If you’re in the market for a game with little fan appeal, look no further than the Anaheim Ducks and Carolina Hurricanes in Raleigh tonight. Unless you are a fan of either team, or have money on the contest, there really isn’t much of a reason to watch this one. We will have money on it so that’s our excuse. The Ducks head for the second last game of their road trip, as they will finish it up with a stop in Washington on Sunday.
It’s been a pretty good look for the Ducks on the road so far. Their best win came against the Lightning, a 3-1 win on the 27th. They followed that up with a win the following night over the Panthers, 3-2. The Ducks are winners in four of their previous five games for one of their best stretches of the season.
Anaheim lost seven games in a row between October 20th to November 1st, so they have some catching up to do. The Ducks are stuck with an aging core and expensive contracts. Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf are no longer worth the money they are making. They are both north of 30 years old and no one around the league is going to be dumb enough to take their contracts.
What the Ducks are left with is an offence that are a step behind the younger legs around the NHL. The playmaking ability just isn’t what we’ve seen from the Ducks in the past, and they’re going to have to get by defensively this season. Physical, tight defence really has been the MO for the Ducks for a decade, but goal scorers are needed in the NHL today.
Curtis McElhinney who is forcing the Hurricanes to start him from his solid play this season, will hope to duplicate what he did against the Canadiens in Montreal on Tuesday. He turned back 48 shots in a 2-1 victory. McElhinney is playing like he has something to prove in net and it’s been working for him. Head below for our free Ducks vs. Hurricanes pick.
Anaheim Ducks vs. Carolina Hurricanes Pick
To beat the Lightning, the Ducks used the same formula that made them a contender for several years. They got physical with them and limited them to only 1 goal. That’s the best scoring team in the league that they neutralized, so it was an impressive showing that went largely unnoticed. The Ducks did the same thing the next night, with a 3-2 win in Sunrise.
Major kudos should be going to the goaltending as well. John Gibson has been solid this season, with a GAA of 2.54 and 0.927 save percentage. He just needs some goal support, but it’s been difficult to come by in Anaheim. The Ducks have averaged only 2.22 goals per game to put them next to last, 30th, in scoring this season. Their effort on the road has yielded just 2.08 per game.
McElhinney is coming off his flawless performance looking for more against a bad Anaheim offence. With the outstanding performance, his GAA is sitting nicely at 2.21, along with a 0.93 save percentage. He’s allowed 1 goal in three of his previous four games. In the other game, McElhinney gave up just 2 goals to the high-powered Maple Leafs.
He was good when he got his chances in Toronto last season. Finishing with a 2.14 GAA in eighteen appearances got him the boot, though Sparks has been playing well as a backup for the Leafs. The Ducks have gone 19-8 and the Hurricanes 16-8 to the UNDER. In their previous meeting in December of 2017, the Ducks won 3-2. I suspect a similar game with a score of 3-2 the end result. The UNDER looks like it should be in play on Friday night in Raleigh.