Date: Tuesday, October 30th, 2018
Time: 7 PT / 4 ET
Location: Honda Center
A new day. Another chance to end the losing streak. Will that glorious day be today? Well, at least there’s a chance! The Anaheim Ducks home stand continues with a matchup against their fellow orange competitors - the Philadelphia Flyers. The Flyers have been in a similar rut this season. They’ve lost three in a row, which has put Dave Hakstol on the coaching hot seat. The Flyers have an overall record of 4-7-0 and are fourth from last in the entire Eastern Conference. Eight points is far from their season’s expectations.
Unlike the Ducks, they don’t have a John Gibson. Brian Elliot continues to be under league average (who would have ever thought) with a .886 SV%. That’s not good. Calvin Pickard and Michael Neuvirth have competed for the backup job. Pickard has played more games—3 to Neuvirth’s 1—and I suppose he has a better SV%. Pickard is rocking an even worse .833% while Neuvirth has a .727%. You can’t win hockey games with that kind of goaltending. If I’m a Ducks player, I’m shooting everything toward the net whether it’s from the slot or an angle trying to create a rebound. This should be a high scoring, high event game.
The Ducks need a win. That’s probably not news to anyone, but I just wanted to remind everyone. Now that you’re informed, how can the Ducks get back in the win column? If they can’t stop allowing shots, they’ll have to take more chances in the offensive zone. Defensemen should be given the green light to join the rush early and often. Brandon Montour should be given every opportunity to let off one timers from the slot. He’s one of the few Ducks that has that weapon and should be put in the position to give it a try. If this results in odd man chances against, at least Carlyle can rely on Gibson to stop every shot he sees.
Sean Couturier has had an extremely disappointing start to the season. Even though he’s played in every game, the first line center only has 3 goals and 0 assists. After coming off a career year with 31 goals and 45 assists, the Flyers expect Couturier to break through sooner or later. Tonight could be his night as the Ducks continue to bleed shots against literally any skill of hockey player. A game against the Ducks could be exactly what Couturier needs to break the slump. Or on the other side of the coin, if he fails he could be thrown into a perpetual state of further mediocrity.
This isn’t an easy one. Instead let’s go with Pontus Aberg. After scoring two goals last game, Aberg will look to continue his scoring touch if he wants to remain with the big club. A motivated Swede is a good Swede. The Ducks are filled with two-way forwards but can use all the goal scorers that they can get. The best-case scenario is that Aberg somewhat fills Ondrej (the Giant) Kase’s shoes and keeps finding the back of the net. His goal against San Jose and Martin Jones was pure NC-17 rated hockey. As long as Ducks fans can see a few plays of that entertaining caliber, they’ll keep filling the Honda Center seats. Keep it up, Aberg! We need you..
Let’s win one. Pretty please?