Happy Hug Day, everyone! I thought I'd start out today's post with a rather staggering-contrast table -- here's how Anaheim has performed this season against Pacific opponents vs. the rest of the league (hint: very badly). They've won only 3 of 9 games against the Coyotes and Stars and 0 of 6 games against the intrastate Sharks and Kings. And yeah, in case you're curious or vengeful, that hurts the ego quite a bit.
|OPPONENT||GP||ANA Record||+GF -GA = GD||PP%||PK%|
|Phoenix||5||2-1-2||+2.4 -2.8 = -0.4||18.5%||78.6%|
|Dallas||4||1-3-0||+2.5 -3.8 = -1.3||0.0%||78.6%|
|San Jose||4||0-4-0||+1.5 -4.0 = -2.5||21.1%||68.8%|
|Los Angeles||2||0-2-0||+1.5 -4.0 = -2.5||11.1%||90.9%|
|Pacific Division||15||3-10-2||+2.1 -3.5 = -1.4||16.4%||78.2%|
|Rest of League||35||20-10-5||+3.1 -2.9 = +0.2||22.0%||80.6%|
The Ducks playing outside the Pacific Division are 20-10-5. That's better than the Stars (16-13-8), the Coyotes (16-15-2), the Kings (19-12-2), and not much worse than the Sharks (22-7-4). In fact, in terms of winning percentage, it's sixth-best in the league:
Record against non-Pacific Teams 2009-10 -- six best
But it's their record within the Pacific Division that's killing them. Sad fact: the eastern-conference NY Rangers have as many points against Pacific Division opponents as the Ducks do -- eight. In fact, the Ducks' divisional record ranks them 30th in the league; Anaheim would have made for a very good non-Pacific team this season, it seems:
Record within own division 2009-10 -- seven worst
Including tonight, the Ducks have nine more Pacific games to play, and notably, six more against the Sharks and Kings, where they've been outscored 24 to 9 in six previous BoC meetings. Of course, the Sharks only play the Ducks once more after tonight; it's the four remaining SoCal games that should be very pivotal (if the Ducks show up, that is).
Pacific whining aside, the Sharks are an astoundingly-good team.
* In their last 24 games, the Sharks have given up more than two goals only THREE times (twice to the Kings).
* In their last 10 games, the Sharks have given up more than one goal only THREE times (only once in their past six).
Meanwhile, the still-injured Ducks have surrendered four goals in each of their past three games -- uh oh.
* * *
Prediction: It's Thursday night, so I won't be around for game comments -- play nice. Ducks 4, Sharks 2. Goals by Getzlaf, Ryan x2, and Chipchura.