Date: Friday, February 7, 2020
Time: 4:00 PM PST
Location: Scotiabank Arena
TV: Prime Ticket
Radio: AM 830
Less than 24 hours after their overtime loss against the Montreal Canadiens, the Anaheim Ducks hit their last stop in their annual Eastern Canadian swing to play the Toronto Maple Leafs. Anaheim was fortunate to squeeze a point out of last night’s game and will look to clean up their play and bring a strong effort in the second half of a back-to-back games.
The Ducks are coming into this afternoon game playing some of the best hockey we’ve seen from them in a long time and while the bar is VERY low, it’s a welcome sight. They’ve been able to ice a fairly healthy lineup and you can see the energy and excitement as they play the kind of games that they knew they were capable of. It isn’t clean or pretty all the time, but we’re seeing glimpses of what could have been while giving fans hope for the future.
Anaheim has a 5-4-1 record in their last ten games, but have been showing signs of life. New defensive pairings have led to more consistent defensive play and the breakdowns are becoming less frequent. We’re also seeing production from players like Rickard Rakell, who has five points in his last four games. With John Gibson having played last night, Ryan Miller is the likely starter. He’s been fairly solid this year with a 2.86 GAA and .912 save percentage.
While the season is out of hand for this Anaheim team, they have the opportunity to play spoiler against teams who are still fighting for their playoff lives. The Toronto Maple Leafs enter tonight struggling a bit and currently find themselves outside of the playoff picture. Having gone 4-4-2 in their last ten games and riding a two-game losing streak, the Maple Leafs have even more to worry about as they’ve lost Frederik Anderson to an upper body injury for the time being. We will likely see newly acquired Jack Campbell in net, but even without their number one goalie, the Ducks cannot take this team lightly. Toronto can blow the socks off of any team offensively if they’re feeling it.
Keys to the Game
- Discipline - Yep, the horse is pretty much dead, but it’s still worth beating. Discipline plays a big role in this sport. Last night, the Ducks were penalized five times, four in the final two periods. If there’s one thing that this team will need as a foundation for the future, it’s discipline.
- Containment of…everyone? - Looking at this Toronto roster, offensively, it seems almost unfair compared to the Ducks lineup. They have so many weapons and you almost have to pick your poison.
- Test Campbell early - New team, hostile media, different environment. You’ve got to believe that there’s a little pressure on his mind. Make him question everything and make him scramble.
Let’s hope that the Ducks can put together a solid effort and come away with a win.