THN rates our Ducks 11th in West

Posted: 08/13/2012 by bc in Uncategorized

Here’s what they say:

Why: The magic of the Getzlaf-Perry-Ryan trio must be rekindled, which is tough since Bobby Ryan doesn’t seem to want to be a Duck anymore. Anaheim is still relying on 42-year-old Teemu Selanne for scoring otherwise, while there will be a lot of young forwards trying to prove they belong in the show. The defense corps is marginally better than last season, but it won’t be enough to keep up with the rest of the tough Pacific Division, let alone the Western Conference.

Lets take those notions one at a time. It isn’t a given that Ducks success is predicated upon “rekindling” Getz-Ryan-Pears. It may not even be the smart thing. Bobby Ryan has a history of making the guys around him more successful. He takes particular delight in helping rookies get their first NHL points. Building a line around Ryan will give our Ducks 3 scoring lines. With Perry, Ryan and Selanne each on a different ES line teams will struggle to get advantageous match ups.

So what we still rely on Teemu Selanne for scoring. He scored 26 times, 12 PP and 4 GWG. Name a team that wouldn’t gladly rely on Flash.

Our Ducks D may only have to be “marginally better” to be successful. No doubt Viktor Fasth improves our goaltending. For the first time since Chris Pronger was traded we have a big, tough match-up D-man in Bryan Allen. Also under the radar is defensive forward and PK specialist Daniel Winnick. Souray  has his limitations but he still brings the snarl and the occasional slew foot in the low slot as well as that great shot.

By no means do I think our Ducks are a Cup contending team but this team has the talent to be a playoff team and perhaps make a respectable showing in the second round.

The key remains Ryan Getzlaf. If the captain will dominate slot to slot 20 minutes per game, much else falls into place around him and behind him. If he plays the half-hearted hockey he showed us last season, then yeah THN is probably right to rank us 11th in the Western Conference.

  1. czhokej says:

    I just hope that BB, as a good coach, will make a difference. I still do not know what to expect from our youngsters. And Getzlaf, that’s another big question mark. If Lydman is healthy, I expect our D to be much better than last year. Last season, Hiller did not have a good start, I just hope that he is going to be sharp in October, if the season starts at that time.
    And Teemu will probably score 20. I would rate our Ducks 7th – 8th in the West. Still not good enough, just first round of play-offs.

    • bc says:

      20 goals from Flash is fine by me cz. Last season over 60% of his 26 goals, 12 PP and 4 GWG were important goals. Even if he only scores 12 key goals this season, that’s still among the top 3 on the team. And we haven’t addressed his 40 assists.
      ES Teemu is more of a top 9 than a top 6 performer. He still belongs on the #1 PP unit until he proves otherwise.
      Another key difference will be the contribution from Nick Bonino and/or Peter Holland. Last season Bones established his bonafides. If he can breakthrough this season, say 15 goals – 40pts, or if Holland earns the other top 9 center spot and produces our Ducks become a very difficult team to defend against.
      On the other side of the biscuit, the addition of Allen and the improvement in Sbisa should serve to lessen the load put on Frankie Beauchemin. Jeez, have we seen as a gritty a performance since the hey days of Keith Carney?
      One concern is that too much will be asked of Cam Fowler at this point in his career. I like the transition because with the exception of Souray all five D make a good first pass. Other than Fowler and occasionally Sbisa none particularly stand out as puck carriers though. In this sense our transition from the backline is a bit of one trick pony relying primarily on the D to make that outlet or head man pass. This will make it easier to defend since unless Fowler is out there, you defend against the pass, not the rushing D-man.
      Again, this could make it easier for opposing teams to exploit the well chronicled turnover/giveaway gifting of Getz & Beauch.
      Lastly, the team has to come together and play on the same page. Much of that is a direct reflection on Gabby but an unmotivated captain can quickly undo all the good Coach brings to the room.

  2. bbdux93 says:

    We still have 3 open spots and $16.5m in cap space – less house reserve $3m = $13.5m. Something has to happen

    • bc says:

      There you go again bb. You’re applying principles of sound and prudent business management to Bob Murray.
      I probably should have devoted more of the narrative to Coach building a line around Bobby Ryan. By extension, the 2nd unit PP will probably be built around Silver as well. If successful, this will take a ton of pressure off Getzlaf and he can just float through another season. Another 60 or so ES goals from the Ryan line could well be the difference between 11th place and a playoff seed.
      Ryan hasn’t scored in the double digits in PP goals in 3 seasons. If Bobby gets some decent PP TOI he should easily reach 40 goals on the season.

  3. yougetoutwhatyouputin says:

    One word…Hiller.

    If Hiller is on his game I anticipate a deep run into the playoffs. With the acquisitions we have made this off-season, Hiller is the key to our success. He will have to be stellar if we are to make any noise.

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