Anaheim Ducks vs San Jose Sharks
Saturday, November 4th, 7:30PM PST
TV: NBCSCA, PRIME
Radio: AM 830
The Enemy: Fear The Fin
The Ducks will make their first trip to San Jose on Saturday as they take on the division rival the San Jose Sharks. Anaheim will be playing their second consecutive game after hosting the Nashville Predators on Friday resulting in a 5-3 loss. Last year, these two teams faced each other five times in which the Ducks came out on top with a record of 3-0-2. This will be the Sharks third game of a five-game home stand. They currently are 2-0 during their home stretch with their recent victory coming over the Nashville Predators in a 4-1 decision Wednesday night. The Ducks ( 6-6-1, 13 points ) are currently 6th in the Pacific Division while the Sharks ( 7-5-0, 14 points ) are currently 3rd.
All Eyes On Me:
Ryan Miller will be looking to make his second start in net for the Ducks. It will be a tough task for him to perform better than he did in his season debut almost a week ago. He single handedly stole a win against the Carolina Hurricanes in which he had 34 saves and most importantly became a brick wall in OT and the shootout to record his first win as a Duck. He most likely will be leaned on again, as the Ducks might not have a full tank of energy having played the previous night and also needing to travel a few hours north in a short period of time.
Keys To The Game:
The Ducks need a full 60-minute effort in order to pull out a win against the Sharks. Starting off slow and taking too many penalties will not bode well for a Ducks team that is riddled with injuries, especially playing on the road in a hostile, division rival environment. Too many times this season the Ducks have gotten off to a slow start resulting in having to play come-from-behind hockey. In fact, of the 13 games played this season, Anaheim has only scored first in 4 of those games. The Ducks will also need to stay out of the penalty box. ( I'm calling you out Nick Ritchie.) There have been far too many unnecessary penalties taken this season. The fact that the Ducks currently sit with a .500 record is impressive considering how they have been short-handed with injuries to key members as well as from their own mental mistakes and undisciplined play at times. The Ducks currently sit 3rd in the league with 68 penalties taken and 4th in the league with 13-penalty minutes per game. Anaheim will need to remain focused and disciplined, especially in the later stages of the game when their energy level will surely be low. The best case scenario for the Ducks would be to get on the score board first and help build some momentum and energy to carry them through the game.
The Sharks on the other hand will be looking to take advantage of a depleted Ducks team that won’t be fully rested. In the midst of their 5-game home stand, the Sharks have looked solid with wins over the Maple Leafs and Predators. In their last game, Joe Thorton became NHL’s 20th all-time points leader, passing Jari Kurri, when he recorded his 1,400 NHL point.
How many penalties will Nick "Big Country" Ritchie take?
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It’s not his fault, he wasn’t hugged as a child