Hats Fly at Honda Center

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The Anaheim Ducks welcomed fans back with an electric home opener on Sunday as they defeated the Carolina Hurricanes in a 6-3 win. After a loss against the Vegas Golden Knights on Saturday, the Ducks debuted an impressive new look on home ice. This included their 30th anniversary Mighty Ducks-inspired uniforms as well as an overall improved game compared to what they had showcased the night prior. While the Hurricanes are projected to be potential Stanely Cup contenders in 2024, this win was an impressive feat. The home opener was also a night of firsts, with Pavel Mintyukov scoring his first NHL goal, Greg Cronin celebrating his first win as an NHL head coach, and Frank Vatrano securing his first hat trick as an Anaheim Duck. Watching the Ducks dominate in their retro jerseys while the Honda Center was aglow with fans wearing synchronized light-up wristbands created an energy that the franchise and fans had been craving for years.

Offensive Stars
During game two of the season, Sam Carrick further proved that he is determined to prove his role as a multi-faceted and valuable forward on this team. He opened up the scoring for Anaheim on Sunday with the team’s first goal in period one. Although they did not take home any goals for themselves, both Brett Leason and Bo Groulx demonstrated a solid two-way playing style with impressive scoring chances as well as impactful defensive plays throughout the night. Continuing to develop forwards that can play on the defensive side of the puck will be Anaheim’s greatest asset, especially for their rising stars and prospects. With Pavel Minyukov contributing to the team’s victory with his first NHL goal and Jackson LaCombe showcasing his powerful penalty-killing skills, the future of Anaheim’s two-way players continues to look promising.

Defensive Moves
It is no secret that since signing Trevor Zegras to his three-year extension contract earlier this month, Greg Cronin’s main focus has been to develop Zegras’s defense. While a new style of play will take time for Zegras to perfect, there were several defensive improvements within his game on Sunday. He continuously placed himself in front of the puck to block shots and was more visible during penalty kills. Although fans are eager to see him secure his first goal of the season, the idea of Zegras becoming a defensive asset on the ice is equally as exciting. With Cronin continuing to emphasize his focus on pushing Zegras past his comfort zone, we can only hope that Sunday’s game was a glimpse into the future of his developing skills.

Dostal The Wall
Lukas Dostal stood on his head for the Ducks on Sunday night, blocking 32 out of the 35 shots he faced. Although the defense that played out in front of him demonstrated noticable improvement, his performance was outstanding. During training camp, Anaheim was vetting several goalie options to see who would become the ideal tandem. After trading Anthony Stolarz for for Chicago Blackhawks net-minder Alex Stalock during the off-season, it was uncertain if Pat Verbeek would ultimately send Dostal back to San Diego to continue developing as they had more experienced NHL talent heading into training camp. Dostal’s net-minding during the home opener proved that Verbeek made the correct decision by selecting him as a permanent member of Anaheim’s goalie tandem this season.

Photo taken by Jae C. Hong for The Associated Press

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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