@ Anaheim Ducks
Sunday, Oct 23, 2011, 5:00 PM PDT
TV: PRIME TICKET & NHLN-CA
RADIO: AM 830 KLAA
Your Enemy: Five For Howling
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Tonight the Ducks need to hold serve with the rest of the division. The Coyotes have been kicked around the bottom of the Pacific Division, and now it's the Ducks' turn.
Phoenix opened the season by getting shellacked by San Jose 6-3, and to anyone watching that game, it wasn't even that close. They took Dallas to a shootout, but despite taking 41 shots on Kari Lehtonen it was about as exciting as you would expect a Dallas/Phoenix game to be. Then on Thursday they were shut out by the Kings. Now it's the Ducks' to kick 'em while their down.
More importantly - it’s a classic bounce back game. The Ducks came out flatter than a three day old can of Coke Friday night against Dallas, and despite a few strong shifts from the RPG line, they were never able to get in the game.
Speaking of the RPG line, they’re on the right track, but it still hasn’t quite clicked in terms of goals for the trio. As Greg Wyshynski of Puck Daddy noted this morning, Ryan Getzlaf hasn't scored yet; two of Corey Perry’s three goals have come on the power play and Bobby Ryan has only broken through in one game. The way they’ve been playing, it’s only a matter of time, and what better time than now?
I would like to predict that the Ducks break the curse of Bryzgalov, now that he’s in Philly, and finally beat Phoenix in a shootout for what seems like the first time since they waived the goalie in 2008. But I have a feeling that after a lethargic performance against Dallas, they'll be eager to show they can play with a lot more energy, and they’ll jump all over this Phoenix team. I can’t really say why I’m so optimistic, other than the fact that the lack of hustle we saw on Friday hasn’t been a trend (yet) but I have to go with my gut.
It would also be nice to leave town on a good note. After this the Ducks head out on a seven game road trip including stops in Chicago, Washington and Detroit and one set of back to backs.
Go Ducks, and watch out for Shane Doan.