Gibson as the only other Ducks goalie to get a shutout in his first start. Funny enough, they both did it against the Canucks.

Boyle didn't look unbeatable or even spectacular, but he made the stops he had too and a more engaged Ducks defense helped out by clearing traffic and rebounds.

Don't get me wrong, Boyle was the games real hero and that narrative won't change. His reaction after the final horn was priceless. However,  nothing else really stood out about the Ducks overall performance. With the exception of a brief third period push, it was a very average game from an average team.

With Murray behind the bench a better effort was fully expected. The Ducks won, but they almost did so in spite of themselves. Jakob Silfverberg scored the GWG early in the first period. From that point on, Anaheim spent most of the game dodging bullets. The Canucks out-chanced the Ducks nearly 2-to-1 and held a 24-14 scoring chance advantage. High danger chances were about even, but I attributed that to an uptick in Anaheim's effort around the cage. Not sure how long that will last either.

It's okay to feel good about winning and for Kevin Boyle, but don't get carried away. Anaheim is a very flawed team and still rank last in offense and goal-differential (-54). It's very hard to win 1-0 in this league and that's about what it will take to unsink this Titanic of a hockey team.

Kudos Boyle, you made Ducks nation smile - even if it's for a brief moment.

Thanks for reading,
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