Instead Jean-Sebastien Giguere helped the Colorado Avalanche secure a 4-2 victory over his former team.
Giguere was traded away to Toronto on January 31, 2010, nearly two years ago. He has since meandered to Colorado where he has thrived in a back up goaltender position. A .927 save percentage and 1.96 goals against average shows that whatever he is doing, it's working.
His former team? Not so much.
Someone jokingly suggested that Jonas Hiller should be wearing the number 4 instead of a 1 on his back, because 4 is how many goals he lets in every game. Ouch. It seems to be an accurate assessment, however.
The team in front of Hiller? They sure aren't helping things out any.
The Ducks came out onto the ice looking like they already had done their New Year's Eve celebrations instead of anticipating them. They were sluggish, lifeless and seemed to excel in turnovers only. They could not even manage to muster a shot on goal until more than midway through the first period. OK, technically there was a doozy that rang off the pipe, but that was it.
Colorado, who did not start off looking that great, either, still managed to get their act together.
After a very nice video tribute to Giguere during a TV timeout, the Avs thought it would be nice to honor Giguere as well with a goal.
Milan Hejduk got his 10th of the year at 6:35 and the Avs never gave the lead up.
"It's definitely a special night for him," said Hejduk of his netminder. "He's done so many great things for this franchise, and they didn't forget about it. ... We're a confident group right now, and we're trying to keep it up."
Colorado came out in the second period with a vengeance and in two shifts, the 1-0 lead extended to 3-0. First came Kyle Quincey's goal at 5:49. Chuck Kobasew followed it up at 7:05 and the Ducks felt that same sinking feeling they have had too much of this season.
Coach Bruce Boudreau called a timeout for his team.
"It was looking like at that moment they felt defeated," said Boudreau. "I said 'I'm tired of building you guys up. It's about time you manned up and played the game instead of feeling sorry for yourselves.'"
I am sure there were a few expletives thrown in there as well for emphasis, and the Ducks deserved every one.
All was not completely grim for Anaheim. Lubomir Visnovsky got his shot through from the blue line at 12:26 of the second period to eliminate a shut out for Giguere.
Hejduk's second of the game at 1:49 of the third period, a power play goal, gave the Avs their three goal lead back again.
Bobby Ryan's marker at 12:38 came after the majority of Ducks fans had already exited the building, eager to leave the scene of some criminally bad hockey as early as possible. You cannot blame them. Poor folks are paying money for this stuff. It IS criminal.
And so it goes. Another Ducks loss, despite the return of Saku Koivu in the line up after missing several games with a groin strain. Poor Boudreau. The team has lost 10 of 13 games since his arrival in November.
"I don't know what kind of mind-set they were in before I got here, but they were down becuase of the position they were in," Boudreau observed. " I'm surprised it hasn't turned around a little bit. There's that hill that we can't get over."
It is nearly halfway through the season and Ducks fans can hardly wait until April when all this will be over. They shoot horses, don't they, to put them out of their misery?