2015 Anaheim Ducks Season Preview
The Anaheim Ducks rolled into last season with hopes of a Stanley Cup title. The Ducks rode one of the most potent offensive attacks in the NHL to the best points total in the Western Conference, and drove through the first two rounds of the Western Conference Playoffs. Anaheim would eventually fall one excruciating game short of reaching the Stanley Cup Finals.
For the 2nd year in a row, the Ducks were beaten in game 6 and 7 to lose a playoff series, and the mantra around the Ducks coming into the 2015 season will be to finish. To help push Anaheim over the top, the Ducks brought in Kevin Kieksa, Carl Hagelin, and Shawn Horcoff, in what was a very active offseason in Southern California. Longtime captain Ryan Getzlaf will continue to be the focal point of what looks to be an incredibly motivated 2015 Anaheim Ducks roster. The Ducks might be the consensus favorite to win the Western Conference, and the Stanley Cup coming into the season. Anaheim will have to put their recent playoff disappointments behind them to get there.
2014 Anaheim Ducks Season Preview
The Anaheim Ducks had a great season in 2013. The Ducks compiled a 54-20 regular season record and finished with 116 points, which was the best in the Western Conference. In the NHL playoffs, the Anaheim Ducks came just a game short of beating the eventual Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings. For 2014 the Ducks want to take that extra step and get passed their California rivals and make a run at the Stanley Cup. To achieve this, the Ducks have added veteran center Ryan Kessler to sure up their 2nd line. They also added Clayton Stoner to hopefully add some added muscle on defense which is always necessary late in the playoffs. Look for Ryan Getzlaf to continue to be one of the top centers in all of the NHL and for the Anaheim Ducks to press hard for the top seed in the Western Conference playoffs in 2014.
2013 Anaheim Ducks Season Preview
The Ducks earned a No. 2 seed in the Western Conference last season, but an absolutely thrilling seven-game series with the Detroit Red Wings in the first round saw them eliminated from the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Four games went to overtime, proving how close the Ducks were to moving on. In the offseason, Anaheim have Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf 8-year contracts, but allows Bobby Ryan to be traded to the Senators for Jakob Silfverberg, Stefan Noesen and a first round pick. The Ducks have some big games against Western Conference opponents in January, including back-to-back match ups with the Kings in L.A. and Anaheim. The Ducks will also host the Stars, Wild, Flyers and then the defending-champion Blackhawks on February 5th.
2012 Anaheim Ducks Season Preview
The 2010-11 season was looking bleak for the Ducks, but when Corey Perry decided to kick it into overdrive, it propelled a ninth-seed to a fourth seed. Perry, who won the Hart Trophy for his efforts, scored an amazing 19 goals in a month that boosted an almost-ran into a playoff contender with home ice in the first round. Flash-forward four months and Anaheim is looking toward the new season with the same cast of characters, with the major change being a swap in the defensive line. Andy Sutton is now with Edmonton, and in return the Ducks will put Kurtis Foster on the ice. Foster’s a faster-paced defenseman who will be able to move the puck up the ice and better suited for the power play. However, it will be the cast Anaheim put on the ice last season that it hopes will play like they did leading up to the playoffs. Along with Perry, Ryan Getzlaf and Bobby Ryan are a lethal trio who score at will and had 58 power-play goals between them. Defensively, the line will depend on Lubomir Visnovsky to advance their pro-scoring agenda (68 points in 81 games) and last year’s amazing rookie story, Cam Fowler. Jonas Hiller will be in front of the net, hoping to continue his stellar play if he continues to stay healthy. If not, look for Dan Ellis to come in as his more than capable back-up.
2011 Anaheim Ducks Season Preview
After they won the Stanley Cup in 2007, the Anaheim Ducks have been making earlier exits each year from the playoffs, culminating in missing the postseason all together last year. Much of the same team will come back from last year, so Ducks fans can expect a possible return to the playoffs assuming the team can stay healthy. Offensively, while the Ducks may not have a stand out scorer, they have a large collection of reliable forwards that can provide stable scoring. Teemu Selanne, who missed a portion of last season due to injury, will be joined by veteran Saku Koivu on the attack. Along with Selanne and Koivu, Corey Perry will be leading the first line. Perry is the team's leading scorer from last year, when he netted 29 goals and dished out 49 assists. While the offense may be strong, defensively the Ducks took a big hit with the retirement of Scott Niedermayer. Replacing the veteran will be a difficult task, as he provided a great deal of leadership and stalwart defending, and the onus will fall on Toni Lydman, who was signed in the offseason. Between the pipes, the Ducks will turn to Jonas Hiller, who has proven himself to be a reliable option in goal.
2010 Anaheim Ducks Season Preview
The Anaheim Ducks head into the 2009-2010 NHL season looking to take the next step. The Ducks finished 2nd in their Division and made the playoffs last season, but eventually lost to the Detroit Red Wings in the Western Conference Semifinals. The Ducks are led by Head Coach Randy Carlyle and team captain Scott Niedermayer. If those two can get Anaheim playing up to their potential, then the Honda Center should be rocking as the Ducks head into the 2010 NHL playoffs.