Date: Sunday, November 4th 2018
Time: 6 PT / 9 ET
Location: Honda Center
The Anaheim Ducks have lost seven games in a row, and it hasn’t been pretty. They’ve been able to push two of those contests past regulation, giving them two points over this seven-game span, but the team desperately needs a win if they want to stay relevant in the Western Conference.
The Pacific Division has seen the Calgary Flames, Vancouver Canucks, San Jose Sharks, Arizona Coyotes, Edmonton Oilers, and Vegas Golden Knights all put together winning records over their last ten games. Only the Ducks and the Los Angeles Kings are showing losing records over their last ten (2-6-2 for Anaheim and 3-7-0 for LA).
With this comes the news that the Kings have fired head coach John Stevens, as well as assistant coach Don Nachbaur. The struggles were enough for the Kings to see fit to make a change this early in the season, and this makes us all wonder what kind of leash Randy Carlyle has if the Ducks cannot put anything together relatively soon.
In any case, the Ducks need to figure it out now, not just for the sake of Randy Carlyle’s job, but also if they wish to keep up in the Pacific and not get buried by the holiday season.
Player to Watch
My player to watch in this game will be Rickard Rakell. Rakell scored the game-tying goal late against the New York Rangers to force the overtime session, and I am looking to him to see if he can keep the offense generating for the Ducks. Ryan Getzlaf made an incredible pass over to Rakell to set up that goal, and I would expect nothing less from Captain Dad than to continue to try to set up a skilled shooter who has a hot hand.
Keys to the Game
Shot Suppressing - I mean, I guess there’s not really a whole lot of expectation here from the Ducks defense. It certainly makes it a lot more difficult to win when you give up 45 shots on goal every night though, so maybe try to work on lowering that number a bit.
John Gibson - This goes hand-in-hand with the whole “shot suppressing” thing, but the Ducks seem to know at this point that they need John Gibson to be in superhero form if they want a chance to leave the building with two points.
Back-to-backs - The Columbus Blue Jackets just played last night in Los Angeles and lost a 4-1 decision to the Kings, who were slumping. The Blue Jackets have seen their fair share of struggles this year and Sergei Bobrovsky has not seemed his normal self between the pipes, so the Ducks need to look to take advantage of a team that played a day ago and will most likely be icing a backup goaltender.