The Ducks came out completely flat, getting outshot 16-6 in the first period. Ryan Miller, who was making his first start of the season, was solid overall. That said, he wasn’t set for the second goal and while he was likely screened, it was a pretty avoidable goal. He can’t be faulted for the first or third goals, however.
Defensively, the Ducks were acceptable, in that even though there were a high number of shots allowed early on, there weren’t a ton of great chances given to the Wild. Minnesota did end up with two breakaways but those, along with the third goal, made up the team’s best chances.
If there’s been a positive about the forward group (other than Max Comtois’ hot start), it’s the fourth line. The team came alive after Nicolas Deslauriers got the Ducks on the board, after being terribly outplayed through the first half of the game. The line was key in both goals yesterday and overall, the bottom-six has been pretty good for Anaheim. The top-six, however, is a different story.
Ryan Getzlaf leads the way with a single assist in four games, while Danton Heinen, Adam Henrique, Rickard Rakell and Jakob Silfverberg have been held pointless. In two games, Sonny Milano also hasn’t found the scoresheet. It’s been a brutal start for Anaheim’s top forwards and something needs to change very quickly.
Six goals scored in four games isn’t anywhere near good enough and the biggest issue has been Anaheim’s top forwards. We knew the Ducks would have some trouble scoring but this has been worse than expected.
***NOTE: We've launched a HockeyBuzz Ducks Twitter account! For anyone interested, you can follow @HB_Ducks for updates on articles, Ducks news, etc.***
Here’s today’s poll question (results and discussion will be posted in a future article):
Do you feel the Ducks should start making lineup changes, in an effort to increase production?