Three Takeaways from the Ducks’ Opening Road Trip

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Oct 9, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Anaheim Ducks right wing Corey Perry (10) celebrates with the bench after scoring a goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the second period at the CONSOL Energy Center. The Penguins won 6-4. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

First Line Clicking 

It’s only a week into the season, but the Anaheim Ducks’ first line has been the best line in the NHL, in terms of sheer point production. Ryan Getzlaf, Perry, and Patrick Maroon have combined for 15 points. Maroon suffered a MCL sprain against the Sabres that will see him miss about four weeks. In the aftermath of that injury, Matt Beleskey got slotted in at the top line spot against the Flyers, and he responded by scoring a goal in his third consecutive game. The Maroon-Getzlaf-Perry trio has scored three more points than the combination of Chris Kunitz, Crosby, and Patric Hornqvist. They have seven more points than the Stars’ top line of Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin, and Colton Sceviour and one more point than the Maple Leafs’ top line of James van Riemsdyk, Tyler Bozak, and Phil Kessel. The Bruins’ top line of Milan Lucic and David Krejci has been scrambling to find that third linemate, and will try Simon Gagne tonight against the Montreal Canadiens. This is a line that is known to be one of the most physically difficult to play against, but it only registered its first point of the season last night against Detroit.

The puck possession numbers also speak volumes about the Ducks’ success from their top line. Perry, Getzlaf, and Maroon have a combined total of 226 shot attempts, leading to a Corsi For percentage (CF%) of 60.2% for the whole line. When the line is not on the ice, the Ducks’ CF% drops to 48.1%. The top line’s ability to control the puck, whether it be from winning puck battles in the corner or sustaining offensive pressure, has resulted in a tremendous scoring output, and the Ducks have scored 15 goals this season, which is tied for the best mark in the league.

The  top line is counted on to carry the scoring for most teams. And the fact that the Ducks’ top line is doing so is a major reason why the Ducks have won three of their first four games to start the season.