Open Gameday Thread: Anaheim Ducks @ Vancouver Canucks

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Amidst all of the rumors flying around the NHL right now, the Ducks seem to finally be finding their legs. Whether Bob Murray's threat has motivated them or not, the Ducks now look like the team we expected to see. Over their past five games, in which they've earned a point in every contest, Anaheim is averaging 4.2 goals per game. Coupled with a suddenly dominant Jonas HIller, this team looks capable of making a frantic run at the playoffs.

With the team's sudden resurgence, I thought it would be a good idea to compare the Ducks' performance under their two bench bosses this season to see if we can find any insights. We're still talking about relatively low sample sizes here, but I think there are some interesting nuggets for discussion here.

Under Carlyle

Under Boudreau

Games played






Points per game



Goals per game



Goals against per game



Shots per game



Shots against per game



The Ducks still have negative goal and shot differentials under Boudreau, but that all-important goal differential is getting closer. Of course, scoring an extra half a goal per game helps. I'm not surprised that the offense has increased (although shots per game have actually declined), but I am surprised that the defense seems to be better under Boudreau. Everyone expected the offense to catch fire under Boudreau, and to a degree, it has. But I don't think many people thought we'd see more solid defending under his system.

Then again, these are small sample sizes and we're not talking about meteoric shifts in numbers here. Whatever it is, though, I'm glad that the Ducks seem to finally be playing with some confidence. Let's hope they can keep it going against a Vancouver team that has also found it's stride of late. Boudreau has even labeled tonight's contest a "measuring stick" that will help the Ducks get a true sense of whether or not they've made dramatic improvements since they were destroyed by the Canucks at the end of December.

Go Ducks.

[Ed. Note: Roberto Luongo in net tonight for the Canucks. The last time the Ducks faced Bobby Lu, they chased him from the net. Aaand the last time the 'Nucks faced Jonas Hiller they chased him from net. Best of luck to Cory Schneider and Jeff Deslauriers in their relief appearances. HA!]

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