The Calgary Flames kick off their 3 game California road trip in Anaheim against a Ducks team playing their second game of a back-to-back. This matchup looks really ugly for the Ducks. The Flames are one of the best teams in the league at controlling the puck and finding guys in the middle of the ice, the exact areas where the Ducks have struggled this year.
The Flames exit their zone with speed and enter the opposing team’s zone with control of the puck at a high rate. Once in the zone, they have a knack for getting pucks to the slot. Johnny Gaudreau leads the league in controlled entries and completed passes to the slot where he usually finds Sean Monahan, who ranks second in the league in slot shots on goal.
The Ducks, on the other hand, allow the second most controlled exits against and controlled entries against. Once in their defensive zone, their slot defense is pure Swiss cheese. They give up the most slot shots and inner slot shots of any team.
The Ducks better focus on shutting down their slot otherwise it’ll be point night for the Flames’ top players. Calgary plays with a lot of pace and there’s little to suggest Anaheim will be able to keep up.
(Photo by Gerry Thomas/NHLI via Getty Images)