The Anaheim Ducks are one of the National Hockey League’s in-form teams, winning six of their previous 10 games.
In what is now a very competitive Pacific Division, the Ducks, 30/1 with Bet365 to win the Stanley Cup, have managed to hold onto a top five berth and a playoff spot looks likely if they keep up their current form. Randy Carlyle’s side will be targeting a second Stanley Cup success – can the 2007 winners go all the way? Only time will tell…
Edmonton’s defeat to the Los Angeles Kings makes this weekend’s Pacific Division double header with Anaheim and the San Jose Sharks even bigger.
The Oilers are in danger of being cast away in sixth place; the Ducks have a 12-point advantage over their rivals at the time of writing. It should be an interesting end to the regular season but defeat here could signal the end of Edmonton’s playoff hopes.
On paper, this has all the makings of a great game for hockey fans. It is a divisional fixture so there should be that added bite and the playoff implications make for plenty of drama for the entire 60 minutes.
Anaheim have enough time to bounce back if they fall short here but for Edmonton, this really is their final chance to reduce the deficit. Win, and it could be a big momentum shift but lose and that could be that for another year.
Ducks: Consistent, Effective And Efficient
Anaheim aren’t going to win many plaudits for being the prettiest team to watch but this is a results business and that is all that matters for Carlyle’s side.
The Ducks have scored 155 goals so far this campaign whilst allowing 159 at the other end, giving them a differential of -4. Not ideal but certainly not abysmal compared to some of their rivals.
As things stand, Anaheim are just two points away from the second placed Calgary Flames and plenty of hockey tipsters will fancy the Ducks to climb above their rivals before the end of the regular season.
This organisation is in great shape and you wouldn’t bet against the Ducks reaching the playoffs; they could go far with a bit of luck.
KEY MAN: Rickard Rakell. Honda Center has been a fortress for Anaheim in 2017/18 and Rakell could give the home fans something to shout about this weekend.
Currently leading the team with 45 points, he has notched 22 goals and 23 assists – making him a consistent attacking option for the Ducks. Write him off at your peril, he is usually the man for the big stage.
Edmonton Cannot Afford To Fall Short
The Oilers know exactly what they need to do this weekend. Winning at Anaheim could give Edmonton the boost to go and defeat San Jose – and that would cap off an excellent couple of days for the franchise.
Todd McLellan will need Connor McDavid to be on top form here if Edmonton are to come out on top against Anaheim. But we’ll get onto him shortly. The Oilers have struggled in front of goal at times this year, bagging 146 whilst conceding 168. Not a great return…
Defeat last time out halted their progress and momentum but Edmonton can get back to winning ways at the first time of asking. Confidence is riding high at Rogers Centre and it would take a brave man to back against them on current form.
KEY MAN: Connor McDavid. With 63 points, McDavid has been very influential so far this season; the former 1st overall pick has been involved in nearly half of their goals.
Scoring goals is his forte but his influence as a creative player has not gone unnoticed in recent months, McDavid has 41 assists to his name. A genuine contender for Player of the Year if he maintains this form throughout the duration of the campaign.
Take your pick here. The Canadian side might just edge this one but it could go the distance if both sides are at their brilliant best.
DUCKS 3-4 OILERS