Ducks forward Teemu Selanne, left, celebrates with his teammates following… (Jeff Gross / Getty Images )
What were they doing in the War Room in Toronto?
Placing an order for pizza? Mulling the multiple hair-color changes by Nicki Minaj, the headlining musical entertainer at the NBA's All-Star game? Getting the call right after multiple views from multiple angles?
Try the last choice.
The review of what turned out to be a good goal in the first period by Andrew Cogliano in the Ducks' 3-1 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks seemed to go on and on. Spectators were getting a little nervous Sunday at Honda Center.
For the Ducks, doubt faded the longer the review lasted in Toronto. After all, nearly everything has gone right for the Ducks since Jan. 1, when they started a 17-4-4 run, the best in the league in that stretch. The surge has kept them in the tight Western Conference race, six points out of a playoff spot.
The goals came from the team's spiritual and on-ice leader, Teemu Selanne; a light-scoring defenseman, Sheldon Brookbank, and the skate and then the stick of Cogliano. For Selanne, who assisted on Brookbank's goal, the two points put him in 20th place in the league's all-time scoring list with 1,395 points, one more than former Kings star Luc Robitaille.
But Cogliano's goal was the one helping cure the malaise, the typical flatness you see out of a team returning from a long trip. It came with 19.9 seconds remaining in the first period and the Ducks trailing, 1-0, after Patrick Kane scored a power-play goal at 11 minutes 29 seconds.
At first, it appeared as though Cogliano kicked the puck in. But another view offered another perspective and the ruling was that he got his stick on the puck after kicking it.
"A million things go through your head. ... But the longer they kept going, they must be seeing something we're not seeing here," Coach Bruce Boudreau said. "And Andrew said he hit it with his stick."
There was some give and take between the coach and the player.
"And I said, 'No, you didn't,' " Boudreau said. "He said, 'Yeah, I did.' I said, 'OK, I've got to believe you.' They've got all the views and when it's on NBC, they're having more cameras here than you could shake a stick at. I think they got it right."
Cogliano also felt more confident the longer the review took.
"I was just worried my stick was underneath his [goalie Ray Emery's] pad or he couldn't see the puck and they just thought I kicked it," Cogliano said. "I kicked it. But I kicked it to my stick and I shot it after. I definitely felt shooting it. … But I was happy they got it right. It's a tough call on their part."
The Blackhawks, who are in the midst of a 4-11-1 slump, mustered only nine shots in the final two periods and a mere four in the third period. They scored one goal in consecutive games against the Kings and the Ducks.
Conversely, Brookbank seems to be finding his scoring touch at age 31. His shot from above the right circle beat Emery after going off defenseman Duncan Keith, only his third career goal but second in the last five games.
"I could tell you a lot of stories of goals called back, from the first time I ever played in the league," said Brookbank, who debuted in the NHL in 2006-07. "I could go on all day. Maybe I have more confidence now."
Now that can be said for the rest of his teammates as the Ducks are on a 9-1-1 run at home. Selanne, though, seemed about the only one confident that things might turn around even when the Ducks were at their lowest.
"I'm enjoying every second right now," said Selanne, who is three points behind friend and countryman Jari Kurri on the all-time scoring list. "When you go through some tough times like we did in the first half, you couldn't believe what was happening here. When we turned this around, it has been unbelievable and fun. That's why we all play hockey."