Date: Saturday, October 20th, 2018
Time: 7 PT / 10 ET
Location: T-Mobile Arena
TV: PRIME, NHL.TV (free game of the night)
The Anaheim Ducks, like many SoCal natives, are hoping to have a lucky start to their weekend as they cruise up the I-15 for Sin City. They’ll be taking on the Vegas Golden Knights tonight on the first game of a back-to-back.
This will be the first time the Ducks and Knights face off this season. The Knights managed to beat the Ducks 3 times out of 4 last season, with the final game going to the Ducks. The Golden Knights were off to a blazing start last season that they rode all the way to the Cup Finals, while the Ducks were busy putting scraps together to ice a hockey team. This season is a different story for both teams however, sort of.
The Ducks are the ones off to a tremendous start, posting a 5-1-1 record that places them atop the Pacific Division. They are still trying to work some magic on their lineup as they have a number of players still remaining on the injury list: Getzlaf, Perry, Silfverberg, Eaves and Kase, to name a few. Top of the division means they’re doing alright at it, even if it’s mostly on the back of John Gibson. Meanwhile, the Vegas Golden Knights are having a less ideal beginning to their sophomore season. They’ve gone 3-4-0 to start and sit outside of the playoff circle at the moment. Though the season is still very young, they’re looking to get things rolling to build off their historical first season. They hope the recent signing of Alex Tuch (7 years, $4.75M aav) will help push them in the right direction as he’s about to return from injury.
All Eyes on Me
The funeral has passed, while Ducks fans sit in a circle kicking the freshly filled grave. The horse’s headstone reads: John Gibson did this. Most goaltenders wouldn’t have a positive record to begin the season after what the Ducks have let theirs go through. John Gibson is not most goaltenders. His start to this season puts him on an even more outrageous pace than last season. With him in net, the Ducks stand a good chance of winning.
Gibson's already saved 9 goals above average at 5v5.— Sean Tierney (@ChartingHockey) October 19, 2018
*mind boggles* pic.twitter.com/7CL8VwDr80
Caveat - Ryan Miller is bound to get one of the starts on the Ducks back-to-back. He was arguably (if not undeniably) the best back-up last season. He’s 1-0 to start this season, so the Ducks are in really good hands when it comes to net-minding. Carlyle doesn’t reveal his goalies very far ahead of game time, so Miller could draw in against the Knights.
Another key thing to look for is the possible return of Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf. Getzlaf has missed the last 5 games with a groin injury, but all signs are pointing to him returning to the lineup to help take on the Knights. He was seeing skating on a line Friday with Isac Lundestrom and Rickard Rakell. His return would immense in helping the Ducks generate more consistent offense.
Ducks center Ryan Getzlaf appears set to return to the lineup vs. Golden Knights https://t.co/vGydv5hjW4— O.C. Register (@ocregister) October 19, 2018
*Ducks and Kings fans headed to Vegas for the weekend after seeing the standings.