FanPost

2013 Ducks quarter-ish Review

So it is a little more than a quarter of the season gone for the Ducks, 29 games to be more precise. Before we delve forward, let us recall some predictions from my 2013 season preview for the Anaheim Ducks: 2013 Season Preview

Predictions

Worst Case Scenario: Sophomore slump hits Silfverberg, Palmieri, Etem, and Fasth. Hiller has another slow start. Sbisa replays 2012 and Allen returns even slower than 2012. Holland nor Bonino is a fit for the second line center position. Even if they are this bad, they will still creep into the playoffs because of their quality depth at goalie.

Best Case Scenario: Holland surpasses Bonino, Silfverberg excels as he is more accustomed to the NA style of play and ice, Penner actually earned his spot on the top line, Vatanen makes us all in awe while Souray returns in shape for the playoffs, Perry regains his scoring touch to finish first overall in goal scoring in the Western Conference, and Teemu breaks 700 goals.

I predict the Ducks to finish 2nd in the Western conference as well as win the Pacific division once again. Consistency and young players continue to develop should power the Ducks to the Western Conference Finals.

As of December 1, 2013, the Ducks lead the league in man games lost for the season with 145 games, according to mangameslost.com. The average man games lost to injury for the league is 69.1 games. That is more than double the average! On defense in the Ducks most recent game, they had three rookies and a journeyman seventh defenseman on their starting lineup. Throughout the season, the Ducks also lost their first line center, Ryan Getzlaf, their second line center, Mathieu Perreault, and their third line center, Saku Koivu, for some time, with Koivu returning the past two games. And finally, the Ducks have had both their starting and back up goalies go down to injury to boot in Jonas Hiller and Viktor Fasth.

Special teams rankings have the Ducks treading below average in the league. On the power play (PP), they have 15.2% conversion rate that ranks them 22nd overall. The penalty kill (PK), is ranked 19th overall with an efficiency rate of 79.8%.

From my Best Case Scenario, Holland is no longer with the team as he was traded away to Toronto, along with Brad Staubitz for prospect defenseman Jesse Blacker, a seventh round pick and a third round pick that could be upgraded to a second round pick if Holland plays 25 NHL games for the Leafs. Silferberg has been put on injured reserve after playing 11 games. Finally, Vatanen is not the rookie defenseman that is making all of us in awe.

With all that said and if this is the first time you are reading about the Ducks this season, then one would be pressed to think the Ducks' chances of making the playoffs seem a little bleak. In fact, it may bring flashbacks of starting slow once again as we have under former coach Randy Carlyle. The Ducks have earned 40 points, which ranks them second in the Pacific division; one point behind the San Jose Sharks. They are third in the Western Conference and third overall in the league. Corey Perry has 15 goals, which places him fourth overall in the league! Frederik Andersen, Anaheim's third goalie in roster depth, ranks sixth overall with a save percentage of 0.939 with seven wins and one loss in eight games. Lastly, the team is undefeated in regulation time at home with a 10 - 0 - 1 record.

Consistency and young guys continuing to develop are what is keeping the Ducks in the upper echelon in the league. The consistent play of the goalies and the first line have been amazing.

First Line Production

Player

Goals

Assists

Pts

+/-

Ryan Getzlaf

13

18

31

12

Corey Perry

15

14

29

10

Dustin Penner

9

12

21

17

Totals

37

44

81

39

There have been a total of 90 goals scored for the Ducks and 37 of them belong to the first line of Penner-Getzlaf-Perry, which is 41.1% of the goal scoring.

Anaheim Goalies, 2013 (through 29 games)

Goalie

GP

W

L

OTL

SV %

Frederik Andersen

8

7

1

0

0.939

Jonas Hiller

17

9

4

3

0.904

Viktor Fasth

5

2

2

1

0.885

Totals

30

18

7

4

0.909

We have to be very impressed with our netminders as they are able to keep us in games. And to think, we still have rookie phenom prospect John Gibson in our AHL system this year. A quick heads up: Hiller is in the final year of his contract, Fasth is signed until next season, and Andersen just signed a two year extension recently. The Ducks made sure their back stop situation was situated contractually for the coming seasons. Gibson stated his entry level contract (ELC) this year.

Defense Production

Player

GP

Goals

Assists

Pts

+/-

ATOI

Cam Fowler

29

2

12

14

2

23:41

Hampus Lindholm

27

2

6

8

12

19:22

Francois Beauchemin

21

0

6

6

15

21:55

Sami Vatanen

24

3

7

7

-1

17:58

Bryan Allen

26

0

5

5

8

18:29

Ben Lovejoy

27

1

4

5

9

19:45

Alex Grant

1

1

0

1

1

10:10

Luca Sbisa

9

0

1

1

-5

18:00

Nolan Yonkman

2

0

1

1

-1

14:54

Mark Fistric

9

0

1

1

-1

15:51

Totals

175

9

43

49

39

0

The nine goals represent 10% of the overall scoring for the team. They are slowly increasing in goal production in the past month. Lindholm, Vatanen, and Grant are rookies, while Yonkman is a journeyman defenseman for the AHL levels. Luca Sbisa is a - 5 in the plus/minus ratings. Allen is a +5. Last season, Sbisa was a zero rating while Allen was a +1. Sbisa may be the expendable part here once defensemen start healing up, that and the fact that Allen plays better when Sbisa is not his partner. Do note that Sheldon Souray is still recovering from an injury during the off-season and has yet to play a game.

The first line produced 37 goals and the defense produced 9 goals. This means the rest of the forwards were able to post 44 goals. Their production rate of the total goals is 48.8%. Two forwards that can actually produce points have been out for more than a dozen games or more. Centerman Saku Koivu has played 14 games with a stat of 2 goals and 3 assists for a total of 5 points. Winger Jakob Silfverberg has put up 4 goals and 3 assists for 7 points with a plus/minus rating of + 5 in only 11 games.

With a dearth of injuries across the board for the Anaheim Ducks, I am quite surprised to see them atop the tough Western Conference. One of the biggest find the scouts discovered was trading for centerman Perreault just before the season started because Holland had felled to injury. It turned out to be one of the best moves of the season as it solidified the center position for the second line. Penner is also turning into a gem as he has rekindled the scoring touch and chemistry with the Twins. And yet everybody is battling every chance they can get, despite the run in with a flu that also plagued the whole team on a road trip.

There are great things for the future for this franchise when players start returning, but right now there may be a bit of a rough patch our defense presents Fowler, two journeymen defenseman, and three rookies. The silver lining is that the Sharks needed the shootout to beat a Ducks team immersed in injuries never seen before. The Ducks' first line and goalies need to continue to play at a high level along with the young guys having the time to develop at the NHL level in order to see the post season.

This article is user-generated. It does not necessarily reflect the views of Anaheim Calling. Please do not link this article as representative of Anaheim Calling content or viewpoints . . . unless it's <em>really</em> really good.

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