Date: Wednesday, January 9th
Time: 7:00 PT / 10:00 ET
Location: Honda Center
TV: Fox Sports Prime
The Enemy: Silver Seven
What happens when a stoppable force meets a movable object? We’ll find out tonight at Unsustainabowl 2019™, live from Honda Center!
Only one will continue their streak! A battle of lightweights that will go down in NHL history as a hockey game!
Will it be the lowly Ottawa Senators, the team currently in dead last in the overall league standings who were expected to be one of the worst clubs going into the season? Or will it be the stumbling Anaheim Ducks, who weren’t exactly labeled elite but weren’t really expected to be this bad?
The Senators are an extremely weird team. They rank 10th in the league in goals per game, yet are dead last in goals allowed per game, a factor of having high-end forward talent like Matt Duchene and Mark Stone, but Swiss cheese for defense and shaky goaltending. At least this translates to somewhat entertaining hockey at times.
The Ducks, on the other hand, rank 30th in goals for and 17th in goals against (thanks, John Gibson), playing the opposite of entertaining hockey most of the time.
While Anaheim’s shot rates have steadily improved from “historically awful” earlier in the season to league average, Anaheim has still been regularly dropping games—so much so that during the break, they fell out of a playoff spot.
The good news is that they’re not exactly getting blown out every night and are putting up a fight in many of their games. They also are just a point out of a playoff spot, so the season is far from out of reach.
Amid rumors of a head coaching change on the table, the Ducks get a chance to define themselves tonight against the worst team in the league.
Keys to the Game
Don’t underestimate the Sens: Despite being last in the league, this is still a team with some elite forward talent as well as the emergence of Norris-candidate Thomas Chabot. They can score on you in a hurry. Unfortunately, the Ducks goaltending hasn’t quite been the otherworldly phenomenon it was earlier in the season.
The Ducks have also been losing the high danger chances battle, with just 42% of those chances going Anaheim’s way over the last 10 games. The defensive corp has to do a better job at clearing opponents out from the high danger areas of the ice. However, with this talented offense visiting, it’ll be easier said than done.
Hot start: Morale among the fans is low right now. It’s likely low among the team as well. Getting one early and exploiting the defensive issues of the Senators will go a long way towards creating a more energetic atmosphere both in the building and on the bench.
Players to Watch
Ondrej Kase has been an absolute monster over the losing streak as far as play-driving goes. He currently is sporting a 61.08 CF%, 63.16 SCF%, 64.29 HDCF% in that period.
While he only has 3 points in those games (face it, the entire team is offensively challenged right now), he’s looked dangerous almost every shift. He keeps these numbers up, he’ll start scoring at a great pace again.