Game # 23
Saturday, November 25th, 7:30 PM PST
TV: FS-W, KCOP-13=
Radio: AM 830, AnaheimDucks.com
Frenemies for Life: Jewels from the Crown
Once more the Ducks must fight for goodness, and justice, and the light of mankind, by vanquishing the evil nation Kings. This time however, unlike last time we faced these dastardly foes, the Kings are not flying high. In fact while their playoff fortunes may be of differing ends, currently both teams have been utter garbage of late. The Ducks are 4-4-2 over the last 10 and are coming off two consecutive home losses. The Kings are 2-6-2 following their over-time loss to the Arizona Coyotes last night. Both teams are on the second night of back-to-backs, and likely to be somewhat tired given both teams were chasing from early in their games last night.
Who To Watch
Torrey Mitchell is the new hotness in the small town of LA, having been acquired from Montreal this past week. Mitchell has been described in the past as a complete two-way player in that he’s completely, and equally, inept on both offence and defence. With 0 points in his 11 games this season, he’s the perfect patsy for the Ducks to take advantage of. Naturally, as is the Ducks want, they’ll do their best to make him look like Patrick Kane... you know, so they can practice for the real one in a couple days.
Otherwise Mitchell is a hot head goon, and the Ducks are icing a team of goons (looking at you Mike Liambas). Given the usual fiery nature of Ducks vs Kings clashes, I’ll take the under on a dirty hit and subsequent fight... I assume 13:34 seconds into the 1st period.
Keys to Unlocking the Treasury
With John Gibson starting against the Winnipeg Jets last night, it falls to Ryan Miller to keep the bandits out. The Ducks did well last night to keep the Jets under 40 shots on net - the first time in awhile!! However the Kings are traditionally corsi monsters. This has not been the case in the current season, but it should be noted that the Ducks are amongst the worst teams for shot prevention. The Ducks defence is going to have to be on point versus the LA attack (and hopefully going into the future). With Francois Beauchemin playing last night and Kevin Bieksa sitting, there is likely to be a swap of players here for the back-to-back. While I feel incredibly sorry for Sami Vatanen who will attempt to carry him like he has big fat handles, Sami will have to make sure that when he pinches it won’t come back to bite on potential turnovers.
The Ducks are unlikely to limit the number of shots the Kings will make, but they should certainly attempt to mitigate the quality of those chances. Miller has been great thus far this season, but he’ll need all the help he can get tonight. Ducks systems have to keep the Kings outside and give Miller easy sight of puck all the way in.
The Kings, like the Ducks, are faltering and are imminently beatable. With a tough road trip and indeed a tough month of hockey ahead, the Ducks will want to steal some points in this one. It’s always tough to get them on the road, but with 5 more road games after this against some good teams, the Ducks need to take advantage of teams in the Pacific.