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PREVIEW: Ducks @ Sharks (10/25/16): Pacific Clash at the Shark Tank

Anaheim faces last year’s Western Conference Champs for the first time this season

NHL: Anaheim Ducks at San Jose Sharks John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

Game #7

Anaheim Ducks @ San Jose Sharks

Tuesday October 25, 2016 7:00 PM PST

SAP Center


Radio: AM 830,

Your Enemy: Fear the Fin

If the goal of the Anaheim Ducks was to start the 2016-17 season a little better than last year, than they already achieved it. Currently, the Ducks are 2-3-1 through six games. Last year, they weren’t able to get their second win until Game #10. So yay for not starting the season as terrible as last year.

Despite the slow and somewhat worrisome start, the Anaheim Ducks are feeling a bit better about themselves due to the results of the last two games, most recently including Sunday night’s home opener 4-2 win against the Vancouver Canucks. Although the scoring did come from the top lines, the third and fourth line did present challenges to the Canucks. The Ducks took their own advice and kept out of the penalty box for most the game. Rickard Rakell is on his way (see here)... and it sounds like rumors are flying with regards to the Hampus Lindholm signing. So the pieces are moving for the Anaheim hockey club.

Now let’s take a top line overview of the Pacific Division rivals up north....The San Jose Sharks didn’t do all too much to shake up their roster this past off-season—because after all, they did make it to all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals. What ultimately killed the Sharks was the Penguins’ speed. So they made a couple adjustments to the —they kept their main core, but added defenseman David Schlemko and forward Mikkel Boedker, while letting James Reimer (Florida), Roman Polak (Toronto) and Matt Tennyson (Caroline) go.

Six games in, the Sharks are sitting at 50% at 3-3-0. Their schedule has been somewhat challenging as seven of the first ten games are against last season’s playoff teams. That being said, the Sharks are primed to make another playoff run as long as they stay healthy. They are going through a bit of a rough patch as it comes to special teams—their power play lacking goals and their penalty kill just being bad. Statistically, the Sharks are still on top of the league with dangerous scoring chances.

If the Ducks are high on their past two wins, they are going to have to gear up and get ready to play tight. We are beginning to see young’uns like Nick Ritchie finding their groove, and it’ll only be nicer to see some more goal support from the bottom two lines. But maybe that’s hopeful wishing so early on? Ultimately the stars need to be stars and challenge Jones in front of the net.