The Anaheim Ducks begin a four game road trip on Saturday in San Jose, California.
It’s a trip which could go a long way in determining their playoff status in the Western Conference.
After a visit to San Jose on Saturday night, the Ducks head to Edmonton for a game with the Oilers on Monday evening. On Wednesday, February 8th, it’s the Ducks and Calgary Flames. The road action ends on Friday, February 10th when Anaheim plays Vancouver.
Going into the four-game, eight-day trip, the Ducks own a road record of 8-10-6. However, Anaheim is 5-1-3 in their last nine games away from the Arrowhead Pond, earning standings points in five consecutive games (3-0-2) and eight of the nine games overall. Two of the three wins have come in overtime.
The Ducks have five games left before the start of the Olympic break, including a home game with Chicago on February 12th. Following the break, there are just 25 games left on the regular season schedule. Twelve are at home and thirteen will be played on the road.
The Ducks and Sharks met on Wednesday with San Jose recording a 6-4 victory. Last time the Mighty Ducks played in Northern California, Anaheim put a 2-0 win on the board against the Sharks.
Ilya Bryzgalov stopped all 24 shots he faced in that Ducks win. The shutout was the first of Bryzgalov’s career. Andy McDonald and Joffrey Lupul scored the Ducks goals. Saturday’s contest marks the sixth game of eight that the two Pacific Division rivals will play against each other in the regular season.
Then it’s on to Edmonton for one of two remaining games with the Oilers in their regular season series. The Oilers scored a 4-2 victory over the Ducks on October 10th at the Pond and then recently won a 6-3 contest in Anaheim on January 25th. Both remaining games this season will be played in Edmonton, Alberta.
When the Ducks visit Calgary, they will be looking for their second win of the season series. A 4-1 win on October 26th is the only contest played between the teams this season.
The road trip ends in Vancouver as the Canucks and Ducks square off for the second time. Vancouver posted a 3-2 decision back on November 20th at the Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim.
As the road trip gets underway, Teemu Selanne leads the Ducks in scoring with 25 goals and 25 assists for 50 points in 50 games. He also leads the team in power play goals with 11.
The January 29th game at home versus Los Angeles will always be a special memory for us in the radio booth. That was the night Selanne reached the 1000th Career Point total against the Kings. It was one of those evenings that you savor as a broadcaster and as a fan.
Andy McDonald, who plays with Teemu, starts the trip second among the Ducks players in scoring. Andy has 16 goals and 30 assists for 46 points.
Selanne leads Anaheim in plus/minus with a +18 rating. McDonald is second with a +17 rating in 52 games.
Every game, every play and every point the Ducks muster on the upcoming trip will be important to their playoff aspirations.
We should have a better idea of where the Ducks stand in the Western Conference playoff race after the next four games.