The Anaheim Ducks had the night to celebrate their victory over the Colorado Avalanche, ending their three game losing streak, but now it’s right back to work as they come into Sin City to take on the Vegas Golden Knights on a back-to-back. History shows us that playing a back-to-back more often leads to a drop in production, even more so when both games are on the road. The Ducks will need to dig deep if they want the two points against a Vegas team many NHL fans pegged to win the Pacific.
The Vegas Golden Knights most recent opponent was also the Avalanche. The game did not fair as well for the Knights as they lost 6-1. Despite the most recent beatdown the Knights currently second in the Pacific division with a record of 7-5-0. They sit middle of the pack in GF/G and GA/G but haven’t found too much trouble in finding the scoresheet with their depth of talent, scoring 3+ goals in seven of their twelve games, and only being held to 1 goal twice.
The Anaheim Ducks found a bit of their scoring touch again, putting up 5 goals against the Avalanche after scoring just one goal in each of their last three games. They also shows some sustained efforts by scoring at least one goal in each period. Adam Henrique continues his excellent start to the season as he’s up to 6 goals, and Ryan Getzlaf is continuing to shoot the puck early on this season with 4 goals on the season.
The numbers have not been kind to the Ducks in their matchup history against the Golden Knights. In their eight meetings the Knights have won 7, scoring 26 goals while allowing only 11. If its any consolation, the one win by the Ducks did happen in Vegas.
Keys to the Game
Controlling the Pace. The Ducks are going to be tired. That’s just a fact. They just played the night before and no one recovers that quick. They’ll need to control the pace of the game in order to keep it manageable. Tempering the Knights’ forecheck, sustaining possession in the offensive zone, making sure players aren’t caught out on extended shifts. These are the types of things the Ducks need to be focused on.
Repeating the offense. The Ducks scored early on against the Avs. They also scored throughout the game rather than just in one stretch. Scoring first in a game is always important, especially if it means setting the tone when playing on a back-to-back. Anaheim’s top 6 has the ability to score quickly so they need to capitalize on any opportunities.
All Eyes On Me
It might go a little unnoticed, but Hampus Lindholm is have an incredible start to the season. He’s the juggernaut defensemen he always is, but with Josh Manson being injured he’s going to be relied upon even more to be that defensive pillar. Even more impressive is he’s getting on the scoresheet, something he’s not highly known for. He leads the team in assists (9A) and him continuing his start to the season is something all Ducks fans are hoping for.
Who would’ve thought when the Knights made the deal for Mark Stone he’d be so good. Oh that’s right, pretty much everyone who’s at all intelligent. He’s been terrific for them so far, leading the team with 14 points, and is so much fun to watch with the puck. He’ll be sure to factor into the Knights’ offensive opportunities.
But this is simply a preview and analysis. We’ll just have to see how the chips fall for the Ducks. (If you haven’t seen the movie Rounders, I recommend checking it out.)