Date: Wednesday, January 23rd, 2019
Time: 7:00 PST / 10:00 EST
Location: Honda Center
TV: FS-W, FS-MW
Your Enemy: St Louis Game Time
The Anaheim Ducks will head into the All-Star break after wrapping up their “first half” against the St. Louis Blues. I know the halfway point of the season was technically ten games ago, but after the All-Star break and the NHL-mandated bye week of five days off for players, the Ducks will be well rested and ready to make their playoff push.
First, somehow the Ducks still have a chance to make a playoff push, despite the fact that they have lost 13 out of their last 15 games. That in itself is a hockey miracle. The last loss to the New York Islanders was a rather embarrassing one in which the team showed little fight and never really looked threatening to score in a 3-0 loss.
The St Louis Blues are one of the teams in a similar position to the Anaheim Ducks, with 47 points through 48 games and only a few points out of a Wild Card spot. Both teams will be looking for an essential two points before the break, and the Blues have been better than the Ducks recently, going 5-4-1 in their last ten games.
Player to Watch
The player that I will be keeping an eye on in this game is #Elite1C Derek Grant. His line with Max Jones and Troy Terry has been clicking offensively, and despite the no-show performance against the New York Islanders, I expect them to be heavy contributors against the Blues. As the center of the line and the “veteran”, he should be the one pushing the pace and setting up the kids to use their natural scoring ability.
Keys to the Game
Goaltending - Because, you know, obviously. We’ve seen what happens with the Ducks when they get average goaltending and it’s not pretty. They need a stellar performance from John Gibson, as always.
Special Teams - The power play hasn’t been dynamic all season long, but with the additions of Troy Terry and Max Jones, I would like to see the Ducks get at least a few opportunities on the man advantage to give them some opportunities to build confidence. Friendly reminder that Troy Terry’s first and only NHL goal thus far came on the power play.
Patience - Elliott Teaford reported on Tuesday morning that Patrick Eaves and Corey Perry were spotted during morning practice. The saviors are coming, folks. Let’s just hang in there until the Ducks get all their injured stars back and go on their Stanley Cup winning run. Right, Bob? ......right?