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Ducks @ Coyotes PREVIEW/GT: If A Stone Rolls to Calgary...

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...does it stop having terrible possession stats?

Christian Petersen/Getty Images


I'm sorry, I had to do it. It wasn't good, but it made me chuckle, so what can you do.

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After one of their best performances in weeks against the Kings, Anaheim heads to Arizona for the back end of back-to-backs. Jonathan Bernier, who recorded 26 save shutout the last time Anaheim faced the Coyotes, is likely to get the start after Gibson's stellar performance last night. Carlyle is also very likely to ice the same lines tonight, though Brandon Montour may draw in for Korbinian Holzer on the back end but we will have to wait and see.

Anaheim's offense has been anemic as of late, scoring more than 2 goals in only 2 of their last 8 games. However, Arizona could be just the team to help the Ducks get their mojo back. The Ducks are 3-0 against Arizona this season and have scored at least three goals in all three contests. Arizona's trade of Michael Stone, 3rd among Arizona's defensemen in average ice time, could be a help or hindrance for the Anaheim offense. A veteran of over 300 NHL games, the 20+ minutes of ice time he eats could leave a big hole on the blue line for Arizona. On the other hand, his terrible advanced/possession metrics could mean Arizona is upgrading with whoever they replace him with. Either way, Anaheim should look to pile it on tonight and look to regain some confidence in the offensive zone.

For Arizona, their season seems to be all but over. The Stone trade could signal the beginning of a flurry of trades that the Coyotes could make to stockpile youth and draft picks. Sitting 15 points out of a playoff spot, Arizona is essentially eliminated from playoff contention and will most likely spend the rest of the year playing for pride. However, this does not mean this team can be overlooked. There is still plenty of talent on this roster and, as we saw at the beginning of last season, they can make you pay if you underestimate them (Anaheim lost three straight games against the Coyotes early last season, giving up four goals each time). Given Anaheim is playing their third game in four days, the Ducks should look to open as large a lead as possible in the first two periods as the Coyotes speed will become harder to deal with as the game goes on.

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Stat Pack

ANAHEIM DUCKS versus ARIZONA COYOTES
31-18-10, 72 Pts Record 20-30-7, 47 Pts
3rd in Pacific, 9th in NHL Standings 7th in Pacific, 29th in NHL
2.53 GF/GP 2.32
2.48 GA/GP 3.16
20% (13th) Power Play 15.9% (26th)
84% (7th) Penalty Kill 76.8% (28th)
TEAM STAT LEADERS
Rickard Rakell (22G) Goals Martin Hanzal (15G)
Ryan Getzlaf (34A) Assists Radim Vrbata (29A)
Ryan Kesler (44P) Points Radim Vrbata (40P)
Kesler (7PPG) PPG Oliver Ekman-Larsson (7PPG)
Andrew Cogliano (3SHG) SH Brad Richardson (2SHG)
Fowler (24:49), Kesler (21:37) TOI/GP (D&F) E-Larsson (24:17), Hanzal (18:33)
Cogliano (53.9), Lindholm (53.1) SAT% 5on5 (F&D) Martinook (49.7), Connauton (50.3),
John Gibson GOALIES Mike Smith
23-15-8 Record 15-16-6
.922 Save % .917
2.27 GAA 2.87


Projected Lines

Anaheim

Andrew Cogliano-Ryan Kesler-Jakob Silfverberg

Nick Ritchie-Ryan Getzlaf-Ondrej Kase

Joseph Cramarossa-Rickard Rakell-Corey Perry

Logan Shaw-Nate Thompson-Jared Boll

Cam Fowler-Sami Vatanen

Hampus Lindholm-Josh Manson

Korbinian Holzer/Brandon Montour-Kevin Bieksa

Jonathan Bernier

John Gibson

Arizona

Max Domi-Martin Hanzal-Radim Vrbata

Tobias Rieder-Jordan Martinook-Ryan White

Brendan Perlini-Christian Dvorak-Shane Doan

Jamie McGinn-Alexander Burmistrov-Josh Jooris

Oliver Ekman-Larsson-Luke Schenn

Alex Goligoski-Connor Murphy

Jakob Chychrun-Kevin Connauton

Mike Smith

Marek Langhammer

Numbers for Nerds

Anaheim has won five straight games against the Desert Dogs, averaging 4.2 goals per game and giving up only 1.2 goals against per game. Recent history would say that Anaheim should have this one in the bag, but tonight is definitely a trap game. Look out for Arizona's speed.

Poll

Who is the grittiest grit to ever grit?

This poll is closed

  • 26%
    Boll
    (8 votes)
  • 36%
    Bieksa
    (11 votes)
  • 13%
    Holzer
    (4 votes)
  • 23%
    Getzlaf
    (7 votes)
30 votes total Vote Now