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With the division all locked up the Ducks' only goal tonight is to stay sharp for the playoffs. Anaheim has called up eight different players from Norfolk to get the NHL experience, not counting the recent call ups of Devante Smith-Pelly, Pat Maroon and Sami Vatanen. It should be a fun night in Anaheim.
Place in Western Conference: 10th with no hope of swiping a playoff spot
Who's Hot: Antoine Vermette and Keith Yandle are coming off multi-point efforts in the Yotes OT loss to Colorado last night. Yandle also had a PP goal in their victory over San Jose. Vrbata has picked up two goals in the last five ames. In true Coyote fashion the offense that has been coming has been coming from a little of everywhere.
Who's Not: Shane Doan and Radim Vrbata might be the only stand out forwards on this Phoenix squad and Doan only has two assists in his last nine games. The Coyotes are 3-3-3 in that stretch. Not helping matters has been the slightly back and forth play of Mike Smith who gave up four to Colorado last night, and three to Detroit earlier in the week.
Numbers for Nerds: The Pacific Division is the only division in the league where every team has a winning record against teams in the division. Weird, right?
There isn't a lot going on for the Ducks right now. The Division and the two seed are firmly locked up which makes this game about as pointless as a Glenn Beck conspiracy theory. The Ducks will spend the afternoon scoreboard watching and trying to figure out if they'll be playing game three in Detroit, Minnesota, or Lumbus. Personally, I hope it's Detroit. Nothing would make me happier than to get one more go at one of the most undervalued rivalries of the last decade.
In the meantime, the Ducks are calling up everyone and their mother just in time for Mother's day.
Ducks call up eight: Mat Clark, Max Friberg, John Gibson, Nate Guenin, Jordan Hendry, Peter Holland, Hampus Lindholm, Harry Zolnierczyk.
It's a bunch of kids who will get a chance to practice with the club and get a feeling for the NHL playoff experience. It certainly can't hurt to have the extra bodies around. Sbisa will still be out with this lower body injury, but Bobby and Getzlaf will be back. Fasth will draw the start, because what we really need is to have a minor goalie controversy right before the playoffs. Etem, Staubitz and Beleskey will all be watching from the press box with the call ups. Maybe they should just buy a suite.
It may be a pointless game, but look to Bruce to crack the whip so that the Ducks don't carry any bad habits into the playoffs. There's still a question as to whether this team is the one that dominated for the first 25 games or the one that saw two separate four game losing streaks in it's past 20. The Ducks have won three in a row and you have to think they'll want to play a good game going into the post season.
Finally, in his own special paragraph, a stick tap goes to Radek Dvorak who will be playing in his 1200th career NHL game. You don't reach that number by accident. Congratulations!
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