The Anaheim Ducks
If you notice some smoke coming from the Ducks bench, that's just Bruce Boudreau. The Ducks started the season a paltry 1-3-1 before embarking on the massive road trip that started in Nashville. Well, the Predators handed them a loss... and so did every other team. Anaheim went an embarrassing o-for on their five-game trip. They are now 1-7-2 and at the bottom of the Western Conference. Not so great for a team that many (including myself) picked to win the Stanley Cup.
They've only scored 10 goals all season (the 29th scoring team has score double that) and have been shutout five times. It's incredible how bad they are, and it seems like it's just a matter of time before Boudreau gets the ax. Bob Murray, however, chose not to do so in the two days between games, and may be giving him longer than anyone anticipates. However, if the players don't start denting twine or stop hanging their heads every time they're scored on, Murray may not have much of a choice.
Poor Frederik Andersen is also a victim of Anaheim's anemic offense. Through eight games Andersen is barely allowing two goals a game, and has a .932 Sv%. So rather than a goalie with no confidence letting in a million goals, their goalie is doing his part and not getting any run support. The Ducks are the anti-Blue Jackets.
The Nashville Predators
Yesterday was a perfect example of how fast 3-on-3 OT can change gears. One second the Preds were bearing down in the offensive zone, the next the red light was on behind Pekka Rinne and Jeff Carter had his hands raised in victory.
But the power play continued to hum right along, and James Neal kept doing James Neal things. Considering how hot the Kings have been lately, grabbing a point is not the worst thing in the world. Nashville still has a chance to leave California with five of a possible six points.
A small wrinkle in play right now is Filip Forsberg, who has found himself on a goalless streak dating back to October 15 against the Islanders. He did pick up two points yesterday, and good players manage to find ways to contribute even when they depositing the puck themselves. It's probably nothing to worry about, but it would be nice to see him get on the scoreboard soon.
Reasons to Watch
- There's roughly a 50/50 chance that Anaheim craps their pants at some point in this game.
- The other 50% is them finally finding their legs and making Nashville do the crapping.
- If it's another blowout, the Predators could be responsible for putting the final nail in Bruce's coffin. Can you live with that on your conscious?
- You've probably got a stock of candy left over from a lack of trick-or-treaters, or your kids have a pile you can steal from. Indulge yourself.
What better way to enjoy the day than watching Iron Maiden's best performance of one of their epic songs in front of thousands and thousands of people.
The Important Stuff
Game time is 7 p.m. Nashville time. Hopefully you've remember to set your clocks back so you aren't an hour early. FS-TN and 102.5 The Game have your calls.