Date: Monday, January 13, 2020
Time: 5:00 PM PST
Location: Enterprise Center
TV: Prime Ticket, FS Midwest
Radio: AM 830
Your Enemy: St. Louis Game Time
The new year is well under way and it seems the only thing the Anaheim Ducks are playing for is better odds in next year’s draft. A couple of days ago, Elliotte Friedman announced that the Ducks are willing to take on bad contracts for assets, signaling what should have been the case from the beginning - a “legitimate” rebuild. Call it a rebuild, retool, or the t-word (gasp), this is a necessary step. In case you missed it, check out the details here.
With that out of the way, onto the next game!
The Ducks hit the second stop of their current four-game road trip visiting the surging St. Louis Blues. While Anaheim’s game against the Dallas Stars had all fans crying after honoring two significant former Ducks, the Chicago Blackhawks had fans crying for all the wrong reasons again. The lack of effort and poise on the defensive end were very apparent and continue to show why this team has struggled so much. They ultimately lost the game 3-0 as Robin Lehner shut them out.
The Ducks are 3-6-1 in their last ten games and hope to add a win to their record against a tough team. As history has shown, the Ducks can randomly compete well against top teams in the league. So basically, there’s hope. Maybe.
ST. LOUIS BLUES
Roughly around this time last year, the St. Louis Blues had the worst record in the NHL before deciding that they had given the league enough of a head-start before making a run for the Stanley Cup. Despite how fun that was, it seems that they discovered it’s much easier to set the pace from the beginning than fight from behind.
Tied for the top spot in the league, the Blues enter tonight’s game with a 29-10-7 record and 65 points. Former part-time Duck and current All Star David Perron is leading their team with 46 points (20 goals, 26 assists) and is backstopped by Jordan Binnington. With a three game win streak in hand, St. Louis will look to pounce on a team that can’t seem to play a full, disciplined, 60-minute game.
Keys To The Game
Work the Crease - Jordan Binnington is an emotional goaltender. He gets angry fairly easily and likes to rough people up when they intrude on his space. While it’s not a normal strategy of this Ducks team, they’ll need someone to bug Binnington and obstruct his view whenever they can.
Effective Forecheck - The Blues can sometimes be susceptible to poor clears, something the Ducks wrote the book on. An effective forecheck could end up gifting the Ducks with a goal in the early going.
#FreeSprong - Just play him. Daniel Sprong has shown positive signs of improvement during his stint in the AHL and it’s nice to know that there’s a chance he can score whenever he has the puck. He hounds the puck like no other and he’s hungry to show that he belongs here. With the season quickly going down the drain, we might as well see what kind of goal scorer he can be.