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Anaheim Calling 2019-20 Staff Predictions

Once again, the Anaheim Calling staff brings to you its predictions for the upcoming hockey season.

San Jose Sharks v Anaheim Ducks Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

CJ Woodling

Rookies who had a taste of the big time last season will start putting things together. Dallas Eakins will prove that he has learned from his time with the Edmonton Oilers and have the added benefit of culture and system buy-in from the very first night. Shooting percentages will rebound and Ryan Getzlaf will turn the clock back four years.

However, this team isn’t solid enough defensively and while Eakins’ high-flying rush-oriented offensive systems will give the team a nice boost in scoring, his deficiencies with tactics in his own zone and questionable personnel will cause John Gibson to bail out the team for several nights, yet still let in a decent amount of goals.

The Ducks will squeak into the second Wild Card spot on the last day of the season and lose in six games in the first round.

Justin Ritzel

For the first time in half a dozen years, the Ducks have a real sense of newness around the club. While GM Bob Murray didn’t completely overhaul the roster, he did clear up roster space for some prospects on the cusp, and provide a new head coach to guide them.

The Ducks have one great player (John Gibson), a few very good players (Ryan Getzlaf, Hampus Lindholm, Jakob Silfverberg, Rickard Rakell), and a lot of unknowns. How will Dallas Eakins fare in his second turn as an NHL head coach? How will prospects like Sam Steel, Troy Terry and Max Jones perform over a full season? The Ducks could surprise in the Pacific Division if answers to those questions swing positive.

Prediction: The Ducks haven’t missed the playoffs in back-to-back years since the early 2000s when Anaheim didn’t qualify three straight years from 2000 to 2002. Despite a resurgent season from Getzlaf, a .925 SV% from Gibson and a surprise Calder-contending season from Steel, the Ducks will miss out on the second Wild Card berth in the final week of the regular season. Meanwhile, Anaheim’s Pacific Division foes from Las Vegas become the quickest expansion team to ever capture the Stanley Cup.

Bonnie Shockey

The Ducks are going to make an equal amount of errors and successes as they get used to playing in these new lines. The team will do well against teams that are slower, or clunky, gaining confidence before Christmas. Teams that are equally young and fast will challenge us. The boys might get pushed around by larger players from opposing teams, challenging Josh Manson, Max Jones, and others to pound them to defend the young Ducklings. They’ll push to the top three of Pacific and battle for position. It will mean something to the team to earn it.

The Ducks will go to the second round, but, they will lose in the fifth game.

Jake Rudolph

The Ducks will play a more modern style of hockey, with the influx of youth on the roster and Dallas Eakins now behind the bench, and see positive results follow early on in the season. As the year rolls on, however, they will hit a tough stretch and really rely upon John Gibson to keep them in games. Eventually they will find a way out of that tough stretch and find themselves in a battle for a wild card spot and eventually claim their place. They will lose in the first round, but overall this season will see a lot of positive strides for the “retool”.

The Ducks will lose to the Colorado Avalanche in six games in the first round. Boom.

Jonathan Gleeson-Solomon

I think the Ducks will come strong out of the gates. The kids will come out looking to make an impression, especially Max Jones. I think we’ll see an early resurgence from Rakell. However, I think the team will regress before Christmas and leave it to late to get back into the playoff picture.

Overall: I think the Ducks will finish fifth in the Pacific outside of the Wild Card.

Hot take: Nick Ritchie will be traded before Christmas.

Stephen Dohner

There are a lot of reasons to be optimistic about the Ducks’ upcoming season. Replacing Randy Carlyle with a Tickle Me Elmo would lead to a jump in the standings, so bringing in a coach who will play a style of hockey from this century should be a plus.

John Gibson is the best goalie in hockey and putting a competent team in front of him should be enough to at least make the team competitive most nights. There is still high-end skill on this team with the likes of Rickard Rakell, Ondrej Kase, and Ryan Getzlaf. There are also a number of fresh young faces who should bring some energy and creativity to a roster that was almost entirely devoid of it last year.

All of that is great. But I’m not sure what all that optimism adds up to. This team should have enough talent to ride Gibson to a mid 80’s point total. Eakins’ new-school coaching style should give everyone a boost. The Pacific sucks. The playoffs, though a longshot, are not completely out of reach.

Ultimately though, I think this team, and most importantly its young players, are still a year away from getting back into the mix for postseason games. The Ducks will finish between 7-10 from the bottom league wide, miss the playoffs by double digit points, and light a couple candles hoping to get some luck in the lottery.

