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Ducks January Review
By Thomas Harrington
The Anaheim Ducks(21-21-9) had a difficult January, winning only two games. The only good news is that, because of the All-Star Game and bye week, the Ducks played in only 10 games. Overall, Anaheim went 2-6-2 and picked up six points in the standings.
Normally, I’d start this by going over Anaheim’s best game of the month. By winning only two games, that should be easy, but instead, I’m going to say that Anaheim had no good games in January. Neither of their two wins was particularly impressive. They defeated the Minnesota Wild 3-0, but that was largely on the strength of the play of John Gibson, as the Ducks were outshot 37 to 23. In Anaheim’s other win, they defeated the New Jersey Devils 3-2, while being outshot 31 to 14.
Anaheim had a number of terrible games in January, but their worst was their 5-1 loss to the St. Louis Blues. The Blues have been terrible all season, at or near the bottom of the Western Conference. The Ducks had won two of their last three games, had a couple days of rest in between games, and were getting ready for the All-Star break. The Ducks should have come out flying, and even if they lost, this should have at least been a competitive game, but it wasn’t. Daniel Sprong actually gave the Ducks a 1-0 lead in the first, but the game was tied before the period was over, and the Ducks were outshot 13 to two. Overall, Anaheim was outshot 32 to 13 in what might be their worst game of the season.
Just like everything else in January, Anaheim’s special teams weren’t great. In 10 games, Anaheim had 23 powerplay opportunities but only scored three times. If that powerplay connects a few more times, maybe they pick up another win or two. Rickard Rakell, Troy Terry, and Sprong scored Anaheim’s powerplay goals; it was Terry’s first NHL goal and point. Sprong led the team with two powerplay points. The Ducks were shorthanded only 21 times, one of the few months where they had more powerplays for than against. The Ducks allowed three powerplay goals, two against Gibson and one against Chad Johnson. Jakob Silfverberg scored Anaheim’s lone shorthanded goal of the month.
The last month and a half have not been kind to the Ducks, and their play in their most recent loss to St. Louis doesn’t give much hope for the rest of the year. Some are ready to call this a lost season in Anaheim, and it very well might be, but a great February can put them back into playoff contention.
The Ducks do look to get some players back for Saturday’s game against the Winnipeg Jets. For more visit: Ducks Look To Get Healthy
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January 31st, 2019