KNOW THY ENEMY
Record (Points): 25-4-3 = 53 points
Place in Central Division: 1st
Place in Western Conference: 1st (currently 2nd overall in the league behind Pittsburgh)
Who's Hot? Patrick Kane is doing as you'd expect and leading his team in both goals and assists. Kane is fifth in the league in goals, assists and points.
Who's Not? Both Marian Hossa and Patrick Sharp are expected to be out of the lineup. Hossa didn't play in Anaheim either, which may have helped since he's third on the Blackhawks in points, and has four of the team's GWG.
Numbers for Nerds: It might be harder for Anaheim to break this ugly inability to score. Chicago (along with Ottawa) have given up the least amount of goals against this season with 68. That's just a little over 2.12 a game. Lately, the Ducks are lucky to get one!
It was definitely an uphill battle for the Ducks to take out the Hawks just a little over a week ago, and since then their momentum, positive mentality and egos have been absolutely shattered. If the team needed a reminder that they're worthy of competing and making a serious run in the post season, this game could be an opportunity to forget the recent week of embarassment.
Or it can send them further into the abyss.
The Ducks are still sitting atop the standings in the Pacific, but other teams are starting to catch fire and their position on the leader board won't last long at this rate. Anaheim's goaltending is starting to take a turn for the worse in what may be best described as a "better of two evils" and the offense is definitely playing hookie from attending any 60 minute session. Defensively the mishmash and rotation of defensemen is starting to wreack havoc on the ever changing pairings and any sense of consistency has definitely flown the coop.
Ironically, if anyone thought that Anaheim was in need of a challenge, they've found it. I just don't think anyone expected the challenge to be hiding in their very own locker room.