Ah, the summer doldrums. You’d think the withdrawal symptoms would hit in August, but with free agency, arbitration and trading going on, they come later than expected for a hockey addict. Fear thee not. This month we bring you “Around the NHL in 30 Days.” In addition to our regular ramblings, I’ll be posting team previews for the entire league during the month of September.
We’ll be going about this alphabetically, so today we kick things off with a preview of the Anaheim Ducks.
The Ducks were a tough opponent last year, taking the last two games of the season series for a 2-1-1 record against the Blackhawks, with 3 of the 4 games being decided by 1 goal. The last game at the end of March was a heart breaker. The Hawks entered the 3rd period leading 1-0, only to surrender 2 goals to Corey Perry – both of those being common themes last year. Corey Perry scored 5 of Anaheim’s 7 goals against Chicago.
Anaheim has been a perennially solid team since the lockout, making the playoffs 5 of those 6 years. But since their 2007 Stanley Cup victory over Ottawa, the Ducks have spent most of their time with “the bad view” of the Pacific Division lead dog, San Jose. Behind 50 goal scorer and Hart-winner Corey Perry, can the Ducks finally make the jump in 2012? Here’s what FanSided’s Duck Daily writer, Michael Lombardi has to say:
It is safe to say the Ducks have one of the strongest cores in the NHL. The Ryan-Getzlaf-Perry line is one of the best trios in the league and can take on anyone. If Teemu Selanne returns, he will bring back his magic to the powerplay. They also have some insane power on the blue line with veteran Lubomir Visnovsky and rookie Cam Fowler. With Jonas Hiller in net, the Ducks have one of the league’s top goaltenders.
The Ducks biggest issue would be their lack of depth. Ducks GM Bob Murray made some off-season moves to hopefully fix those problems.