By Michael Walters
The Anaheim Ducks(32-21-10) come out of the bye week hosting the Toronto Maple Leafs(28-21-13) at Honda Center. The Ducks played the Maple Leafs once back in December and won 3-2.
The trade deadline came and went literally. The Ducks didn’t make any trades, except for a minor league deal with Chicago. Anaheim sent Kenton Helgeson and a 2019 7th round pick to Chicago (Rockford) for forwards Spencer Abbott and Sam Carrick. Abbott led Rockford in scoring with 15 goals and 20 assists in 53 games, and Carrick is tied for second in points with 28 in 57 games. Both will help the San Diego Gulls.
The Ducks placed Joseph Crammarossa on waivers on February 28th and he was claimed by Vancouver on March 1st. Anaheim brought up Chris Wagner as a result. Anaheim is going to have to make their playoff push without any significant add-ons besides Patrick Eaves. John Gibson is going to have to come up huge down the stretch in the final weeks of the season. He has been out with a strain, that isn’t a serious issue, but it’s not certain he will start tonight.
Keys To The Game
The Ducks into the bye week play a solid 40 minute game against Los Angeles and then collapsed in the third period. Anaheim has had this issue throughout the season of playing well for 40-55 minutes but then having a bad period or a bad five minutes that costs them the game. With no big additions to this team, it falls on Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry, and Ryan Kesler to get this team into the playoffs and then make a strong run. The Ducks are going to need to pick up the offense and power play as well. Tonight they will face their old friend Frederik Andersen so it could be another low-scoring affair.
Anaheim’s Projected Lineup
Jonathan Bernier 9-6-2, GAA 2.94, SV% .901 (Confirmed)
The Maple Leafs made a few moves at the trade deadline. They picked up Brian Boyle from Tampa Bay for Byron Froese and 2017 2nd round pick. They also picked up Eric Fehr, Steve Oleksy, and a 2017 4th round pick in exchange for Frank Corrado who they sent to Pittsburgh. Looks like Toronto wanted to add some forwards to their lineup and some added veteran presence as well. They are currently in a wild card spot in the Eastern Conference and are looking to make a push for the playoffs in the next few weeks.
Keys To The Game
Toronto is looking to get more offense tonight. They only scored four goals in their last three games. They will look to screen the Ducks goal and try to create rebounds and deflections. They average over 32 shots per game(32.7), but they also give up over 32 shots per game. They play on special teams, but they are under 50% in face-offs won. They will look to score early and maybe take some pressure off their offensive struggles as of late.
Toronto’s Projected Lineup
Curtis McElhinney, 3-3-0, GAA 2.08, SV% .938 (Confirmed)
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March 2nd, 2017