Season Series Record, Ducks vs. Kings: 1-1-0
KNOW THY ENEMY
Record (Points): 22-13-3 (47 pts.)
Place in Pacific Division: 2nd
Place in Western Conference: 4th
Who's Hot? He who wears the frosted tips - Jeff Carter. Carter has 22 goals on the season, good for fourth in the NHL. He sits behind Steven Stamkos with 25 goals and Alex Ovechkin and John Tavares at 23 goals. He's a wee bit of a puck hog with only 5 assists.
Who's Not? Jonathan Quick. The current Conn Smythe trophy winner is 13-11-3 with 2.49 GAA and 0.898 SV%. Despite the strong showing by Quick in the 4-1 victory over the Oilers on Saturday, the Kings are deferring to backup Jonathan Bernier tonight. Bernier is 10-9-2 with a 1.77 GAA and 0.927 SV%.
Numbers for Nerds: When scoring first, the Kings are 16-1-2, second best record in the NHL to Chicago. If the opposition scores first, the record falls to 6-12-1, dropping the Kings to 17th. The Ducks are nearly the opposite. When scoring first, Anaheim is 11th with a 14-2-3 record. If the opponent scores first, the Ducks are 11-6-2, third in the NHL. Of the latter, it's not exactly something to be too proud of.
Many called the game(s) against Chicago the biggest game(s) of the season for the Ducks and I was inclined to agree at the time. However, after sweeping Chicago, my mind went immediately to this game. No doubt the road to get to this game has been all but smooth for the Ducks. And given their performance against Dallas on Friday, it's been downright ugly at times.
The Ducks are eight points up on the Kings for the top of the Pacific Division with 10 games to go for both teams. Despite being a virtual lock for a playoff spot, this is a 'must win' for Anaheim. They can beat pretty much everyone else in the West (save Detroit, for the most part) but it doesn't earn them the respect they deserve; LA remains the toast of Southern California. Even prior to one of the meetings earlier this season, Stay Puffed Marshmallow Man Drew Doughty declared the Kings as the best team in So Cal. Poor kid never learned to read.
Jonas Hiller skated yesterday but hasn't been declared fit for action after sitting out Friday with the flu. (Is it just me or does this team have the worst possible flu bug ever? Bug bomb the locker room with Purell already.) Hopefully Viktor Fasth has dusted off the cobwebs and won't be as lackadaisical with the puck as he was in game three against Dallas.
The big question on everyone's mind is: will the Ducks have to play again without Ryan Getzlaf? From Robby's encounter with Getzy on the elevator Friday night, the possibility of not having him in the lineup seems even greater. Not surprisingly, Bruce has yet to tip his hand about the captain. As of writing this, we are left with a 'game time decision'. And by game time, we mean if he shows up during warmups or not. We'll keep you posted.
Boudreau: Getzlaf (lower body) not playing tonight. "It's day to day. We want him to heal as much as possible." #NHLDucks— Anaheim Ducks (@AnaheimDucks) April 7, 2013
TIme for Perry to step up big time. Last time Getz was out with injury, Perry scored 50 goals and went on to become the league MVP. No pressure, Pears.
This is a huge game. Should be a
scary good one.