PreGame PostUp: Ducks @ Kings

Posted: 12/25/2010 by bc in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

UPDATE: L.A. Times Helene Elliot is reporting that Matt Greene is likely. Greene’s a 3rd pairing/PK unit D-man who can compete with our Ducks big forwards physically.

The season isn’t even half over and already we’ve launched The Playoff Watch as our Ducks face two must win games this week. Our Ducks are currently 1-0 against Los Angeles and 6-3 against Pacific Division rivals. If our Ducks are to maintain any hope of making the playoffs, we must maintain the .666 P% against Pacific Division teams.

This is a must win game.

It would appear that  all of the defense first focus of Coach Terry Murray is beginning to pay off. The L.A. Kings are 4th overall in GA and PK.  The impressive defensive stats have come at a price. The Kings are a mediocre 12th and 17th in GF and PP respectively.

Jonathon Quick is a top 5 goalie in some important categories of wins, save percentage and shutouts. And the L.A. noise machine wants everyone to know it. What they don’t tell you is how quick Quick’s numbers drop in the workhorse department where he’s a rather unimpressive 12th in games played.

By comparison, our Ducks are a tad more modest about their accomplishments. Maybe that’s because when you’ve actually won things, lesser accomplishments take on a more realistic perspective.

It does surprise me, even among those I believe should know better how Ducks fans haven’t appreciated the job done by Jonas Hiller. The Ducks goalie is 7th overall in wins and save percentage.

Ducks win percentage is .565 in games Hiller is the goalie of record compared to .526 overall. Hiller is tied for first in games played, second in games started, first in saves and shots.

Unlike Jonathon Quick, Jonas Hiller doesn’t collapse under a genuine #1 goalie’s workload.

Keys to the Game: Kings will be without matchup D-man Willie Mitchell and Matt “Bangers & Mash” Greene. With the big boys out Ducks top line should literally pulverize the likes of Doughty, Scuderi and Johnson on the forecheck.

In the first game, a 2-0 Ducks win on November 29, Andy Sutton made Ryan Smyth a non-factor. We can only hope Sutton plays and is not in Carlyle’s doghouse. Take away the low slot and you take away the ugly goals that guys like Smyth, Brown, Kopitar, Handzus score most often.

And that is how you beat the Kings. Take away the grinding game and you force the Doughty’s, Johnson’s, William’s and Kopitar’s to take things on themselves.

Odd Stat: Kings are 12-2-1 at home.

Noteworthy: Nick Bonino is questionable but could be a game time decision.

Personal Note: Kings enforcer Kevin Westgarth is from my home town of Amherstburg, Ontario. I don’t know him or his family. I was already out here when he was a toddler. People I know who also know Kevin speak well of him. Too bad he’ll probably get nailed by ‘Stache or Chipchura but he can take it. He’s from “A-burg” or “The ‘burg.”

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Comments
  1. czhokej says:

    Our first line dominated the opposition in some games, but not on regular basis as we expected. There were too many games when they could’t find each other. The key issue is Getzlaf skating into the scoring areas and their physical play.
    I like your comments about Hiller – he has faced more shots than any other goalie in the NHL – 1027! (81 shots more than th 2nd Carey Price). That also tells something about our defensive system.

  2. buick22 says:

    Hiller has let a few soft goals in this year, but they pale in comparison to the stupid backhand turnovers he had to get pummeled with…Hiller is the reason we have the wins we do…our forwards need to be in the other end all night, or the Kings will outskate us…they are quick in transition, and have point shooters for forecheck support, our forwards will have to win this game, scoring and supporting the D, so the outpass can be more than an idea….this is the real crunch time, if we wait until the games are numbered, or “win out” is the option, we have already lost the spot to the law of averages….we need to turn it on now…once they catch up the games in hand, our schedule gets better, if we are in last by a mile (minus the Oil) it won’t matter then….now is the time to stay close in points!!!!! Go Ducks

  3. bbdux93 says:

    I’m reading Comanche Moon and came across a line that seems to fit our Ducks.

    The leader of a group of Texas rangers says – when talking about the Indians they are pursuing, “It’s the quality of the opponent that makes soldiering a thing worth doing”. It ain’t the cause you fight for – the cause is only a cause.
    Insert playing hockey and winning the Cup where appropriate and you have our Ducks

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