Sometimes staying home on the big day after Thanksgiving is the only option for some people. Thankfully, that is where some afternoon hockey comes in to fill the void. The Anaheim Ducks are keeping with their yearly tradition by playing at home against the Chicago Blackhawks so that one should not be missed.
After the Ducks’ huge and 10th year running win against the Calgary Flames on Tuesday, they are pumped to see if their winning streak will keep going. Tuesday’s game seemed to be in the Ducks’ favor up until the third period when Calgary had one of their notorious last minute comebacks. The Ducks managed to keep them out and their record alive and well. There was a crucial casualty though: Francois Beauchemin. The veteran defenseman was taken out of the third period with an upper body injury which left five defenders left to block out Calgary. Even if he is not able to play during Friday’s game, Anaheim’s defense has shown so far this season that they could hold their own, especially with some of the big boys like Sami Vatanen, Clayton Stoner and Josh Manson. Compared to a few of their last losses, the Ducks have also improved by staying in and past the neutral zone to get in as many scoring chances at possible which has been beneficial to them.
The Blackhawks are going to be just as much of a challenge as Calgary was. On Sunday, Chicago lost drastically to the Vancouver Canucks at 4-1. They will be playing against Anaheim not very long after their last game in Colorado, which would be rough for any of the teams around this time of year. The matchup between the teams is definitely a memorable one though to say the least. Two of the best centers and captains in the league are going head to head to rack up as many points as they can for their teams. Right winger Patrick Kane has the most goals scored right now and just like everyone knows, he is a hard player to keep from getting to the net. Captain Jonathan Toews is just behind Kane with nine goals and assists while fellow right winger Marian Hossa takes the cake with 12 assists overall.The thing they have that Anaheim also has is their ability to keep the pressure on the opposing team and push them back. In their last games’ Chicago averaged between about 27-30 shots on goal and Anaheim had 34 against Calgary. It really is not too much of a difference so their puck possession will be tough, even for their top scorers.
The Anaheim Ducks are currently second overall in the league just barely trailing the Montreal Canadiens. Anaheim is only two wins behind 1st place so there is no doubt that the game between both teams on Friday will be a fight to the finish because every game loss is another one having to earn back to keep their spot.