The Anaheim Ducks open their first round series of the 2011 NHL Playoffs Wednesday night at Honda Center against the Nashville Predators. The game in Anaheim is one of five NHL playoff games on the opening night of the postseason. Game 1 has a 7:30 p.m. PDT start, and will be televised by both KDOC and TSN. Dan Ellis will start in goal for the Ducks. The folks at Anaheim Calling believe the Ducks' goaltending will be a key to the series:
They're no longer the kind of squad that needs world class goaltending just to prevent a blowout, though, you're absolutely right, they'll need some big saves to get the wins. And both Ellis and Emery have shown the ability to deliver that.
Arthur at Anaheim Calling noted that Pekka Rinne of the Predators will be a tough goalie to deal with:
Historically, yes, the Ducks have taken down great netminders. They've made Roberto Luongo look like Brian Elliott, but historically, they've also made Dwayne Roloson look like Roberto Luongo, so I don't know if history is going to ease the pressure on anyone on this team.
Daniel at Anaheim Calling noted the importance of the third line:
Everyone wants to focus on the top line/big pair match up, but that's not the most important match up of the series. With home ice advantage, Carlyle needs to focus on wearing down Weber and Suter as much as possible, so that the top line can seal the deal come games 5,6, and 7. If Carlyle is going to insist on keeping Dan Sexton out of the line up, then he needs to make sure that he gets the appropriate mileage out of Winchester.
For more news and information about the Ducks, be sure to read the SB Nation blog Anaheim Calling.