Date: Tuesday, February 18th, 2019
Time: 5:00 PT
Location: Xcel Energy Center
TV: Fox Sports Prime
Your Enemy: Hockey Wilderness
The Anaheim Ducks must be flying high after actually playing a solid 60 minute game. I mean I’m not going to lie, yes I’m a season ticket holder, but I was really there for Scotty’s #27 being raised to the banner. I came into the game with low expectations, rather hoping to catch a glimpse of the elusive Paul Kariya or Mr. Congeniality Teemu Selanne during the game. Well, I did meet both of them—but the game had plenty of highlights of it’s own. And the Anaheim Ducks’ hunger and drive helped fans recall the good ol’ days pre-2018/19 season (or some would go as far back and say pre-RC2 era.)
It was good to see the Ducks really show a full 60-minute effort out there, but one must wonder if it was Scotty’s speech about valuing each game played that motivated the guys to play well in front one of the best. It’ll be interesting to see if they will continue this on the road into Minnesota.
Who We’re Playing
Minnesota has been in a bit of a rut of their own, going 2-5-3 in the last ten games played. Sure it’s not as bad as Anaheim’s 2-8-0, but it definitely isn’t helping their case in holding that last Wild Card spot in a tight race. After laying an egg against the red-hot St. Louis Blues, Zach Parise said the following: “I just don’t feel like we’re really competing that hard. I mean we did for a couple games, but for the most part there’s no jam. And I don’t know why. I think at this time of the year it should be, and we better find it otherwise we’re not going to get out of this thing. It’s just going to get deeper and deeper.”
Sound a bit familiar? Well, if memory serves well, Ryan Getzlaf said the following (also after a blowout 5-1 loss against the St. Louis Blues, where the Ducks only registered 13 shots IN TOTAL): “I’m pissed off and frustrated and it’s really hard to understand that our group is in a playoff race still, after everything, and we can’t come out and compete hard around our net.”
So frustration is high in and out of the Minnesota locker room. Heck, there are even some murmurings about the possibility of Bruce Boudreau getting fired. And with the trade deadline just around the corner, there may be some tough decisions that GM Paul Fenton may be faced with in terms of a possible rebuild or just a revamp. Any way you look at it, it will be interesting to see how the Wild come out to compete against the mystery post-Carlyle Ducks.
Players to Watch
With the trade deadline looming, all eyes will be on Jakob Silfverberg as he makes his case for an extension along with a salary increase. He didn’t perform too shabbily Sunday night when he potted two goals. A few teams have expressed interest in the 28-year-old winger so Silfverberg will be motivated to go where he has the highest market value.
Puck drops at 5pm PST today.