As the Anaheim Ducks and Calgary Flames prepare to resume their series on Sunday night at the Honda Center, Bruce Boudreau has got to be happy with the way his top line has performed on home ice so far in these playoffs.
Corey Perry headlines the list of successful players so far in the postseason, scoring four goals and dishing out four assists so far in just three games on home ice. He also has racked up 19 shots on goal in those games, compared to just four when the Ducks played away from home.
Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf has also played some of his best hockey of the season during the team’s home games in the playoffs, scoring twice and picking up six assists in the process. He was held scoreless in both road games in the Ducks’ opening round sweep over the Winnipeg Jets, only registering five shots on goal in those games.
Patrick Maroon hasn’t had quite the success of the other two members of the Ducks’ top line, but he too has seen his production go up in those games at the Honda Center, scoring twice and adding an assist as the Ducks remain undefeated in the playoffs.
The reason for the success of the Ducks’ top line on home ice is twofold: deployment and power play opportunities. Even though the top line saw a majority of its shifts begin in the defensive zone in their Game 1 win over the Calgary Flames, Bruce Boudreau was still able to put his players out in favorable matchups because of home ice advantage. They responded well, scoring two even strength goals and racking up a plus-19 in the Corsi department (a ratio of shots taken and faced) in the game in spite of the lack of offensive zone starts.
In addition to the deployment against weaker defensive competition on home ice, the Ducks’ top line forwards are seeing a good amount of success on the power play. So far in three home games, they have combined for five goals and five assists on the man-advantage, and their puck movement and aggression has really put their opponents off balance in both series so far.
While depth scoring would be nice at this point in the postseason, the top line is showing no signs of slowing down their incredible run. If they can continue to be this dominant at even strength and on the power play, the Ducks’ offense should continue humming and keeping them close in games as the series continues.