Date: Saturday December 14th, 2019
Time: 1:00 PM Pacific
Location: Honda Center - Anaheim, CA
TV: Prime Ticket
Radio: AM 830
The Anaheim Ducks have shown a bit of a turn around in the last two games, despite splitting those games. During the two game stretch, the Ducks absolutely dominated in corsi (60%+) and high danger scoring chances (65%+). This is something that should give Ducks fans hope, because these past few weeks have been hard to watch.
The Ducks have also converted a powerplay goal in back to back games, showing some potential in that area, which has been a glaring weakness. Seeing this improved play could be a result of players returning to the lineup, midseason adjustment of play, or maybe the Ducks just aren’t playing that strong of competition. Truth is it’s probably a little bit of everything.
They now look to a New York Rangers team outside of a playoff position, and bouncing betweens wins and losses. They have talented players like Artemi Panarin, Mika Zibanejad, and rookie Kappo Kakko in their lineup but don’t have the depth to be a real threat.
The Ducks have a real opportunity to build over the next week, with the next few competitors teetering or outside of playoffs.
Keys to the Game
Continue to control the possession and shot share. Any time you can control a majority of the possession time and shot totals it’s good news for your chances of winning a game. If the Ducks can continue their efforts shows over the last few games, they could easily outplay a rebuilding Rangers team.
Don’t take the foot off the gas. As previously mentioned, the Ducks could be on to something here with their recently heightened play. They need to work at building on it. That means they can’t get complacent if they get an early goal, and they can’t break down and start changing things either if they wind up down a goal or two. They just need to focus on the positives they’ve shown and keep improving.
Players to Watch
Rickard Rakell had an outstanding game against the Kings. He wasn’t able to get on the scoreboard, but still dominated play nonetheless. Look for him to carry that heat into playing the Rangers and get on the scoreboard more than once tonight.
Seriously Rakell had an absolutely monster game. pic.twitter.com/WOkyq5vVXH— CJ Woodling (@CJWoodling) December 13, 2019
The Rangers have an elite talent in Artemi Panarin. Whether he’s scoring goals or setting up plays, he’s a threat whenever he has any kind of space. I don’t see the Ducks being able to neutralize him completely, but at least limiting his chances would play a huge role. Side note: remember when the Blackhawks were stupid enough to think Kane was the reason Panarin was good and they could benefit from trading him. Always funny to think about.