The Anaheim Ducks will start their 2016-17 season Thursday evening when they host the Dallas Stars at Honda Center.
Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle says reuniting Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry during the preseason finale seemed to stabilize the rest of the team. But if he needs a different look in-game Thursday, Carlyle says he won’t be afraid of switching things up on the fly.
“We just felt in the last game, we weren’t anywhere near where we needed to be,” said Carlyle. “We seemed to get our feet underneath us once we put some people back together. Getzlaf-Perry has been a staple for a long time here, but in certain situations we’ll move people around.”
The Ducks, with Carlyle returning as head coach, will hope to be more consistent this season. While they won 46 games and made the Stanley Cup playoffs, they had to rally from 1-7-2 and 12-15-6 starts to rise out of the cellar and win the Pacific Division of the National Hockey League.
Anaheim is 6-16-0 in all-time season openers, 18 of which have taken place on the road. Dallas, meanwhile, holds an all-time record of 12-3-7 in season openers played since moving to Texas. This marks the sixth consecutive time the Stars have opened the season at home, with a record of 15-3-4 in home openers along with a 10-1-3 record at American Airlines Center.
Tonight kick-starts the first of three games between these clubs this season. Anaheim owns an all-time record of 43-62-11 vs. the Stars (16-35-7 on the road) and is led in all-time scoring (among active skaters) by Ryan Getzlaf‘s 43 points (9g/34a) in 54 games. Since the start of the 2014-15 season, the Ducks have gone 4-2-0 against the Stars and won the past two in a row. The season series also features an additional game at American Airlines Center on Dec. 13 before shifting to Honda Center for the finale on Jan. 10.
The Ducks begin the season with an all-time record of 819-686-233 in 1,738 games played. Anaheim has won four consecutive Pacific Division titles, posted three straight seasons with 100-plus points and reached the Stanley Cup Playoffs in nine of the past 11 seasons. Anaheim’s October schedule features nine regular-season games, tied for the fewest in an opening month in club history (also 1998-99). The Ducks’ three home games in October also match 1998-99 as the team’s fewest played in the first month of a season. With the exceptions of the 1994-95 and 2012-13 lockout shortened seasons, Thursday’s season opener in Dallas will be the latest such game on the calendar in franchise history.