Anaheim Ducks @ Tampa Bay Lightning
Time: Saturday, October 28th, 4:00PM PST
Amalie Arena, Tampa, Florida
TV: PRIME, SUN
Radio: AM 830
The Enemy: Raw Charge
The Anaheim Ducks are coming off a rather embarrassing performance against the Florida Panthers, resulting in an 8-3 defeat in Sunrise. They will be looking to rebound and play much more sound defensively when they take on an even tougher task in the Tampa Bay Lightning.
The Lightning are off to a very strong start this season, going 9-1-1 through their first 11 contests. They are coming off a 3-2 victory over the Detroit Red Wings and will be looking to keep their perfect home record intact when the Ducks come to town on Saturday afternoon. Tampa Bay is 6-0-0 at home, so the Ducks are looking at quite the challenge ahead, especially given their last performance.
All Eyes On Me:
This may seem a bit of an obvious choice, but Ryan Getzlaf will be my player to watch. He scored a goal in each of the two games against the Lightning last season, and the Ducks will need him (and his linemates) to be productive offensively if Anaheim is going to have a chance. The power play has been improving ever so slightly, but still has a long way to go. Getzlaf’s special teams play in the absence of key power play quarterbacks like Cam Fowler and Sami Vatanen could also prove to be a key to an Anaheim win.
The Ducks are obviously coming off a terrible performance and one of the worst games I can remember in recent history. The team has looked at Getzlaf as a leader for years now, and it has become known that the Ducks play well when Getzy is playing well. His response to the embarrassment in Sunrise will be absolutely crucial to getting Anaheim started off on the right foot.
Keys to the Game:
- Do not, under any circumstances, play like you did on Thursday night.
- Read Key #1
The Ducks absolutely have to clean up defensively if they want to avoid this game looking the same, if not worse, as the game against the Panthers. I find it difficult to imagine this not happening automatically. There were far too many lazy passes and turnovers with players getting caught out of position all over the ice.
Special teams will be a massive factor in this game. The Ducks have been notorious for taking penalties so far this season, and that simply will not fly against the Lightning. I can promise you that if the Ducks get themselves into penalty trouble against Tampa Bay, this game will get ugly quickly. Stay out of the penalty box at all costs.
Lastly, Anaheim has struggled to get the first goal in games this season. Through the first nine, the Ducks have only scored the first goal on two occasions. Falling behind early against Tampa Bay is another ill-advised strategy if the Ducks are hoping to leave Amalie Arena with two points.
This game is the first half of back-to-backs, with the Ducks playing in Carolina on Sunday afternoon. So any and all points in these back-to-backs are welcome and appreciated.
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