With five of a possible eight points banked by the Anaheim Ducks on the opening week of their longest road trip of the season, the east coast portion is over as they begin a run of three Pacific Division games in four nights. First up is the Calgary Flames on the front half of an Alberta back-to-back, who have been mighty mediocre this season after a magical (read: unsustainable) playoff run last year.
Ducks: Saturday, 2/13 at Chicago (OW 3-2). "Ducks Finally Solve OT and Blackhawks"
Flames: Friday, 2/12 at Arizona (L 1-4). "A Listless Flames Team Falls To Arizona"
Anaheim keeps on keeping on since acquiring David Perron from Pittsburgh, now 8-2-1 post-trade. After having spent much of the front half of the regular season outside of playoff positioning, the Ducks are a point back of second place San Jose and home ice in the first round, while division-leading LA is just five points clear. Perron's point-per-game pace with five goals and six assists seems to have unlocked captain Ryan Getzlaf's scoring as well, who has eight points over the last four games. Since a shockingly slow start to the season, Getzlaf has points in 13 of his last 15 games, with three goals in his last six, and three goals and 12 assists since the Perron acquisition.
John Gibson's injury against Chicago again demonstrated the importance of keeping Frederik Andersen around, if even just for the remainder of the pending restricted free agent's season. His play has been making the case as well, unbeaten in regulation in the 2016 calendar year with a .936 save percentage over that stretch and piling up a 7-0-2 record. The run of form has helped Freddie raise his season save percentage to .919, better than Gibson by .002 and 16th overall in the league.
Can you say "regression"? It's not a particularly fresh take when it comes to Calgary, but it fully explains why one of last year's "feel good" playoff teams has come crashing out this season. Nine points out of the final Pacific Division playoff spot with 28 games remaining, the Flames have the fifth worth goal differential in the Western Conference (-16), and are 11-18-1 when being out-shot this season following going 26-17-1 in similar circumstances last year. After scoring on 10.5% of their shots last season, they're finding the net on 9.3% this year.
One of the biggest drop-offs has been Jiri Hudler's, going from a 31-goal season last year to a 12 goal pace this year, with a corresponding 9.3% drop in shooting percentage. He's not the only Flame to suffer a significant drop though; Lance Bouma had a career-high 34 points last season and only has a goal in a limited 19 games this year; Josh Jooris went from a 13.5% shooting percentage and 24-point campaign to a 5.9% mark and 16 point pace. It's not just the tertiary scoring that's down, the goaltending has been nowhere near as good as it was last season as well. Today's starter Jonas Hiller went from a .918 SV% last year to .894 this season, while Karri Ramo's drop has been less significant but he's still down .003 from 2014-15.
Two hours before face off we'll have the game thread up, featuring the full Stat Pack, likely with expected lines, and of course your Numbers For Nerds.