Phoenix Coyotes (10-6-0, 20 pts) at Anaheim Ducks (5-7-2, 12 pts), 7 pm
Get your team's symptoms diagnosed at Anaheim Calling and Five For Howling.
Cartoon inspired by my own flu-like symptoms.
I had written before about the rarity of Anaheim and Saturday home games -- of the 192 games at the Honda Center over the last four seasons (including playoffs), only 6 had ever occurred on a Saturday night. That's changing fast, though -- the Ducks will add 6 Saturday home games this season before Christmas, tonight being the fourth.
And so far, Saturdays at Honda Center have solidly sucked -- Ducks have lost all three games to western opponents and have been outscored 15-5. Plus it's already a jam-packed schedule: why is it necessary for the NHL to cram in 13 games today (more than anybody can possibly follow) followed by just 2 tomorrow? So yeah, put me in the "give me back Sundays" crowd, though a Saturday night Ducks victory might help change my mind.
Maybe there is a tide turning a bit; the Ducks have gone 2-1-1 over their last four games, and even though their wins both came against severely crippled lineups (Vancouver and Nashville), there has been a stronger sense of competency to Ducks hockey. Plus the top lines are outscoring -- over the last four games, the top-six forwards have combined 13 goals and are each +3 or better. Short-term illusion? We shall find out.
I suppose I can take this as a sign of positivity, though -- dentistry helped the Ducks last year, at least:
Center Todd Marchant missed practice in order to undergo some dental work.
Prediction: The Wizard James Wisniewski returns from his two-game suspension for demolishing Shane Doan; punches ensue.