Storylines in sports have a way of providing fans with a strong dose of drama without the added headache and nausea reality television usually causes. This afternoon’s showdown between the Anaheim Ducks and the Los Angeles Kings has the recipe for an epic battle with plenty of storybook moments.
By now, we have heard plenty about Anaheim’s disastrous start to the 2015-2016 regular season. At times, it appeared as if the Ducks had a better shot at becoming a lottery team than being a franchise destined to battle in the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Kings, on the other hand, have spent most of this season atop the Pacific Division with no sign of slowing down. At one point, the popular belief was that Los Angeles was uncatchable and a sure lock to win the division.
My how the times have changed! The Ducks have become the hottest team in the National Hockey League since the new year and now share the first place throne with the Kings. It is only right that the two teams will face off against each other this afternoon to determine who the sole leader of the Pacific is heading into the second week of March.
A Possible Broken Record
With Thursday night’s 5-1 victory against the Arizona Coyotes, Anaheim won its tenth straight contest matching it’s longest winning streak in franchise history. The Ducks won ten straight games back in December of 2013. There is no denying the sweet feeling that would engulf every member of Anaheim’s roster if they were able to break a franchise record against their most hated rivals. A little added pleasure would come with knowing they beat Los Angeles twice to accomplish this achievement.
Accomplishment of a Personal Milestone
Close your eyes and let your mind wander for a moment. Take a slight jump into the future and imagine today’s game between the Ducks and the Kings is already taking place. The two teams are tied at two goals apiece with less than a minute to play in the third period. The Kings have the puck in Anaheim’s zone and are looking to get something started near the blueline. Then, somehow, Corey Perry winds up with the puck, skates all the way down the ice and scores the game winner for the Ducks putting them in first place.
Now it may not occur as dramatically as that but it is always likely that Perry could score a goal this afternoon or, at least, contribute with an assist. If Perry can record a goal or assist today, he will increase his point total to 50 for the season making it the eighth time in his career he scored 50 or more points.
Can’t Miss Hockey
Ducks vs. Kings is always entertaining hockey to watch. The added stakes of first place in the Pacific Division and a possible new franchise record for Anaheim will make it even more appealing. Anything is possible but we might be looking at a new “best team in the Pacific” by day’s end.
John Gove is an elementary school educator who writes about hockey in his spare team. Over the past five years, John has covered the game at various levels. Now, he exclusively focuses his coverage on prospects and the developmental leagues.