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The Anaheim Ducks are 4-0-1 in their previous five games.
The Vancouver Canucks have won three of their last five games.
This Canucks beat the Ducks 8-5 in their first matchup.
Odds Taken from DraftKings Sportsbook.
21-34-8 (7th in Pacific Division)
26-32-5 (6th in Pacific Division)
Trevor Zegrad (53)
Elias Pettersson (79)
Trevor Zegras (20)
Elia Pettersson (30)
Trevor Zegras (23)
Quinn Hughes (55)
Isac Lundestrom (-6)
Quinn Hughes (11)
Frank Vatrano (2.86)
Shots (Per Game)
Elias Pettersson (3.34)
The Anaheim Ducks will travel to Vancouver to face the Canucks after battling it out with the Seattle Kraken. These teams first faced each other in early November in what turned out to be a high-scoring game. The Kraken ended up winning 8-5.
The Ducks have been one of the worst teams in the NHL all season long. They have 50 points are sitting near the bottom of the Western Conference. Anaheim will soon be mathematically eliminated from the Playoffs. On the other side, the Canucks are 17 points out of the second Wild Card spot. Vancouver, like Anaheim, will not be making the Playoffs this season.
The Ducks may be Stanley Cup contenders in a few seasons, but they are from that right now. Anaheim is rebuilding, and it is pretty evident. They have one of the slowest offenses and worst defenses in the NHL. While they have a few talented young players, their roster has not been up to par this season.
The Ducks have a few young stars in Trevor Zegras, Troy Terry, and Mason McTavish. These three are all 25 or less and are top-three on the Ducks in points.
John Gibson will likely get the start for the Ducks. He is a veteran netminder and has been dominant in the past but is struggling this year. However, he has been excellent over his last four starts and has only given up nine goals.
The Canucks are in a unique position. They are not quite rebuilding, but they also accepted their fate as a non-playoff team a couple of weeks ago when they traded Bo Horvat. Horvat was their leading scorer, so Vancouver lost a lot on the offensive end when they let him go. Overall, the Canucks are a little below average but not in the cellar. This means they are not one of the worst teams in the NHL but are also not a threat
The Canucks have a few solid players in Elias Petersson, Quinn Hughes, Andrei Kuzmenko, and J.T. Miller. These four have combined for 85 goals and 251 points. When they are firing on all cylinders, Vancouver is tough to beat.
Thatcher Demko will likely get the start for Vancouver. Demko has struggled this season and gives up 3.66 goals per game.
I am a Ducks fan, but I have to pick the Canucks to win. Vancouver is a little stronger and has a home-ice advantage. Bet on the Canucks.
The Ducks are the underdogs but will win if they draw penalties and pass to Trevor Zegras.
The Ducks have the third-worst power play unit in the league but flipped the script when they played the Montreal Canadiens on Friday. Anaheim usually converts a touch less than one in six opportunities but scored two power-play goals against Montreal. Their power play unit must bring that same dominance to this game.
Trevor Zegras will soon be the face of the Ducks franchise. The soon-to-be 22-year-old leads Anaheim in points (53), goals (20), and assists (33). He is also an efficient shooter and makes 13.7% of his shots. Zegras’ teammates must set him up with the puck and give him opportunities to score.
The Canucks are expected to win this game but only if they play tough defense and score the first goal.
The Canucks are not known for their defensive prowess but must play tough defense this game. They are facing a Ducks team that is usually slow on the defensive end but has been scoring with a little more ease lately. The Canucks’ defensemen must not let the Ducks shoot as much this game. If they do, they will limit their scoring.
The Canucks are playing at home and are known for having a loud fan base. They must take advantage of this and score the first goal. If Vancouver strikes first, their fans will be even more enthusiastic and give them a competitive edge.
I would not usually choose Derek Grant as the key player, but there are extenuating circumstances. Grant has missed over half the games this season with an injury and has been quiet when healthy. He comes into this game with three goals and six assists in 27 games. However, he stepped up his play against the Canadiens and finished with two assists.
Grant must keep looking to make the right pass and set up his teammates with scoring opportunities.
Elias Petterson is the easy choice for this honor. Pettersson leads the Canucks in points (79) and goals (30). He also has three points in his previous two games.
Pettersson does not need to change his style of play today. He must continue operating at a high level and help his team win.
What - Anaheim Ducks vs Vancouver Canucks
Where - Rogers Arena, Vancouver, British Columbia
When - Wednesday, March 8, 10:00 PM EST
How to Watch - TNT
Max Heering graduated from the University of Kansas Sport Management program in May 2020. Max follows and writes about the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, MLS, college football, and college basketball. In his free time, you can catch Max draining threes on the basketball court. Email: [email protected]More info on Max Heering
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