Anaheim Ducks @ San Jose Sharks
Saturday, November 26th, 2016 7:30 PM PST
Radio: AM 830, AnaheimDucks.com
Your Enemy: Fear The Fin
The Ducks will attempt to snap a 3 game losing streak tonight against the San Jose Sharks on the tail-end of a back to back slate. The Ducks are coming off their 5th consecutive Black Friday loss against the Chicago Blackhawks going back to 2009. The Ducks will try to search for answers and get back to fundamentals as the little mistakes such as incomplete/bad passes and positioning issues keep the Ducks from taking that ever-elusive lead.
The Sharks, meanwhile, are on the opposite path of the Ducks, winning their last 3 straight while playing sound defensive hockey giving up only 3 goals over that span. Sharks goaltender Martin Jones has been on fire lately with a .986 SV% over two of those games against Chicago and New Jersey (he shut out the Devils and held the Blackhawks to one goal). Defenseman Brent Burns has been celebrating his new 8 x 8 contract extension by pacing San Jose with 6 points over the Sharks winning streak.
The Ducks meanwhile are looking to recapture some of that scoring mojo they had while trying to find consistency during their every-other-game beat downs. Corey Perry is in the midst of a 12-game goal drought while Ryan Getzlaf still has only one goal on the season scored against the Islanders during the 3rd game of the season. Both players are dishing out plenty of assists though averaging nearly a PPG pace. However, the Twins will have to start finding the back of the net soon if the Ducks want to maintain their playoff spot.
On the bright side, Rickard Rakell continues to be scorching hot with 3 goals in his last 4 games and 11 points in his last 11 games as he appears to have been permanently promoted to the left winger spot alongside Getzlaf and Perry with Ritchie being moved down to the third line with Antoine Vermette and the impressive rookie Ondrej Kase.
The “literally Patrice Bergeron” line of Kesler-Silfverberg-Cogliano continues to look dangerous every time they hit the ice. While the Ducks are looking for more scoring outside of this line and Rakell, this line producing at its current rate is always a welcome sign.
It’s reasonable to expect that this game will be no different from recent matchups between these two teams: grinding, physical affairs with lots of bad blood between the players. PIM seems to go up across the board for these games, so the Ducks will be looking to use their physicality while being as disciplined as possible to maximize power play chances.