O God, if we have done wrong,
if we have turned away from the path that leads to victory,
if we have repaid loyal players with tickets out of town,
if we have used the city's devotion to plunder it,
then let our opponents overtake us,
let them trample us completely,
and let us rest in last place...
and if it's too late for all that, please let us win the lottery.
Rexall Place, 7:30 p.m. MST
The Race to the Bottom (It's Happening Again):
Visiting Team Scouting Report: The Anaheim Ducks have clinched a playoff spot, and are still a pretty good bet to win their division. If that happens, they'll probably get Phoenix or Dallas in the opening round of the playoffs, which is a very winnable series for them. Furthermore, the Kings and Sharks, probably the two best teams in the division (they are currently first and third in the league respectively in Fenwick percentage with the score tied during five-on-five play), will be forced to play each other in the first round. The Ducks have been riding percentages (9.6% shooting five-on-five is best in the league and 92.8% save five-on-five is seventh) to their record so far this year, and while that's not particularly likely to continue through the playoffs, a good draw will give them a much better chance at a deep run.
Hall - Gagner - Perron
Lander - Nugent-Hopkins - Eberle
Hendricks - Gordon - Pitlick
Gazdic - Smyth - Jones
Marincin - Petry
Ference - Belov
Anaheim Ducks (47-18-7):
Bonino - Getzlaf - Perry
Selanne - Perreault - Palmieri
Cogliano - Koivu - Winnik
Silfverberg - Rakell - Beleskey
Beauchemin - Vatanen
Robidas - Sbisa
Lindholm - Lovejoy
By The Numbers:
- Ryan Smyth is 38 years old and is, at minimum, coming close to the end of his career. The only question is, will this be the last year? I don't think it is. Smyth is still averaging over fifteen minutes per game this year and his 16 points at even strength still puts him inside the league's top 270 forwards. That doesn't sound like much, but with Smyth showing some versatility by playing center at the end of this season and contributing top-nine offense at evens, I can certainly see him coming back for another year.
- Andrew Cogliano's even strength production is also up inside the top 270 players in the league. In fact, his 32 even strength points puts him third on the Ducks and tied for 67th in the NHL. A very impressive year for Cogs whose consecutive game streak is now up to 530 regular season games and 537 games overall.
- Anton Belov is scheduled to return to the lineup tonight for what will be his second game since the Olympics. Is Belov in Craig MacTavish's long term plans? I doubt it. Belov has played less than 20 minutes in each of his last fifteen games and less than fifteen minutes in ten of those. Still, if they're not yet sure, getting him some reps is the right call.