Anaheim Ducks First Road Trip Recap

The Anaheim Ducks swept their first road trip of the season with a 4-0-0 record. The success away from home ice was unexpected and relieving, considering the Ducks struggled to bring home any points while on the road last season. Anaheim began their first road trip with a 1-4-0 overall record, but that record certainly did not reflect the night and day improvement that the team has been demonstrating so far this season. No one knew what to expect when it came time for a team whose roster is filled with young players just beginning their NHL careers to face off against the likes of Brad Marchand, David Pastrnak, Sidney Crosby, and Evgeni Malkin. With a team undergoing an active rebuild and adjusting to a new head coach, this road trip proved that when it comes to the Anaheim Ducks, there is much to be excited about.

Ducks @ CBJ
The Anaheim Ducks’ first road trip opponent was the Columbus Blue Jackets. With the Duck’s first line not producing as expected offensively going in to their away series, it was crucial that the team’s defense step up. Unfortunately, the game was riddled with penalties and Anaheim was trailing by one at the end of the first period. Ryan Strome was able to tie it up in the second period, and Brett Leason carried his team to overtime with a goal in the third. With the overtime clock ticking down, Frank Vantrano scored on a breakaway goal to secure the Duck’s first win of the road trip. One of the most notable occurrences in Columbus was the benching of Trevor Zegras. Zegras sat out for the entirety of the third period, presumably the result of several puck turnovers throughout the game. Benching a player like Trevor Zegras is a significant game-time decision, especially when your team is pushing to break a tie. Fortunately, in a post-game interview with Aly Lozoff a few days later, Zegras confirmed that Cronin’s message was well-received. Zegras confirmed that although the benching was less than ideal, he will use it as motivation going forward to play to the standards that Cronin is setting for this team.

Ducks @ BOS
One of the most exciting road games was the win against the Boston Bruins on Thursday night. The Bruins had visited Anaheim just four days prior, which resulted in a 4-2 loss for the Ducks despite outshooting their opponents throughout the game. Boston remained undefeated until they faced the Ducks for the second and final match-up of the season at TD Garden. Anaheim cleaned up their defense and refrained from visiting the penalty box for the entirety of the first period, which was a significant improvement compared to their first road game. Especially considering Anaheim out-hit Boston in the second period. Radko Gudas scored the first goal of the game which was coincidentally his first goal as an Anaheim Duck. Throughout the game, the Ducks were tenacious and did not let up. After three electric periods, the Ducks found themselves heading to overtime again. Leo Carlsson was fearless in this game. He looked considerably more comfortable and calm on the ice, and continued to find scoring chances. Ultimately it was his pass to Mason McTavish that led the Ducks to victory.

Ducks @ PHI
The Anaheim Ducks met with the Philadelphia Flyers for a matinee game on Saturday. As mentioned in the Ducks pre-game show with John Ahlers and Brian Hayward, the Flyers and the Ducks are similar teams in regards to where they are in their rebuild and the current experience on their roster. This made for an exciting match-up. Anaheim was off to a hot start, with Ryan Strome scoring the first goal just 58 seconds into period one. At the halfway mark of the second period, Anaheim was leading 4-0, which is the highest lead the team has had all season. The remainder of the game turned into a slight series of tug-of-war as the Flyers would seemingly build momentum and begin catching up, but ultimately the Ducks were able to maintain a solid lead and finished out the game with an exciting final score of 7-4. Frank Vatrano continued his scoring streak and even walked away with his second hat trick of the season.

Ducks @ PIT
Before the puck drop in Pittsburgh Monday evening, the Ducks and the Penguins came together on center ice to honor the life and career of Adam Johnson, who tragically passed away over the weekend from an on-ice accident in England. The Penguins organization put together a beautiful tribute for their former player, highlighting his first NHL goal with the team and sharing a special moment between Adam Johnson and Sidney Crosby. The entire hockey community has been deeply saddened by this loss.
The fourth and final game of this road trip turned out to be one of the most eventful and exhilarating Ducks games in years. The Ducks overcame an injured goalie, a disallowed goal that was waived off for goalie interference, the ejection of head coach Greg Cronin in the second period, and four overall minutes of five on three hockey. Anaheim found themselves killing a five on three penalty in the final 2 minutes of the game, where they were tied 3-3. As the clock began to tick down to the final seconds of regulation, the penalty on Mason McTavish expired. As he was released from the penalty box, McTavish gained possession of the puck following a pass from Adam Henrique. Mason McTavish scored with 11 seconds remaining in the game on a shorthanded breakaway goal. Although the Ducks seemed to lack a bit of energy throughout the game, and their defense was not as strong as it had been in the prior three games on the road, Anaheim continued to persevere and fight for victory into the dying seconds of the game.

With the first month of the NHL season coming to a close, it would be premature to make any assumptions about where the Ducks will land in the standings at the close of this season. Regardless of standings, stats, or records, this team has proved to be more entertaining in the last month than they have been in the last five years. It appears the Anaheim Ducks want to rewrite their reputation, and Greg Cronin has them on track to do just that.

On this episode of LAP, the guys cover the week's games and reflect on Jakob Silfverberg's career after the news of his retirement. Leo Carlsson continues to be him and the wait for Cutter Gauthier is prolonged another day. The guys talk about some exciting milestones from around the league and briefly talk about the Coyotes relocation chatter. As always, they close the episode out with listener questions!Follow Late Arrivals Twitter: @latearrivalspodInstagram: @latearrivalspodFollow the hostsChris: @CJKChelJake: @_JRobles71Louis: @Louiex37 Intro/ Outro done by Will Rice/ @pastorwillrice
  1. Episode 83: Ooh Ah
  2. Episode 82: The Thinking Man's Podcast
  3. Episode 81: Whatabummer
  4. Episode 80: It's Only Game
  5. Episode 79: What's Nine Plus Ten?

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