Game 5: Obligatory Video Game Reference
Had to do it at least once, didn't we? It's in our contracts, and the first of four meetings between these two teams is as good as any.
In researching the internet for a good screen capture of said reference, I found that collectively you all have a serious hate on for that dog. Except for the one guy who wrote a 23 chapter epic on fanfiction.net depicting the complex romantic tangle between the dog, the unseen hunter, and the green and purple mallards. Sir, for your own sake, seek counseling immediately.
Tonight, the Jackets take on the Anaheim Ducks at home, looking for their first home win after going 2-2 to start the season, while the Ducks are hoping to win on the road for the first time this season, where they are currently 0-3 to start the year after going 2-0-1 in a 3 game homestand. One way or another, a winless streak will be snapped tonight.
Reports from the game day skate are that Kris Russell is out, but Anton Stralman practiced and is a game time decision, but is still having shoulder issues. I'd say there's a pretty strong chance that Nick Holden will make his debut tonight.
The challenge here will be special teams. Anaheim has the worst PK in the league at home, but they're tied for 7th on the road, only allowing 2 goals in 22 shorthanded situations. Their powerplay is tied for fourth overall in the NHL at 26%, but five of their 6 PP goals in 23 chances were scored at home. The Ducks are also tied for last in overall penalty minutes, averaging 29 minutes of PIMs per game.
If the Jackets can stay out of the box and make the most of the man advantage, they'll be on the right track to win tonight.
Equally important, the Jackets need to continue the trend of hammering the opponent's net.
Anaheim has given up over 250 shots on goal to opponents in 6 games. That means on AVERAGE, the goalie should be seeing more than 40 shots. If the CBJ can pound away for 40-50 shots this game, pucks WILL go into the net. The challenge for Steve Mason and the defense is that they'll need to limit the opportunities for the Ducks - so far in four games the team has allowed an average of 30 shots on net. If the team can do a better job of denying the Ducks scoring chances, I think we'll see a good game tonight.
Feel free to check in with us during the game, or go over to Anaheim Calling to see what they're saying.