Game Night: Detroit @ Ducks – Anaheim Has Something to Prove

DETROIT, MI - FEBRUARY 13: Adam Henrique
DETROIT, MI - FEBRUARY 13: Adam Henrique /

The Anaheim Ducks are back in action tonight at the Honda Center. Anaheim needs to play with a greater sense of urgency as they face down and out Detroit.

Underwhelming Shutout

I can’t remember the last time I saw fans this disappointed after their team posted a shutout win. To be honest, I wasn’t that impressed either with the Ducks 3-0 win over Vancouver on Wednesday. Defenseman Brandon Montour scored two goals which was impressive. Especially for someone who hadn’t put the puck in the net for almost four months. John Gibson was impressive stopping all 32 shots he saw. Even Jason Chimera had an impressive moment when he scored his first goal as a Duck. So why the lack of enthusiasm?

Anaheim came into this one on a three-game losing streak. Vancouver is one of the bottom teams in the league. At the very least, everyone expected to see a sense of urgency from the Ducks that was never really there all night. The Ducks had four power-play opportunities including a double minor in which they managed six total shots, before cashing in on their fifth opportunity. That goal came after Vancouver had pretty much given up hope with less than a minute to go, shorthanded, and two goals in the hole.

Additionally, the Canucks put 32 shots on Anaheim without their best player. There is no way that should happen when the Ducks obviously needed to step up their game. Sometime soon Anaheim has to find a way to control play and be the dominating team.


It has not been a “dilly-dilly” season for Ryan Kesler. He missed the opening three months of the season recovering from summer hip surgery. The Ducks have been better since the gritty center’s return after Christmas, but he has been a shell of his former self. If you watch him, your eyes are showing you he’s not right. If you listen to analysts Brian Hayward on TV or Dan Wood on radio, they’re telling you Kesler isn’t getting around the ice well. Yet he’s still out there, and 85% percent of Kesler is still better than 100% of most other players. His lack of mobility, however, wouldn’t be as noticeable if the overall team wasn’t so slow. Maybe he should alternate some shifts with either Derek Grant or Adam Henrique.

Detroit @ Ducks

Tonight the Detroit Red Wings are Anaheim’s guests at the Honda Center. Detroit enters this contest the same way Vancouver did on Wednesday, out of the playoff race and finishing out the string. There is no reason why (except maybe a Herculean performance by Jimmy Howard) the Ducks shouldn’t control this one from the opening whistle. John Gibson will once again be the Ducks starting goalie. Kevin Bieksa will miss tonight’s game and several more with a hand injury. Anaheim’s lineup will look something like:













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