Wednesday, November 1st, 7:00PM PST
Honda Center - Anaheim, CA
TV: FS-W, NHL.tv
Radio: AM 830
The Enemy: Pension Plan Puppets
The Anaheim Ducks are playing host to the Toronto Maple Leafs tonight as they begin their month of November hockey. They’ve had two days of rest after finishing a four-game road trip, with the last one being a 4-3 shootout victory against the Carolina Hurricanes. The road trip was quite the success with the Ducks getting six of a possible eight total points and winning both games on a back-to-back (not easy to do). They will look to keep the wins coming and take down a Leafs team that has an extremely talented team and is considered (by most) a cup contender.
The Toronto Maple Leafs are sitting 3rd in their division with a 7-5-0 record. They are coming of three straight losses. The most recent loss was against the San Jose Sharks in Patrick Marleau’s return to the Shark Tank. They will do everything in their power to end that losing streak tonight. They have the capability of doing so with top-end talent in Auston Matthews, William Nylander, and Mitchell Marner.
All Eyes on Me:
Auston Matthews and the Ducks second line. Matthews leads the Leafs in points (16) and goals (9). The sophomore put up 40 goals in his first season and is currently on pace for over 100 points. He’s one of the best goal scorers in the league and he’s not someone you can push off the puck easily. Our second line of (presumably) Jakob Silfverberg, Antoine Vermette, and Andrew Cogliano will have their hands full against Matthews and his line mate William Nylander.
Keys to the Game:
Slow the game down - The Ducks did a great job of slowing the game down against the Tampa Bay Lighting and it helped secure a victory. They will need to do the same against the equally fast-paced Maple Leafs. If the Leafs’ youngsters catch the Ducks flat footed with their speed, you can bet it won’t take many opportunities before they cash in.
Contain Auston Matthews - Matthews is a player that can destroy a team single-handedly given the chance. All he needs is a little room to rip one of his deadly-accurate wrist shots past whoever is in goal. If the Ducks plan on winning tonight, containing Matthews, and giving him as few opportunities as possible to make a play, is the first step to doing that. With Ryan Getzlaf out of the lineup, look for that second Ducks line to be solely focused on shutting Matthews’ line down.
Figure out your second period - The Ducks have this extremely frustrating trend of playing horrendous hockey in the second period more often than not. The past three seasons, the second period has had their worst goal differential by far. If they give Toronto a second period opportunity like they gave Carolina, not even stellar goaltending will save them.
What will the final score be?
This poll is closed
5-4 in regulation
2-1 in regulation
3-2 in overtime
Make sure to comment on who gets the game winner!