Round #2 - Game #1
Edmonton Oilers @ Anaheim Ducks
Wednesday, April 26th, 7.30 PM PST
TV: NBCSN, TVAS, SN
Radio: MIGHTY 1090, AnaheimDucks.com
Your enemy: Copper n Blue
Todays preview brought to you by Blindspott - Lit Up
The Ducks made quick work of the Flames, but in doing so, left a lot of pundits questioning how things may have turned out in that series if not for a few lucky bounces and if the Flames had a healthy Chad Johnson.
The focus now turns to the next opponent - the Edmonton Oilers. The Ducks lost the regular season series to the Oilers. But, two of those losses came in OT - something that Anaheim is terrible at in the regular season but are so far 1-0 in the postseason.
The key match up will be the Kesler line against whatever line features Connor McDavid. The Ducks will also need to be extra careful of Leon Draisitl. The 2nd-year German forward was a Duck killer - leading all Oilers in goals, points and game winners against Anaheim in the regular season.
They can’t sleep on Mark Letestu or Zack Kassian either - Letestu has a goal and 2 assists with a +4 while Kassian has 2 goals.
The biggest talking point to start this series however (other than the McDavid v Kesler matchup) will be how healthy the Anaheim blueline is. It appears that Cam Fowler will be ready for Game 1 as will Lindholm, but Sami Vatanen is still too hurt to play. The combination of the returning veteran with the outstanding play of youngsters Brandon Montour and Shea Theodore is welcome news to the Ducks fandom.
Having at least two competent pairings to match against the potent and fleet-footed Edmonton offense will be crucial if the Ducks hope to hold home-ice advantage and a chance at taking the series.
Up front, it remains to be seen whether Nate Thompson will continue to work with Corey Perry and Rickard Rakell as he did at the end of the Calgary series. Corey Perry will look to continue his strong post-season form into the next round; the winger has 3 points and co-leads the Ducks with a +6. Behind he and Rakell - the surprising Kevin Bieska who, I will reluctantly admit, has been playing some of his best hockey this post season. Well at least in Games 3 and 4.
Round two starts here ladies and gentlemen.
Lets Go Ducks!!!