Mark Zimmerman

The Ducks will transition to a younger and faster team. The season will start off slow, but the team will eventually buy in and by the spring, challenge for the Wild Card. They’ll come up just short with a point total in the high 80s.

George Contreras

I always hate predicting, but I predict that the Anaheim Ducks will turn a lot of heads this season. From what I’ve witnessed so far in development camp, rookie tournament, & pre-season - long gone are the “Randy’s Ducks”. Eakins & co. are employing a system which, out of the gate, is much better suited for the modern day NHL. They’re faster, making much quicker passes, moving into the offensive with speed, getting to pucks with haste...all great things. Best yet, they’re playing this new thing which, I don’t know, appears to be exciting and fun hockey? What is this new devilry?!?? Which is why I see them making the post-season this year. Crazy, I know.

They’ll get to the second round of the playoffs but will be knocked out in six games.

Alex Khalifa

The end result of this season may depend on how quickly the young talent comes along. It would not surprise me to see positive development from players like Max Comtois, Troy Terry, and Brandon Guhle even if several prized prospects play part of the season in San Diego. It is also difficult to imagine the team enduring quite so many injuries to key players. Nevertheless, I expect the Ducks to finish fifth in the Pacific Division and just outside the playoffs. I like what I have heard from the players about Dallas Eakins so far, but the defense feels like too much of a question mark. There will not be much margin for error considering that Anaheim was held below 200 goals scored last season.

Eric Stites

The Anaheim Ducks are hoping to rebound from an extremely disappointing season that saw them break their six year playoff berth streak and with it, saw the exit of Ducks legend Corey Perry. The new-look Ducks in 2019-20 are without Perry, Ryan Kesler, and Patrick Eaves, as they will try to show the league that they are a new team with speed and skill, rather than the physical, bruising team opposing teams came to know.

Will it work? Long story short, not really. The Ducks have built something very positive through their farm system and it will pan out for Anaheim; just not this year. The Ducks will have good stretches, but lengthy bad stretches, and they will fall just short of a Wild Card spot in a tightly contested Western Conference. The future is bright though, so don’t lose hope!

Michael Fukuda

Remember last off-season when we were excited about a new, up-tempo type of hockey? Well, here we are again, heading into the new season full of optimism and excitement about a new coach, system, and an influx of youth.

I see them reaching 93 points this season due to a rebound year by Rakell, coming out (offensive) party by Silf, Gibby’s Vezina-esque season, and players in general simply excited about hockey again. However, I think they miss the playoffs by 1-2points in a difficult Western Conference.

With that being said, I can’t remember the last time I was this excited about a Ducks season!

Tony Leo

The 2019-20 Anaheim Ducks season is going to be a very interesting one. John Gibson and a youngish-veteran core make them too good to be bad, but the changes and youth movement probably make them too bad to be good. That leaves the Ducks in the middle. Too good to tank and too bad to contend.

Normally, you want your team either re-building or contending. I agree with this to an extent, but last year was just brutal for all Ducks fans, so I am willing to throw logic aside and go with what the heart wants and the heart wants this team to play well, make the playoffs, let the prospects grow and let Gibby shine. So, my prediction is that Gibby carries this team and they end up third overall in the Pacific. They will then lose in the first round to real contenders slotting them in the bottom half of each round in the 2020-2021 draft.

Is this the best outcome for the team long term? Probably not, but I am a Ducks fan after all and would rather have them winning or at least be competitive night in and night out than go through another season like the last one.

Daniel Kleinberg

Things are looking up now that Randy Carlyle is gone. Dallas Eakins has the ability to create a new style of hockey that keeps fans entertained watching games in Anaheim. But will he have the roster to do so?

As Bob Murray continues to value two-way forwards over any kind of goal scoring threat, the Ducks will find themselves in the basement of total offense. In today’s NHL, it’s hard to win games playing defense first even with a Vezina type of goalie. Even with the contributions from the rookies, Anaheim’s depth won’t have what it takes to keep up for a full regular season.

The Ducks will fail to make the playoffs for the second year in a row — making Murray’s barstool a little bit warmer.

John Broadbent

Sorry I’m late!

I believe the Ducks are going to surprise a lot of people coming out of the gate as their new-found combination of youth and wide-open offense take a few teams defenses by surprise. John Gibson will be the inhuman puck stopping machine he was to start the season last year and the Ducks will enjoy a surprising run of consecutive win streaks. Eventually their defensive inefficiencies will catch up to them as well as some inevitable major injuries that test both their forward and defensive depth and they will hit back to back slides through January - dropping them out of the playoff picture before a late run in March that sees them squeak into a wildcard spot with less than two games left in the season.