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Ducks 10 Game Review: Games 11-20
By Thomas Harrington
The Anaheim Ducks struggled over their last 10 games, going 3-5-2. They’ve lost their last five in a row, all at home, and are now heading on the road. One issue is that after being relatively healthy for the first 10 games of the season, injuries have become a factor. The other issue is that Anaheim’s rookies and young players haven’t been scoring much. They’ve been getting their chances, but have only finished a few of them.
Anaheim’s best forward over the last 10 games was Jakob Silfverberg. He scored four goals and nine points to lead the team and leads the team with nine goals and 17 points on the season. He had a great start to the season, and that’s carried over into the most recent 10 games. He scored once on the powerplay, one of Anaheim’s few powerplay goals this season, and once while shorthanded. Besides his scoring, his defensive play is still strong. He’s one of the team’s better penalty killers and has formed some nice chemistry with Rickard Rakell.
The Ducks’ worst forward over the last 10 games was Devin Shore. He only played in three games and went scoreless. He played in seven of Anaheim’s first 10 games, but he wasn’t getting the results that Dallas Eakins was looking for, leading to him being a healthy scratch most nights. Whenever he does get back into the lineup, hopefully, he’ll start scoring at a more consistent pace.
With Anaheim’s top defensive pair injured, Cam Fowler was the Ducks’ best defenseman over the last 10 games almost by default. With Josh Manson and Hampus Lindholm out of the lineup, it’s fallen to Fowler to lead the defense, and he’s played well, but he clearly can’t do it all by himself. He led Anaheim’s defense with two goals and tied for the lead with four points.
Michael Del Zotto was Anaheim’s worst defenseman over the last 10 games. Similar to Shore, other players have passed him by on the depth chart and he only played in six games. Even with Manson and Lindholm injured, he still found himself a healthy scratch several times.
Between The Pipes
In net, John Gibson started seven games and Ryan Miller started the other three. After a strong start to the season, Gibson has struggled recently, highlighted by the 6-2 loss to Edmonton. He gave up two short side goals in that one and didn’t look sharp throughout the entire contest. However, the second goal that Connor McDavid scored was a thing of beauty and no goalie was stopping that shot. Overall, Gibson went 2-5. Miller went 1-0-2 in his three starts and has yet to lose in regulation this season.
Anaheim isn’t as injured as previous seasons, but the injuries they have are severe. Manson is out until after Thanksgiving, and possibly until after Christmas. Lindholm shouldn’t be out long-term, but he only played in five of Anaheim’s last 10 games and won’t be with Anaheim when their road trip starts. That’s two of Anaheim’s top three defensemen and their top defensive pair. For as long as both are out, I expect the Ducks to continue to struggle in their own zone. The only other major injury that Anaheim had over the last 10 games was Ondrej Kase missing five games. Thankfully, he’s back in the lineup but hasn’t been finding the back of the net.
Young Guns Struggle To Score
Anaheim’s rookies and young players continue to play well, but just aren’t scoring much. Sam Steel and Troy Terry each played in all 10 games, while Max Jones played in nine games, Max Comtois in eight, Josh Mahura in six, and Brendan Guhle in five. Steel led them with five points, all assists. Terry scored one goal and three points, Jones scored two goals, Comtois scored two goals and four points, Mahura scored one goal and four points, and Guhle recorded an assist. They’ve been getting their chances, and hopefully, their offensive numbers will rise over the next 10 games.
A few more things that caught my eye over the last 10 games. With Manson out, the Ducks brought in Erik Gudbranson. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by him. He hasn’t been great, but he’s provided the Ducks with a solid, physical presence on the blueline and even has a goal. Ryan Getzlaf was tied for the team lead in goals with four, including an overtime game-winner against Vancouver. Derek Grant and Carter Rowney continue to be a solid presence on the fourth line and have chipped in with a decent amount of offense. Jacob Larsson scored his first career NHL goal, his only point over the last 10 games. Despite playing in only five games, Lindholm had three assists, tied for first among Anaheim defensemen.
The Ducks are a young team, and they have really looked like it over the last 10 games. This is a season of learning for Anaheim’s young talent. If they learn quickly, the Ducks can still turn this season, in large part because of their strong start to the season. However, if they continue to struggle through the rest of the season, the Ducks will probably miss the playoffs for the second season in a row.
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November 16th, 2019