Pregame PostUp: Minnesota @ Anaheim

Posted: 02/25/2011 by bc in Uncategorized

The Stakes: Phrases ‘must win’ and ‘do or die’ feel redundant. It’s what happens when a 6th place team is set to play the 11th place team and find themselves 2 points apart in the standings. A win doesn’t do anything for our Ducks in the standings, unless Calgary loses to San Jose. A loss combined with a Columbus win over Phoenix causes our team to drop a notch to twelfth in the Western Conference. Just one week ago, feeling great on a 14-4 run, we talked about our Ducks owning their own fate. Now what other teams do has significant impact. This is exactly what a four game losing can do to you.

Do we hope for Calgary over San Jose and Columbus over Phoenix? I guess so as it keeps our Ducks in the running for the Pacific Division title. OTOH wins by the Flames and Blue Jackets tighten the race for the final four playoff seeds.

Injuries: The Wild is missing two of their top 3 centers. Mikko Koivu is out with a broken finger and Kyle Brodziak has an undisclosed illness. Other Wild injuries of note include, tough to play against James Sheppard, 20 goal scorer Guillaume Latendresse and depth D-man Cam Barker is questionable.

(SideNote: LOL@HollywoodHosers pounding their chests after barely getting past two very banged up hockey teams. I guess when your team is the most over-rated in sport, even cheap wins look good.)

On our Ducks side of it, Ryan Getzlaf is expected back. Saku Koivu is questionable. Look for newcomer Dan Ellis to start in goal for injured Jonas Hiller. Bobby Ryan tweeted last night asking for remedies for fighting head colds.

When Girls Love Hockey blogger Jenelyn Russo will be in attendance, no doubt with her eye on The Great 8. BTW, if you happen need a change from the usual stress or are just curious, take a peek at how the world looks through the lens of Suz Broughton. Suz world looks pretty cool compared to the one CNBC is yackin’ about in the background. NHL Live starts in 5 minutes.

What to Watch: Without Koivu and Brodziak the Wild are playing a much simpler 2-1-2 up and back. They did get traffic in front against the Kings last night. Both goals came on plays when No. 1 D-man Brent Burns got involved with the attack. Stopping Burns might be an easier task than getting pucks past Niklas Backstrom.

The Trend: Home side has won the first 3 games this season. The past two convincingly,  6-3 by our Ducks and 5-1 by the Wild.

The Colorado Avs have fallen eleven points off the pace after winning only one of their last eleven games. Hopefully our Ducks won’t be the next team to drift out of playoff contention due to an extended losing streak.

It’s time to stop the slide.

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