Hockey

Anaheim Ducks Season Preview

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The Anaheim Ducks are coming off a super depressing, and shortened 2021 season. The Ducks finished last in the West Division, and also finished second-to worst in the entire NHL, scoring only 43 points. They barely beat out the even worse Buffalo Sabres, who had a total of 37 points. Anaheim is in the midst of an avid rebuild, with the Ryan Getzlaf era just about coming to an end. Getzlaf is tied for second in being the current longest-tenured player in the NHL, along with stars Sidney Crosby, and Alex Ovechkin.

The Captain signed a 1-year deal this offseason to return to Anaheim, which will immensely help the Ducks’ rising young core. Some of the names of future stars on the Ducks trying to make a name for themselves this year are, Trevor Zegras, Jamie Drysdale, and Mason McTavish. Now let’s take a look at how good, or bad, the Ducks season could go.

Forwards

According to dailyfaceoff.com, these are the projected forward lines for the Ducks:

Maxime Comtois-Trevor Zegras-Rickard Rakell

Adam Henrique-Isac Lundestrom-Jakob Silfverberg

Sonny Milano-Ryan Getzlaf-Troy Terry

Derek Grant-Sam Steel-Max Jones

At first glance, Anaheim’s first line has lots of potential goal-scoring opportunities written all over it. With the speed and hands of Trevor Zegras, and the passing and play-making abilities of Maxime Comtois and Rickard Rakell. This part of Anaheim’s squad could give Ducks fans just a peek, at what could be the future of their team.

The Ducks also have decent depth on their second, third, and fourth lines. They have a variety of veteran players that will put the newcomers under their wing. Some Bottom six guys like this include, Getzlaf, Henrique, and Silfverberg. But it’s going to be hard for the rest of the bunch to put up against a very competitiive National Hockey League

Defense

According to dailyfaceoff.com, here are the defensive pairings:

Hampus Lindholm-Josh Manson

Cam Fowler-Jamie Drysdale

Jacob Larsson-Kevin Shattenkirk

The Ducks defense isn’t necessarily bad, but it’s not great. It will be interesting to see how Drysdale will play this season, considering the possibility of being paired with multiple veterans in the D-Core.

Another huge factor on Anaheim’s defense is Kevin Shattenkirk, and whether or not his true age will show. Shattenkirk is now an aging veteran, and this season he will have to prove to the Ducks whether or not he’s worth a roster spot as Bottom-6 defenseman.

Goalies

According to dailyfaceoff.com here is the projected goalie rotation:

John Gibson-Anthony Stolarz

This really comes as no surprise, as year in and year out Gibson has been of the top goaltenders in the league. Despite not having the greatest offensive and defensive support, Gibson has still proved he’s an elite goalie by posting better than a .900 SV%, and nothing higher than a 3.00 GAA, in every season he’s played.

In Review

After counting in all the factors on a new season of hockey in Anaheim, this could possibly be a season Ducks fans can actually look forward to. With many young stars with bright futures, and an elite goaltender. The Ducks could possibly have an upward trend in the standings this year, despite being in a rebuilding phase. Now Ducks fans, don’t get your hopes up just yet, as your team is still very young and still a little unexperienced. And don’t count out the fact that almost every team is going to try and make a push for the playoffs, too. But this squad could definitely make some unexpected noise and highlights this year.

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