Game # 31
Anaheim Ducks vs. Carolina Hurricanes
Monday, December 11th, 7:00PM PST
TV: FS-W, NHL-TV
Radio: AM 830
The Enemy: Canes Country
The Anaheim Ducks (12-11-7, 31 points, 6th in Pacific) will host the Carolina Hurricanes (11-10-7, 29 points, 7th in Metropolitan) at Honda Center for the final game of their three game home stand. Both the Ducks and Hurricanes are coming off tough-luck 3-2 shootout losses. The Ducks coming at the hands of the Minnesota Wild and the Hurricanes to the Los Angeles Kings. The Ducks will be looking to take advantage of a struggling Hurricanes team that is 1-2-3 in its last six games. This will be the second and final meeting between the teams this season. In their previous matchup, the Ducks won in a 4-3 shootout.
ALL EYES ON ME
Since coming to the Ducks on November 30th, Adam Henrique has recorded at least a point in all five games (three goals, three assists). The Ducks couldn’t have asked for better results especially so quickly. He has immediately built chemistry amongst the top-line with Corey Perry and Rickard Rakell. The Ducks will hope their acquisition continues to pay off as they currently rank 25th in the league in goals scored.
However, Henrique may be forced to create some chemistry with new line-mates as it was announced that Ryan Getzlaf and Jakob Silfverberg could be making a return for Monday’s game per Eric Stephens:
Signs are pointing toward Ryan Getzlaf and Jakob Silfverberg being with Ducks for Monday's game against Carolina. Top six in practice was Rakell-Getzlaf-Perry and Cogliano-Henrique-Silfverberg.— Eric Stephens (@icemancometh) December 9, 2017
This would be a huge welcome for a Ducks team that is in need of scoring depth.
KEYS TO THE GAME
Both teams have shared struggles in overtime games this season. The Ducks are 2-7 in the extra session, while the Hurricanes are 2-6. Per Cam Fowler, he has pointed to the Ducks lack of aggressiveness in the extra period as a result of their struggles. Here is what he had to say last game:
"I don't want to speak for the other guys, but it just seems like we can't seem to create any offensive chances. We're playing with the puck, we're changing and we're trying to manage the puck. One breakdown [and] it seems like it's in the back of the net right now."
To his point the breakdowns have really hurt the team lately. Most notably is Kevin Bieksa’s play. It has been said many times here at Anaheim Calling, but he has been a huge liability for the Ducks. It’s understandable that injuries have helped contribute to his playing time, however if his ice time isn’t cut back when the defense gets healthy, then Randy Carlyle only has himself to blame.
The Ducks should be able to pull off a win against a Hurricanes team who is struggling to find consistent offense. In contrast to the Ducks being ranked 25th in goals scored, the Hurricanes are ranked 28th. However, there are no guarantees in this league and the defense will need to play mistake free hockey and come out with a business like mindset as they did against the Ottawa Senators to start this home stand.
The addition of Getzlaf should add some much needed veteran leadership and discipline to a team that is one of the leaders in penalty minutes. If the defensive mistakes can be cleaned up and the Ducks can stay out of the penalty box, they should hopefully get the much needed two points in regulation and avoid the dreaded OT session.