The Anaheim Ducks rebounded very nicely from a 6-2 loss against the San Jose Sharks and scored six of their own in a 6-3 win over the New York Rangers. The performance could not have come at a better time for the Ducks, as they are facing a difficult stretch of schedule that they will absolutely need to get a majority of points out of.
The Ducks will host the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday night before departing on a 5-game road trip through the Northeast that will see them stop in Boston, Montreal, and Toronto. Those are four difficult games coming up, and of the eight potential points, I would argue that the Ducks need at least five to keep themselves in a decent spot after the road trip.
But before all that, let’s take a look back at the Ducks finding every which way to put the puck in the net against the Rangers, because boy, that was fun to watch. Of all the Ducks to get us kicked off, J.T. Brown scoring his first goal as a member of the squad just over three minutes into the game was not the one I would have chosen.
Ryan Getzlaf talked a little bit about the sudden offensive rush for the Ducks, saying
“We’re just looking to get pucks to the net, go hard to the net, and go as a committee”.
The Ducks scored four goals in the first period alone through four different goalscorers, with eight different Ducks recording points in the opening 20 minutes. It’s unrealistic to believe that offensive production at that level can be sustainable, but I don’t find it unreasonable to believe that the door may have opened for one or two forwards to find a groove and start scoring consistently.
The Ducks have been lacking in “finishers” so far this season, and while they were able to find the back of the net six times through six different players, I think all Ducks fans would agree that it would be nice to see the offense finding a consistent rhythm with the full healthy lineup back on the ice.
While the Ducks did allow three goals on the night, Randy Carlyle summed it up perfectly when he talked about how John Gibson performed, having faced 44 shots.
“We cannot complain about our goaltending, we have had stellar goaltending throughout the year, and tonight was just another example of that” -Randy Carlyle.
I completely agree with Carlyle here (which feels pretty rare), because while John Gibson may have had some shaky moments in the past couple games, he has still been a brick wall all year long and I have zero doubt in my mind that he will continue to be that way for the Ducks through the remainder of this season/postseason.
For those out there doubting John Gibson’s ability to be the Ducks starter after two games where he may not have been at his normal god-tier mode, but instead settled for “above-average NHL starter”, it’s an 82-game season. There are bound to be ebbs and flows to every single player’s game. He will heat up again, probably sooner than most, because that’s just what elite players do.
Best & Worst
The Offense - Let’s get the obvious ones out of the way first, shall we? Scoring six goals will get you two points a hell of a lot more often than it won’t. I’m all for scoring six every game if that’s how the Ducks want to play hockey now.
Ryan Getzlaf - Getzlaf once again led the way for the Ducks offense with a goal and two assists on the night. As Felix put it, the Captain is on quite the scoring pace this season.
Ryan Getzlaf is on a 101-point pace right now if he were playing a full 82 games. Outstanding.— Felix Sicard (@Felix_Sicard) January 24, 2018
Special Teams - This feels like a strange one to put down as “Best”, considering the power play allowed a shorthanded goal, and the penalty kill caved once as well. However, the Ducks ability to even get the opportunities with the man advantage was a very refreshing change from the norm. The Ducks earned themselves six power play opportunities throughout the game, and they capitalized on two of them. That’s a recipe for success, no matter which way you look at it.
I wonder how the Ducks were able to get so many.....*gasp* How could you?!?
*slips $20 to Tim Peel*— Anaheim Calling (@AnaheimCalling) January 24, 2018
Ondrej Kase - I don’t like putting Kase on the worst list because he didn’t necessarily do anything wrong necessarily, but he was given the opportunity to truly shine on the top line with Ryan Getzlaf and Rickard Rakell, and was just unable to make any dazzling plays. I had higher hopes for his opportunity with the big guns and I was slightly let down.
Hampus Lindholm Almost Getting Hurt - Don’t scare us like that.
3 Stars of the Game
3. Corey Perry - Anybody who can be demoted to 4th line duties and respond immediately with a goal and an assist in the very next game deserves props. #PerryIsStillGood
2. J.T. Brown - By far Brown’s best game as a Duck thus far, and he was rewarded with his first goal in an Anaheim sweater to show for it. Once again, Felix tells it best.
JT Brown tonight:— Felix Sicard (@Felix_Sicard) January 24, 2018
First goal as a Duck
68% of the shot attempts
84.6% of the scoring chances
80% of the high-danger chances.
What a game.
1. Ryan Getzlaf - It has long been the storyline that the Ducks seem to mirror Ryan Getzlaf. When he is playing well and scoring, the whole team does, and vice versa. Tonight was a positive example of this, as his three-point night resulted in six goals on the scoreboard for Anaheim. Not too shabby, Captain.
This could very well be just the beginning of a run that puts the Ducks comfortably inside the playoff picture. We can only hope.
Which Opponent On the Upcoming Road Trip Are You Looking Forward to Seeing the Most?
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Toronto Maple Leafs