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Thursday, May 29

Updated: May 29, 10:12 PM ET

It's OK for Ducks to get emotional

ESPN's hockey analysts break down Game 2 of the Stanley Cup finals between the Anaheim Mighty Ducks and the New Jersey Devils:

Barry Melrose
This was worse than Game 1. The Ducks had to win this game and they just didn't show up. They had 16 shots again, and only two in the second period. There's just been no effort. They lost a lot of physical battles and they made mistakes defensively again.

Right now, they're very fragile mentally and they're looking for answers and Mike Babcock has to have some of those answers. They have to get back to basics and outwork the Devils for one period, then two periods, then three periods. They have to get some shots.

They can't win the series in one game, but they can turn the series around in one game. That's the idea Mike Babcock has to sell. One game at a time. All the old clichés come into effect, but they're true. They can't win four in a row, but they can win one, and that's how they've got to handle it.

But I don't think they can beat Martin Brodeur four times. I think this game was the series and I think the Ducks knew it.

Darren Pang
Jean-Sebastien Giguere isn't getting any breaks whatsoever. Anything that can go against him right now, is. He's still making solid saves. He doesn't look like he's wavering.

If anything, he's naturally getting a little frustrated, and I don't blame him. He's got bodies in front of him. It's hard to make saves and look around people all the time. New Jersey is getting people to flood in front of him while passes are being made. It's hard to track down the shot anyway, but with the bodies in front he's really having a difficult time. The pucks are bouncing off people and then the Devils end up with an empty netter. Or in the case of Scott Gomez's goal, it bounces off a few people and goes in, and Giguere has no chance. Of the five goals that have been scored on Giguere, he's only been beaten on one. That was Friesen's first goal in Game 1, and he did an excellent job of changing the angle.

I just think he needs a bounce or two, and he obviously needs to play with some kind of lead. When a goalie is playing with a deficit, he presses a little more, he thinks he has to do a little more than he actually has to do. He snapped his stick. That's perfectly normal. He was completely and utterly ticked off. But, you snap the stick in half and sometimes you feel a little bit better. He's frustrated with being behind in the series, with the lack of breaks he's getting, and with the fact that they're not generating any chances on Martin Brodeur. All the traffic is coming at him, and he's just saying, "Geez, let's make it tough on him because it's getting really tough on me back here."

Giguere is such a fan of Patrick Roy, both on and off the ice, and Patrick was great at timely speeches. Maybe Jean-Sebastien Giguere needs to go into that room and say something. No yelling and screaming and cursing at guys for things they're not doing, but standing up and saying something. It doesn't have to be much, just something.

Brian Engblom
This is a very different Ducks team than the one we saw 12 days ago. They don't have anything left, they've lost the glue, they've lost their concentration and their confidence and they have one foot going backwards.

They have to start by getting some of that emotion back. Just go out and play, forget the checkers and the chess stuff, the "what do we do in this situation" and "how do we beat the trap" and all that technical stuff.

What's really struck me about New Jersey since the end of the Ottawa series has been their emotion, and Pat Burns started it. That last game, he was a cheerleader, he was jumping up and down and yelling and screaming every time they scored and he wasn't ashamed to do it. That's injected emotion into New Jersey at the proper times and they're experienced enough to channel that emotion.

Mike Babcock has to find a way to do that, because they're just too calm, trying to find ways to do things. They're at that time already, where it's "don't think, just play." They can't wait until the fourth game to do that. They can't afford to get down another game. They have to get mad and get out there. They've tried all the X's and O's stuff, now they need a little smashmouth stuff.

Ray Ferraro
The Devils couldn't have played much better in these two games, but it's not all about the Devils. The Ducks have not played very well at all. They haven't played with much energy and New Jersey has just been terrific.

Mike Babcock said his team needs to compete a lot harder and win some battles for loose pucks and he's right -- his team didn't win enough battles. When they chip the puck into the zone, they're not getting any support on the puck. If they're going to get any offense, they're going to need short support on the puck, which means one guy chips it in and the second guy gets really close to him to pick up the puck. If they don't do that, they're not going to be able to crack the Devils' defense.

Babcock's job in the next day and a half is to make these guys believe that they can come back, and they can.

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