Anaheim Ducks: A Look at the Opening Four-Game Road Trip

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Sep 25, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Anaheim Ducks center Ryan Kesler (17) and right wing Jakob Silfverberg (33) celebrate a goal in the third period of the game against the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center. Kings won 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The boys of … Winter, are back. After Anaheim saw their boys of Summer (Angels) dismantled and swept out of the playoffs, they now have something else to look forward to. A championship contending hockey team.

The NHL officially kicks off tonight with four games including two Pacific divisional games. Sharks vs Kings and Flames vs Canucks. And the Ducks open their season tomorrow night at the Console Energy Center in Pittsburgh to play the Penguins.

The line combinations and starting goaltender for the Ducks are obviously undetermined to this point because there are still 24 hours to go before the puck drops. And we may see some different combinations than expected with injuries to Dany Heatley and Kyle Palmieri.

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Starting the season on the right track is always advantageous and it’s especially important with the loaded Western Conference that we see has formed in the NHL this season. The Dallas Stars are locked and loaded and ready to make a deep run at the Cup this season with some big additions on offense, the Minnesota Wild added some notable offensive players as well to an already impressive squad and we already know how good the Ducks, Kings, Sharks, Blues and Blackhawks are. And the Ducks would like to believe they’re more than capable of playing with those teams and even playing better than them. They proved it when they won the Pacific division last season.

This year, the Ducks start the season on the road for four consecutive games against: Pittsburgh, Detroit, Buffalo and then finishing off the trip in Philadelphia.

“Last year we had a good road trip, a pretty big one at the beginning of the year, it was good for the team, you get to hang out and go out for dinner and stuff, and hopefully we can bring some points back home,” Frederik Andersen said about last years three game road trip to start the season.

It’s true, team-building is always accomplished when a team of any sort goes on an extended road trip like the ducks are going on this week. More than team building can be accomplished if you actually win games as well. It’s never easy to win on the road though, so let’s see if the Ducks can do so against their first four opponents this season.