The Arizona Coyotes and Anaheim Ducks meet for a West Division matchup on Thursday night at the Duck Pond. The Ducks are coming off an ugly 8-4 loss against the Colorado Avalanche. After scoring 4 goals in the first period, the Ducks fell asleep and lost by 4 goals. They are the first team in around 30 years to score 4 goals to open the game in the first frame and lose by the same margin or more.
The energy in that game changed in a hurry once Hunter Miska was benched. Miska has been having an opportunity with backup Pavel Francouz injured, but he’s failing miserably. The 25-year-old allowed 4 goals on 7 shots for a 0.428 save percentage. Philipp Grubauer entered the game to start the second and stopped all 15 shots.
While the Ducks scored 4 goals in that one, I don’t really know if that was because Miska was just terrible or the Ducks’ offence was playing well. Okay, let’s be honest, that was largely because the Avalanche were sleeping defensively and Miska looked out of place in an NHL crease the other night.
That was an ugly performance by the Ducks, and while Miska takes blame for allowing the Avalanche to get behind 4-2 in the first, the Ducks’ defence and Ryan Miller might have been even worse. Miller conceded 7 goals on 35 shots for a 0.80 save percentage. John Gibson is currently listed as day-to-day in the injury report with a lower-body injury.
The Ducks have to go in full rebuild mode at this point. They can’t wait any longer and pretend that this team is going to do anything. The Ducks go into Thursday night with a record of 8-16-6 and 22 points for last in the West. On a four-game losing streak, they’ll look to avoid a fifth straight loss against the Arizona Coyotes this evening.
After putting in zero effort defensively against the Avs, the Ducks must bring the intensity versus a physical Coyotes squad. The Coyotes head into tonight with a record of 12-13-4. This was supposed to be a big season for the Yotes, with everything coming together, but they need some help offensively before getting to that point. Head below for our free Coyotes vs. Ducks pick on March 18, 2021.
Arizona Coyotes vs. Anaheim Ducks NHL Betting Odds:
Coyotes vs. Ducks Prediction:
The Coyotes are going to have to dig deep and find some offensive pop from somewhere. They have a couple of solid young players in Conor Garland and Clayton Keller, but help from elsewhere has been hard to find for the Coyotes. Phil Kessel is doing his best to contribute as the veteran leader on this roster, but his -10 +/- is not a good look for the 33-year-old. The Coyotes have struggled mightily to find goals. They’re 28th in that regard with just 2.3 goals per game.
Note that the Yotes are putting an average of only 25.6 shots on net for 31st in the NHL. In their previous ten outings, the Coyotes have been all out of sorts with a measly 1.8 goals potted per game. They’ve managed to find 2 goals in their last four showings, a goal in two games and shutout in the other two, including a 3-0 loss against Minnesota on Tuesday. As poorly as the Coyotes have been offensively, the same goes for the Ducks who can’t score either. Anaheim is 30th in the league with 2.2 goals per game.
The 4 goals they scored against the Avalanche was more a reflection of how bad Hunter Miska is than the Ducks’ offence. There isn’t much firepower on the Ducks, and it would likely be in their best interest to deal what they can at the trade deadline and go full on tank mode. Along with just 2.2 goals per game, the Ducks are 30th in shots on target per game at 27.5 shots and 30th on the power play at 11.4%. You would think home would help, but the Ducks are netting fewer than 2 goals per game at the Honda Center. A final score of 3-2 makes sense in this one.