Tonight, the Anaheim Ducks and Winnipeg Jets conclude their three-game series. Can the Ducks change the Jets flight path and pull off a win?
The last time these two teams met, the Winnipeg Jets handed the Anaheim Ducks one of the most severe beatings in their 25 year history. Still under the tyrannical leadership of Randy Carlyle, the Ducks lost 3-9, allowing Winnipeg to scored six goals in just the first period.
Losing to the Jets during their first meeting of the season as well, a 3-4 loss in overtime, the Anaheim Ducks are looking to change Winnipeg’s flight plan and win their final contest against the Jets.
It’s Game Day: Anaheim Ducks vs Winnipeg Jets
Game 75: Anaheim Ducks vs Winnipeg Jets
Season Record: 30-35-9
Location: Honda Center — Anaheim, California
Time: 7:00 pm PST
Radio: AM 830
Have the Anaheim Ducks Changed Enough to Defeat Winnipeg?
The Winnipeg Jets are sitting atop the Central Division, just one point ahead of the Nashville Predators, and are a few points away from officially clinching a playoff spot. The Anaheim Ducks are on the opposite end of the spectrum, sitting near the bottom of the league, crossing their fingers for a decent draft pick.
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Both time these teams have met this season, the Ducks have been under the toxic leadership of Randy Carlyle. Now that he’s been relieved of his duties, there have been a lot of significant changes made to the dynamics of this team.
Despite the fact that Bob Murray had never coached an NHL game prior to February, he has taken on his new role in stride. Since taking over behind the bench, the Ducks have gone 9-9-0 in their last 18 games. Under his regime, the Ducks have gone on to defeat teams like the Nashville Predators, the Montreal Canadiens, and the Washington Capitals.
They have improved offensively. Switching up the line combinations have allowed new partnerships to form and flourish. Players have exuded confidence and creativity that they didn’t look comfortable exhibiting prior to the coaching change. Younger players have been given more responsibility and, due to their development in San Diego, have taken it in stride.
One of their biggest issues, their defense, has improved significantly as well. Cam Fowler has blossomed on the right side, despite his hesitancy in previous years to switch over to the opposite side. Trading Brandon Montour for Brendan Guhle has seemed to pay off as well (despite Guhle currently being out to injury.)
All in all, the Anaheim Ducks have taken several steps forward. If they had taken these steps earlier in the season, they could still be contenders for a playoff spot. However, a positive is a positive and it instills hope in the fans and the team for next season.
They have rediscovered their competitive spirit. Although a loss would be good for their draft position, winning their final game against the Winnipeg Jets would certainly be an encouraging way to end their three-game series. However, win or lose, if the Anaheim Ducks maintain their competitive drive, it will be an enjoyable game to watch.
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