The NHL season begins in just about fifteen days, and with those fifteen days I will be previewing each of the thirty teams in a segment I’d like to call 30 in 15, first up the Anaheim Ducks.
Last year’s record: 46-25-11 103 points and 1st in the Pacific Division
Eliminated by Nashville in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs
Key losses: Frederik Andersen
Key additions: Antoine Vermette, Johnathan Bernier(if you consider that key)
Outlook: Anaheim is a team loaded with talent. It’s never a bad idea to pick the Ducks to win it all, but they do have a few question marks surrounding the team this upcoming season. One of those question marks is located in goal with John Gibson. Gibson struggled at times last year posting a save percentage of .920 and a goals against of 2.07 in forty games played. They seem like quality numbers, but Gibson struggled with consistency throughout the year. Many attributed his consistency struggles to splitting the starting duties with Frederik Andersen, but that won’t be an issue this year as Andersen was traded to Toronto this off-season.
Anaheim GM Bryan Murray still has his hands full with trying to re-sign both Hampus Lindholm and Rickard Rakell before the season begins. Lindholm is a stalwart on the blue line averaging just over twenty-two minutes of ice time. His offensive numbers aren’t flashy with ten goals and eighteen assists, but Lindholm is a young, reliable D-man who solidifies Anaheim’s blue line. Rakell exploded onto the scene last season with career highs in both goals(20) and assists(23). A bridge deal wouldn’t be out of the question for the young Swedish Center. The Ducks also have two of the most dynamic players in the NHL with Ryan Getzlaf and Corery Perry. Not to mention Ryan Kesler, Jakob Silfverberg, Andrew Cogliano, and so on.
This roster is loaded with talent and should continue to be a force in the west for years to come. When all is said and done I think John Gibson shows why Frederik Andersen was traded and on the backs of guys like Getzlaf, Perry, and Kesler the Ducks fly to yet another Pacific Division Crown.