The Anaheim Ducks are headed back to Honda Center after a discouraging loss on the road. Fan’s are hoping the home-ice advantage will be a motivating factor against the San Jose Sharks tonight.
The Anaheim Ducks are slowly getting closer to rolling out a roster that is reminiscent of the opening day lineup. Nevertheless, this is preseason after all; a time for experimenting and adjusting. Still, preseason or not, a loss is always a tough pill to swallow. Especially a 3-0 loss against your cross-town rivals, the Los Angeles Kings.
After a 1-1-1 preseason record on the road, the Anaheim Ducks are finally heading home to familiar territory. The fresh ice at Honda Center is waiting for them as they prepare to face the San Jose Sharks. A win against their ferocious foes last week will set the stage for tonight’s game. However, fans are hopeful that the home-ice advantage will be the motivating factor that will propel the Ducks towards a win.
Home ice hasn’t proven to help the Ducks win before, but after a crushing defeat at the hands of their rivals, the familiarity of Honda Center could give them the confidence to make a comeback and redeem their preseason. The comfort in being home and the never-ending support from their fans will go a long way in motivating the team.
While the Ducks may have lost two of their three preseason games, the Sharks are coming to Honda Center having yet to win. This is going to make them a difficult opponent tonight, as they are a team hungry for victory.
Keys for the Game
Get the Puck in the Net: The Ducks biggest issue in their last game was their inability to get the puck in the net. They led the Kings in shots on goal, granted by one, but you can’t win games unless you can score goals. If this is an omen for how the regular season is going to be, the team is in big trouble.
Together, they need to figure out how to solve this problem. It might take Dallas Eakins a little bit of trial and error to find the right solution, but each one of his lines should be producing effectively. If that means he must spread his talent more evenly throughout the roster, then so be it.
The players need to be more creative; they need to find a way to break through the defense, find the goaltenders weakness, and capitalize on their opportunities. Granted, the roster is still a work in progress, with players being shuffled around different lines with different linemates. Sam Steel is also out with an injury, which puts the Rickard Rakell-Sam Steel-Jakob Silfverberg line on hault momentarily.
More from Ducks News
- Who could the Anaheim Ducks consider presenting offer sheets to?
- Is Pierre-Luc Dubois on the cards for the rebuilding Anaheim Ducks?
- Making the case for the Anaheim Ducks to trade with the Edmonton Oilers
- Anaheim Ducks might benefit tremendously by trading John Gibson
- How close are the Anaheim Ducks to becoming contenders again?
Regardless, if they can put an end to their goal drought and find a way to be more effective in front of the net, they have a better chance of walking away with a W tonight. It may only be preseason, but a win is a win, and victory tastes just as sweet before the real hunt for the Cup begins.
Protect John Gibson and Kevin Boyle: While scoring goals can win you games, keeping the puck out of the net can win them too. Tonight, John Gibson and Kevin Boyle will be splitting the time in net. Their last game together ended in defeat after the Arizona Coyotes won in the shoot out. Gibson let in one goal, whereas Boyle let in two.
Last season, the defense left Gibson out to dry. Again, while this may be preseason, this is their time to improve on their prior mistakes. Lately, they’ve been falling back into their old patterns, being inconsistent defensively. Gibson cannot spend another season playing both goaltender and defense. So, it’s time to step it up, get things straight, and protect their goaltender. If things don’t take a drastic turn, we’re going to be seeing more games like the one in LA last night.
Welcome the Boys Home With Deafening Applause: This is for you, the fans! While a 3-0 loss last night was not ideal, remember that the team is still working out the kinks. Tonight is the first hockey game at Honda Center in months, and while it may not be an important game, the team needs to know that you support them.
After last season, they know they let their fans down. 2019-20 may not be the season where they make things right, but I know they’re going to try their hardest. Give them a reason to keep fighting tonight, whether they’re winning or losing. They may not be able to express it to you as often as you’d like, but your support means the world to them. You are the reason they show up each night!
Do you love the Anaheim Ducks enough to write about them? Are you looking to get more involved in the Ducks community with the start of a new season? Pucks of a Feather is always looking for dedicated fans to fill contributor roles with us. Apply now, you won’t regret it!