ANAHEIM DUCKS 2012-2013 SEASON PREVIEW:
The Anaheim Ducks have been a regular participant in the Stanley Cup playoff race for the past several seasons, but the team's 2011-12 campaign was marred by disappointment. After struggling throughout most of the season's first half, the Ducks climbed out of their hole toward the end of the year but didn't have enough firepower to make it back to the postseason. After finishing with a 34-36-12 record, head coach Bruce Boudreau knew he had to go back to the drawing board to find a winning formula that could help the Ducks jump back into playoff contention for the 2012-13 season and beyond.
The biggest challenge for the Ducks' offense heading into the 2012-13 season is finding enough playing time for their mix of veterans and young prospects. The Ducks' first line is lead by Corey Perry, who posted 37 goals last season and joins Bobby Ryan and Ryan Getzlaf to form a formidable scoring trio. The second line is lead by longtime veteran Teemu Selanne, who put up an astounding 66 points and showed that he still has plenty left in the tank to make a difference for the team. The additions of Daniel Winnik and Brad Staubitz should also help the team improve its depth.
Defensively, the Ducks experienced their biggest makeover during the offseason and brought in a variety of new players to improve their grit and toughness on the back end. While Francois Beauchemin and Cam Fowler are expected to start, new additions like Bryan Allen and Sheldon Souray should provide a steadying veteran presence to the back line. At goalie, the Ducks will be lead by Jonas Hiller, who posted a 29-30-5 record last season and will have to show more consistency to improve the Ducks' chances of making the playoffs. Hiller will be backed up by Jeff Deslauriers, who proved to be a competent backup during the 2011-12 campaign.
The Ducks' road back to the Stanley Cup playoffs will kick off on Friday, October 12 when the team faces off against the San Jose Sharks. The Ducks will play a four-game homestand before hitting the road against the Coyotes, Bruins, Canadiens and Maple Leafs during the month of October. With a re-tooled roster and improved depth on many of their units, if the Ducks can put together a strong start to the regular season, they could be in store for yet another playoff berth in April.
ANAHEIM DUCKS EXPERIENCE:
Location: Anaheim, California
Stadium: Honda Center
Conference: Western Conference
Division: Pacific Division
Anaheim Ducks Stanley Cup Titles: 1, last Stanley Cup Title 2007
Anaheim Ducks Conference Championships: 1
Notable Players: Paul Kariya, Teemu Selanne
The Anaheim Ducks were founded by the Disney Corporation as “the Mighty Ducks” in 1993. The team signed Paul Kariya who, along with Steve Rucchin and Teemu Selanne, made up one of the highest scoring front lines in the league. Who could forget the Anaheim Ducks first Stanley up appearance where after being knocked out, Kariya returned to help win game 6, only to lose game 7 against New Jersey? In 2004, the Anaheim Ducks were sold and with new ownership and new management managed to bring the Stanley Cup to Anaheim in 2007.
The Anaheim Ducks play their home games at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California. The arena holds just over 17,000 spectators for hockey games. A Anaheim Ducks game in Anaheim is a fantastic family experience with easy access to Disneyland, Angel Stadium, and transportation stations. Buy Anaheim Ducks tickets and watch the defending champions go for one more!