Best: Offense, Offense, Offense
Clearly the lack of the scorching hot captain in the lineup didn’t affect the Ducks in the scoring department. Anaheim scored 4 unanswered goals in the first 24 minutes of the game, with 2 of those goals coming in the first 3 minutes.
After going so long this season struggling to score goals and the “lolCarlyle” jokes and criticisms mounting, it’s nice to see the Ducks find the back of the net with regularity now. The Ducks have scored 40 goals in the month of March at a rate of 3.08 goals per game, good for 6th in the NHL over that period. And there’s still one game left against the Jets before we hit April.
Worst: The Captain is broked
Ryan Getzlaf took warmups yesterday but was scratched before the game started with a lower body injury. He’s currently listed as day-to-day but it appears the Ducks don’t think it’s anything serious.
Still, given the way the captain has been playing lately and his recent injury history, it’s difficult not to worry about this becoming a problem. A fully healthy Getzlaf is absolutely vital to a deep playoff run. Hopefully the Ducks are just playing this safe.
Best: Defense, Defense, Defense
Surprise surprise! The Ducks are still locking it down defensively for the most part. Are there small, sloppy areas they can clean up? Of course. But it’s tough to argue with the results. The Ducks have allowed the least amount of goals in the league since the new year with only 78 pucks hitting the back of their net. 2nd place Washington has allowed 11 more goals over that span. Overall on the season the Ducks are 3rd in the league in least amount of goals allowed.
One can hope that after this season, the Ducks may finally get some love at the top of the defensive power rankings that everyone has seemed to have had Nashville, Washington, and others ahead of them.
Worst: Goalie Controversy?
Our fearless leader JC wrote a great piece earlier today breaking down the John Gibson and Jonathan Bernier situation headed into the playoffs. The organization consideres Gibson as the present/future of the Ducks net, but Bernier has been putting together perhaps the best stretch of his career.
In the month of March, Bernier is 10-1-1 with a .946 SV% and a GAA of 1.65. That’s 1st in wins, 3rd in SV%, and 4th in GAA among goaltenders with at least 10 starts this month.
Gibson is expected to return on this road trip, so it will be interesting to see how the situation shapes up once April 12th rolls around. Given Randy Carlyle’s notorious silence on his goaltending situation, don’t be surprised if we don’t find out who gets the game 1 start until the morning of.
Best: 5th straight trip to the playoffs
Earlier this season, the Ducks were squeaking out wins but looked like it would be easy to bounce them in the 1st or 2nd round.
They look like a legitimate Stanley Cup threat.
While Bruce Boudreau is attempting to deal with a Minnesota team that is limping its way into the playoffs (no this totally isn’t me throwing shade what are you talking about?), the Ducks are hot right before and don’t look to be slowing down anytime soon.
There are still 6 games left in the regular season, however, so Anaheim will need to continue this pace while cleaning up the loose ends of their game.
3) Antoine Vermette
2) Jonathan Bernier
1) Patrick Eaves