Date: Wednesday, October 17th, 2018
Time: 7 PT / 10 ET
Location: Honda Center
The Anaheim Ducks are back in action tonight as they take on the New York Islanders. After a quick two game road trip that saw some action against two second-tier Central Divisions teams, Anaheim is back at Honda Center for a quick one game home stand. The Ducks were able to pick up one of two possible wins on the road, which, at the end of the day, isn’t anything to be disappointed about. They earned two days off and are (hopefully) ready for tonight’s tilt.
John Gibson’s Ducks carry a record of 4-1-1 after six games. The highlight of that young record is that they’re 3-1-0 away from Anaheim. Given their short break, they’ll look to take advantage of the Islanders who have had to travel cross-country.
Meanwhile, the Islanders are the rare team in the NHL that has only played four games. That’s tied for the lowest total in the entire league. They are 2-2-0 in that span. The strangest part of their opening schedule is that the Islanders have only played one game against an Eastern Conference opponent. They have also played the San Jose Sharks once (4-0 win) and the Nashville Predators twice (Nashville won both). It’s not like the schedule gets easier after the Ducks either. The Islanders are on the second night of a back-to-back tomorrow night in Los Angeles followed by a trip up the coast to San Jose. “The curse of John Tavares.”
I could see either Anaheim goalie getting the start tonight. John Gibson is the obvious choice as the best goalie of the new season. He has a .944 SV% and a 3-1-1 record. Since none have you have heard this on Anaheim Calling before, I’ll repeat it for the people in the back: Gibson is the reason the Ducks are currently in first place in the Pacific.
Ryan Miller wouldn’t be a bad option either. The Islanders are scoring under 3 goals a game and aren’t exactly littered with scorers. If I’m Randy Carlyle (and I can admit that I’m not), I give Miller the start so Gibson can rest until this Saturday against Las Vegas. That would essentially be an entire week off for the star goalie.
Ryan Getzlaf is also poised to return to the Anaheim lineup. The Captain has missed the last four games with a groin injury. He skated in a full practice Tuesday and was paired with Rickard Rakell and Troy Terry. Both wingers, but especially Terry, look like they could use some of Getzlaf’s patented passes to get their offensive games going. Even if the line doesn’t score, the team looks much more confident whenever Getzlaf is in the lineup. His return will be a welcome sight come game time.
Where are you Jordan Eberle? The ex-Oiler is playing on New York’s top line yet only has one assist through four games. It’s not uncommon for goal scorers to get off to slow starts, but it will take some catching up if he wants to break his last season total of 25. If Anaheim continues to bleed shot attempts, Eberle could be in line to see his season’s point total increase.
Cross your fingers for an offensive filled game, control of the shot total, and an Anaheim Ducks win!