Tough Season Ahead for The Ducks
By Patrick Hoffman
The season may be less than two months away, but I'm fairly confident that the Anaheim Ducks are going to have a tough year this upcoming season.
Last year, the team was awful. They finished 24th in the league with a 35-37-10 record which in a strong division like the Pacific is not going to cut it.
While it's easy to put last season in the rear view mirror, I believe that things that plagued them last year are going to hurt them this season.
This club is probably going to struggle to score goals. The team was last in the league in goals scored last season as they only lit the lamp just 196 times last season.
The team's leading goal scorer last season with Jakob Silfverberg. With just 24 goals scored, that means that the rest of team did not follow Silfverberg's lead by putting the puck in the net on a consistent basis.
To make matters worse going into this season, the team no longer has sniper Corey Perry. Yes, I realize that Perry's game was slowing down in a big way since the 2015-16 season, but he was a guy that scored a ton of goals for this hockey and was a threat every time he was on the ice.
The team's offense will now go through an aging Ryan Getzlaf, Rickard Rakell (had a down year last year), Adam Henrique, Daniel sprong and may be a few others. I know these guys may be solid players, but they probably don't spark any kind of fear to other teams.
Because this team is going to have trouble scoring goals, it probably means that they will struggle on the power play this season as well. The team was 24th in the league last year with the man advantage and I really don't see that improving this upcoming season.
There is a chance that they might have trouble keeping the puck out of their own net this season. Yes, it is clear that their starting netminder, John Gibson, is all world and is considered an elite masked man, but if his team is not going to put the puck in the net, there will be a ton of pressure on him.
Even with some solid netminding from Gibson last team, the team was still 19th in the league in goals allowed. They allowed about three goals per game, which doesn't help when your team scores about two goals per game.
Again, I know it's early to say how a team is going to do this year. I am also aware that every team starts the season with a clean slate.
With all of that said, however, I believe the Ducks are in for another tough season in which they will once again miss the postseason.
Patrick covers the NHL for The Ultimate Hockey Fan Cave.
He has previously covered the league for WTP Sports, Sportsnet.ca, Kukla’s Korner, Spector’s Hockey, NHL Network Radio blog, TheHockeyNews.com, The Fourth Period, Stan Fischler’s “The Fischler Report”, as well as a slew of others.
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