Wednesday, November 14th, 7:00 PM PST
Radio: AM 830, AnaheimDucks.com
Your Enemy: Stanley Cup of Chowder
Coming off a 2-1 loss against the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Anaheim Ducks are back on the ice to take on the visiting Boston Bruins. While John Gibson was notably and arguably the best player on the ice, the rest of the Anaheim Ducks—eh, not so much, until the last 20 minutes. If the Anaheim fan base would be honest to themselves, they will recall cringing at the lopsided 29-14 shots on goal in favor of the Lightning through the first two periods. It wasn’t pretty. That being said, Gibby stood on his head and gave this team a chance. And you know what—with all these injuries, there will be games that Gibby will have to be at his best to give the Anaheim club a shot at surviving this period of trial. Obviously, we did see that it isn’t that the Ducks are incapable of playing well (see third period against the Lightning), but it does comfort fans to know that your last lines of defense (Gibson and Miller thus far) are solid. Just help those guys out by creating some offensive chances on the other side of the ice!
Yikes those injuries
The Boston Bruins are also coming off a 1-goal loss, failing to take advantage of a 5-on-3 man advantage in the third period against Toronto. The Bruins are facing a bit of an injury bug as well on their roster.
Here’s who is out on IR from the Boston roster: David Krejci (upper body), Ryan Spooner (groin injury), David Backes (diverticulitis surgery), Adam McQuaid (broken fibula). The team left behind Anders Bjork and Brad Marchand after they were “nicked up” on Saturday against the Leafs. The Bruins did get some good news when Krejci was cleared to travel with the team on this west coast swing with the hopes that he would make an appearance back on the ice. Clearly this is good news for the Bruins as the club also faces similar problems down the center thanks to the injuries. The absence of Krejci, Spooner, and Backes has left a hole down the middle, leaving the burden of the work on Patrice Bergeron.
Battle of the AHL teams
So basically, in a nutshell, you’re going to see the San Diego Gulls vs the Providence Bruins. The simple fact of the matter is that both teams have big deficits they need to fill with depth players. It really will come down to the secondary, tertiary AND quaternary (had to look that one up) guys to step up and fill in those gaps. The Ducks are fortunate to have John Gibson as their goaltender (which is a hell of a lot better than Tuukka Rask), but they will need the Chris Wagner, Derek Grant, or frankly anyone on the unknown-everchanging third line to make and FINISH plays.
The Anaheim Ducks showed that they could not only hang with, but also challenge the best in the last 20 minutes against the Lightning. The problem is the first 40 minutes. We all know this is a 60 minute game and we expect to see 60 minutes of effort. The Ducks cannot just sit back and depend on Gibson to absorb all the shots. The vets have to lead (I’m talking to you Pears) and the young ‘uns have to step it up. The Ducks have a chance to exploit Boston’s equally-depleted roster to get back to winning ways on home ice IF they do avoid getting exploited themselves for their deficiencies.