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Ducks limping to the finish line after disappointing homestand

March 29, 2023, 1:35 AM ET [8 Comments]
Ben Shelley
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After a decent start to the month, it’s been a tough stretch of games for the Anaheim Ducks.

Following the first first five games of March where the Ducks went 2-1-2, the eight-game homestand which followed didn’t go quite as well. Over the homestand, which wrapped up with yesterday’s 5-1 loss to the Colorado Avalanche, the Ducks went 1-6-1.

The quality of competition really wasn't overly high either, with five of those games coming against non-playoff teams. There were some good moments over the stretch, like battling back against Nashville Predators to erase a two-goal deficit late in the third and coming out ahead in a close game against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Since the win over Columbus though, the Ducks have lost their last five games. Over the five-game losing streak, they've averaged 39 shots against per game and only 23 shots for per game.

The Ducks also allowed at least five goals in six of the eight home games. Since the trade deadline, they’ve probably only had three legitimate NHL-level defenders in their lineup though, which doesn’t help. You have to feel for John Gibson a bit. As has been the case for a long time, he’s consistently facing huge workloads with very little help with the only light at the end of the tunnel being the end of the season quickly approaching.

Anaheim also only scored eight total goals over the last five games. A bright spot was that prior to his absence, Troy Terry had success on the homestand, scoring three goals and eight points over seven games. Meanwhile, Max Jones also upped his production playing up the lineup, with five points over the eight games. Nikita Nesterenko got into action as well, registering his first goal against the St. Louis Blues.

At this point in the season, it's key to see the younger players find some success to build on going forward. Trevor Zegras has managed just a single assist over his last five games though, then left yesterday's game with an injury. Isac Lundestrom also went pointless over his last 13 games.

Anaheim now has only eight games left, beginning with a road matchup against the Seattle Kraken on Thursday. I think the goal is just finding some reason for excitement and something to build on. We can expect the Ducks to add this summer and maybe we see some prospects make the jump at some point next season. But even with the current group, building a bit of momentum to close out the year would go a long way to putting a slightly more positive spin on a really poor season.

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