Date: Saturday, October 5th, 2019
Time: 7:00 PM PT
Location: Honda Center, Anaheim, CA
TV: Prime Ticket
Your Enemy: Fear The Fin
An Anaheim Ducks team with relatively low expectations started off their season right on Thursday by defeating the Arizona Coyotes by a score of 2-1. A new era of Ducks hockey with plenty of youth injected into the lineup not by necessity, but by choice, helped give new head coach Dallas Eakins his first NHL win since December 7th, 2014 with the Edmonton Oilers.
While it wasn’t the prettiest win, there were things to like about the new-look Ducks. Now, they’ll need to take the next step in a hurry against a team that has much more offensive power than the desert-dwellers.
The San Jose Sharks have gotten off to an 0-2 start, both losses coming in not-so-tightly-contested games against their newfound rivals, the Vegas Golden Knights. With Erik Karlsson finally healthy to pair with a lineup that is undoubtedly ready to play with more fire than their early results have suggested, the Sharks will likely prove to be a much more difficult opponent for the Ducks.
This will be a rare Saturday game at Honda Center, as an initial gentleman’s agreement between the Ducks and Los Angeles Kings when the Orange County team entered the league to have the Kings take Saturdays and the Ducks play Sundays seems to be fading. Both Ducks fans and traveling Sharks fans will appreciate the scheduling with no work-obligations for most of them the following morning.
Keys to the Game
More John Gibson heroics - It’s pretty clear who has the better goaltender in this matchup. Martin Jones and Aaron Dell were statistically the worst goaltending pairing in the league last season by corsica.hockey Goals Saved Above Average metric. John Gibson and Ryan Miller, on the other hand, were the best. After Gibson turned in yet another stellar performance during the season opener on Thursday, he’ll be tested even further by the likes of Logan Couture, Timo Meier, Evander Kane, Erik Karlsson, and Brent Burns. You could say that this is just a slight upgrade from the Arizona offense.
Tighten it up - While the Ducks looked good in some aspects of their new identity, there was plenty of sloppiness. Missed passes and overall troubles with zone entries, especially int he first period, led to extended pressure at times from the Coyotes offense. Losing 50/50 puck battles didn’t help either. The good news is that many of these mistakes are correctable. Eakins will be counting on the Ducks to get on the same page and clean up their act to create more sustained pressure in front of the opposing net.
Which young Duck will score the first goal of the new prospects?
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