The Anaheim Ducks have been waiting all season long for things to come full circle. We were all waiting on the Ducks to come around as well. I think some players on the Ducks, notably Ryan Getzlaf and Ryan Kesler, have been wondering when they will find a groove. It appears that the Ducks are beginning to turn a corner. For a team with as much talent on the roster, it really was a waiting period with this team. I don’t think anyone believed they were going to be held down for the entire season and finish a .500 team, or the offense to continue to be as inept as it was through the first few months. Anaheim has seemed to wake up. The Ducks were winners of six straight before the Pittsburgh Penguins took care of them by a score of 6-2 last night. Getzlaf also got a big monkey off his back, as he netted only his 4th goal recently. The Ducks and Getzlaf are hoping that it sets him off and he goes on a scoring romp. It took Sidney Crosby a while to get going, perhaps the same will be true here. Nevertheless, Getzlaf has still been a factor even without the goals, as he has dished out 30 assists on the season. Maybe this is the year that the Ducks catch fire at the right time, during the playoffs.
The Philadelphia Flyers were written off before the season even started, so to have a 23-19-4 record has been good for them. They aren’t underachieving or anything of the sort, because they weren’t expected to be major threats this season anyway. But they have come up big at times, and at least have a shot at making the playoffs. I think they are a year or two off from being a playoff team, but they are still in the thick of things. The Flyers are currently 13th in the NHL, 5 points outside of a playoff position. Philadelphia doesn’t have the best history against the Ducks. For the last two years they have been a punching bag for the Ducks to go off on. Anaheim has captured five straight wins against the Flyers. However, after getting blown out by the Penguins last night, is it going to rub off on them and carry over into tonight against the Flyers? The Flyers are coming off a 3-2 loss to the Capitals on Sunday. They became yet another victim of Washington. Let’s see how they come out against the Ducks, as they welcome a west coast foe to Philadelphia.
Anaheim Ducks vs. Philadelphia Flyers NHL Pick
The Flyers dodged a bullet recently, as they avoided a suspension to forward Wayne Simmonds. Simmonds was responsible for 6 goals and 3 assists in just five games, before that came to a halt against the Rangers. All he did there was nearly hurt his team against the Capitals the following game, but Simmonds will be playing tonight. The offense has been playing well lately. They outscored their opponents 14-8 during a three game win streak, but have lost their last two games. In their last five games they have averaged 3.6 goals per game. It has been that kind of year for the Flyers though, they haven’t been able to sustain momentum.
The Ducks’ offense was looking putrid as well, but have recently been getting hot. They were averaging 3.8 goals per game in their last nine games, before the 6-2 loss to the Pens last night. In the last five they scored 4.4 goals per game. Frederik Andersen who looks to get the start tonight in net for the Ducks, has had a lackluster career against the Flyers. In three starts, Andersen has posted a 3.16 GAA. Likewise, the Philadelphia netminder, Steve Mason, has had troubles too, with a 3.38 GAA against the Ducks in sixteen apperances. Traditionally both defenses have had their issues against one another. Note that the OVER went 6-1 in their last seven meetings, including 4-0 in the last four games. Catching a number of 5 on the total looks good here knowing what we do. I expect a 4-2 final with the OVER hitting.
PICK: OVER 5 GOALS (-120)