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Ducks vs Golden Knights MORNING THOUGHTS: Ducks Eat Their Sorrows for Thanksgiving

You can’t expect to win when you barely shoot the puck

NHL: Vegas Golden Knights at Anaheim Ducks Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Idly watching Gibson do all he can do to save them (as accurately depicted in the lead art), the Anaheim Ducks find themselves on the wrong side of the shot totals for the fifth straight game. This game against the Vegas Golden Knights finished with a 49-19 shot differential. You just can’t expect to win with that type of shot differential.

"The 2-0 lead wasn’t really a true tale of the game. We just got lucky. We shouldn’t kid ourselves. We weren’t even close." - Andrew Cogliano

The Ducks managed to capitalize on some chances early on while John Gibson stood on his head. Early into the second period, the Ducks made it a 2-0 game, but it was all Golden Knights from there on out. Even with the goals, the Ducks were being outplayed in all three zones. As an example, the Ducks only managed one shot on net after scoring each goal in the first and second period, and they scored both goals with over 10 minutes remaining in the respective period. That’s downright embarrassing.

This honestly should not come as a surprise to the Anaheim Ducks. With the way they’ve been playing the past few games, it was only a matter of time before they paid the price. If you can’t get the puck out of the defensive zone and generate quality offensive breakouts, you’re setting yourself up for the loss. Ducks fans can only hope this was their wake up call as the next 3 of 4 opponents the Ducks face are in 1st or 2nd place in their respective division.

Best and Worst

BEST - The Ducks goaltending has been outstanding as of late. John Gibson is playing on another level right now as he turned in a third consecutive 40+ save night. Despite letting in 4 goals last night, he still managed a .918 save percentage. Add in Reto Berra turning in his own 40-save performance against the San Jose Sharks on Monday night, and the Ducks have a lot to be happy about with their last line of defense.

Another positive to take away is Josh Manson, who is on quite the hot streak as well. Along with logging his average 20+ minutes a night, he has managed to register 7 points in his last 10 games (and 6 in his last 7). He’s also scored 3 goals on the season now, which is only two less than his season total last year. While he still is looked upon as a defensive juggernaut, the uptick in offense is certainly welcomed.

WORST - The Ducks have now been outshot 49-19, 42-30, 52-28, 42-27 in their last 4 games. The Ducks goaltenders got them to a 3-1-0 over that span, but the lack of defense and inconsistent offense was finally exposed against the Golden Knights. To make matters worse, the Ducks couldn’t exploit the obvious weakness of the Knights, which is their goaltending. The Ducks scored 2 goals off 11 shots, but could only manage 8 more shots the rest of the game against a goalie who has only played 11 NHL games in total. There’s no sugar-coating it, the Ducks need to improve on both ends of the ice.

Three Stars of the Game

3. Josh Manson - Registered a team high of 3 shots, scored the first goal, and dished out 3 hits. He seemed to have the most energy of the Ducks in the game.

2. John Gibson - 45 saves on 49 faced. Became the second goaltender in Anaheim Ducks history to make 40+ saves in three consecutive appearances.

1. The Vegas Golden Knights - They played relentless hockey and got a well-deserved win. Do I believe the Knights are a Stanley Cup contender, no. However, despite having any superstar talent, and the endless goalie injuries, the Knights sit in 1st place in the Pacific Division while playing fewer games than any division rivals. That’s something to respect.

The hockey community gets Thanksgiving day off, and the Ducks will return to action Friday afternoon against the Winnipeg Jets at Honda Center.



How many servings of Thanksgiving dinner will you have?

This poll is closed

  • 30%
    1 serving.
    (10 votes)
  • 18%
    2 servings.
    (6 votes)
  • 51%
    However many it takes for me to hate myself.
    (17 votes)
33 votes total Vote Now