Just as everyone has their Thanksgiving traditions, many people have their own Black Friday traditions as well. Black Friday is typically viewed as a “shopping holiday” and for many Americans, it means lining up for hours at the crack of dawn just to score an amazing deal on retail. For the Anaheim Ducks, it’s hosting their annual Black Friday matinee matchup. Every year since 2002, the Ducks have hosted a game at 1:00PM (Pacific) on the day after Thanksgiving; at the very least, it’s a great way to work off feasting that took place the night before.
Ducks forward Dustin Penner teased, “It’s amazing! It’s so different than any other game.”
Since the tradition began, the Ducks have a 5-2-2 record, keeping in mind, of course, that the NHL lockout of 2004-2005 and partial-season lockout of 2012-2013, prevented them from playing in this game. Prior to this year, the Ducks had only played five different opponents in this traditional game. They hosted the Chicago Blackhawks in 2003 and 2008-2011. This year however, the NHL changed up the tradition this year, giving the Ducks their first new Black Friday opponent since 2007, the Calgary Flames.
The last time the Ducks and Flames played each other on Black Friday was on November 24, 2000 in Calgary. That game resulted in a 2-2 tie after the overtime period. Remember there was no shootout back then and a tie was actually possible!
However, if this were Las Vegas and you wanted to bet on the game, the numbers would tell you to bet on the Ducks. Not only do the Ducks have a winning record in the history of this Black Friday game (as previously mentioned), but the Ducks entered this year’s contest having won their last seventeen home games against the Flames.
Coming into this game the Flames were 4-7-1 on the road and the Ducks were 9-0-1 at home. Creating an even more uphill battle for the Flames on Friday was the loss of rookie centerman Sean Monahan, who was injured two days prior in a game against Chicago. At nineteen, he had previously played in all twenty-four of the Flames’ games this season and had tallied nine goals and six assists already.
Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said of the Calgary roster, “They’re hurting pretty bad right now as far as injuries to main players go.”
Could the Flames beat the odds that were stacked against them? Or would knowing the Flames’ number give the Ducks the advantage and the win?
The Ducks started off strong. They had fourteen shots on goal in the first period, and scored two goals less than a minute apart in the middle of the period. The goals were scored by Sami Vatanen and Corey Perry.
The second period was filled with a couple pairs of goals traded by the two teams. The first was shot by Penner and a few minutes later, Ladislav Smid retaliated for the Flames. Later in the period, Andrew Cogliano (Ducks) knocked one in as he was falling to his knees, but a few minutes later the Flames got one from David Jones.
Penner, who tallied only two goals with the Los Angeles Kings last season, scored his eighth of season in the second period. He stated, “I still have the mindset I’ve had for the past few years, I’m just getting more opportunity now.”
Penner added another goal in the third, his ninth, giving the Ducks a 5-2 victory.
The Ducks next four games are against top 6 league-ranked opponents, starting Saturday night against the San Jose Sharks.
Other Numbers of Note:
The game’s attendance was announced as a sellout of 17,174.
Andrew Cogliano’s second period goal was his 7th of the season. He also wears #7. He also had an assist on Vatanen’s goal.
With two assists tonight, on the Vatanen and Cogliano goals, Saku Koivu is now 12th on the franchise’s all-time assists list.