The Anaheim Ducks split back-to-back over a weekend, first losing to the New York Rangers 4-1 and then beating the Detroit Red Wings 4-3 in a shootout. The club’s two games have continued an inconsistent trend since December 17, with their record 2-3-2. The recent road bump can be attributed to a handful of circumstances, but not just the Ducks. Every team in the NHL has had to deal with delays and players moving in and out of COVID protocols.
Finding consistency in this challenging phase is key for a team that certainly isn’t guaranteed to make the playoffs. The Ducks saw several prospects make their NHL debut this past weekend, Max Contoix Having scored his first goal of the season, Trevor Zergrass had a big game with his Calder trophy game.
Jacob Perreault, Brayden Tracey and Lukáš Dostál make their NHL debuts
Like many other teams in the league, the Ducks are forced to have flexible lineups, in part because of players entering COVID protocols, but also because of the usual wear and tear of the NHL season. As a result, several Ducks prospects made their NHL debuts this weekend. on saturday night, Jacob Perrault Got the call and lined up with Zegras and Sonny Milano. It was a quiet debut for Perot as the entire Ducks lineup failed to generate much offense. Perreault registration only 11:04 Ice time There were only two shifts in the third quarter.
Brayden Tracey and Lukáš Dostál made their NHL debuts on Sunday night, while Perreault was assigned to the cab team. Tracey was in line with Ryan Getzlaf and Troy Terry, but had a similar performance to Perreault the night before. Tracy was only on the ice for 9:21 and got a high-crisis meeting. The two young forwards’ ice-time usage may not be worth looking into — the San Diego Seagulls, the American Hockey League affiliate of Anaheim, also had a tight weekend schedule, meaning Perot’s debut on Saturday was His second-night return — Tracy came back for the third night in a row.
Dostál had a solid first start in the NHL. The 21-year-old Czech looked composed, while making 33 saves from 36 shots to win the penalty shootout. In the post-match interview, Dostal was not shy about sharing what the moment meant to him.
Dostál’s development will be key to the Ducks’ long-term success. John Gibson is still in his prime, but Dostal can continue to improve and develop as Gibson’s full-time backup in the NHL over the next few seasons. Dostal’s growth into a good starting goalie will be an important aspect if the Ducks are to achieve the long-term success their prospects can.
Max Comtois finally lights up
It’s been a rough start to the season for Comtois.leader in Goals and points from last season, Comtois has yet to score this season. Part of the problem is injuries, as he’s only played in 18 games so far. When he’s in the lineup, he moves up and down the lineup, trying to find any kind of consistency or chemistry. But just one day before his 23rd birthday, he broke the slump.
Comtois finally found the back of the net in the opening minutes of the third quarter when Rickard Rakell put a clean pass through the crease to leave Comtois buried in the empty back. Comtois reached over his shoulder in a writhing motion as he slid onto the bench to celebrate. If the Monkey does get off his back, he’ll be a more reliable scoring option as the season goes into the second half.
Trevor Zegras shines in Calder showdown
Sunday’s game against the Red Wings was a rookie showcase that saw four of the league’s top candidates compete for the Calder Memorial Trophy as NHL Rookie of the Year. For ducks, Zegras And Jamie Drysdale is the crown jewel of the team’s rebuilding effort. In Detroit, Lucas Raymond and Moritz Seid brought similar energy to their teams. Raymond leads all rookies in scoring on the field, but Zegrass, who recently passed Seid for second, has been closing the gap on Raymond.
Zegrass was the first to appear on the scoresheet when he ripped a single past Thomas Greiss for the game’s first goal. The Red Wings scored two goals in a row, Seid assisted with one goal, and Raymond assisted with one goal. Zegrass would reappear in the third quarter, when he had his second assist on Comtois’ go-ahead goal. He put the exclamation point on his night and hit a clever shot between Grace’s legs. After last night’s game, Raymond maintained the rookie points lead, but Zageras was only three points behind.
Forward: Pittsburgh Penguins, Minnesota Wild, Chicago Blackhawks
The Ducks have three games this week, first with the Pittsburgh Penguins and then in the back-to-back Central Division in Minnesota and Chicago. Look for the duck to gradually return to full strength. Head coach Dallas Eakins has shown patience in bringing players back to the lineup, especially as players return from COVID protocols. That could mean more minutes for rookies like Perreault and Tracey. Now that Max Comtois has broken his scoring slump, look for him to pair more with the offensive line and find more consistency. And, like we’ve done all season, keep an eye on the rookie scoring charts as Zegras gets closer to the top spot.
I was born and raised in Mission Viejo, CA and currently live in Visalia, CA. Graduated from CSUF in 2016 with a Bachelor of Arts in Film and Television. I’ve been a sports fan all my life, supporting the Anaheim Ducks, Los Angeles Angels, Los Angeles Rams and Miami Heat. In my free time, I enjoy playing video games, trying to pour the perfect cup of coffee, and tasting local craft beers.