It’s the 2019-20 season. The new wave of Ducks prospects have made the full-time jump to the NHL and are pushing the team towards contention again. The future is looking very bright.
This is not a saying the Ducks fanbase particularly agrees with.
Now that I've sufficiently pissed you off with that opening, the results of SB Nation’s latest FanPulse poll are in. This is the first poll that asks fans how confident they are in the direction of the team, much like most of the other sports already do. The results over time of these polls will be extremely valuable, as it will allow us to visualize the feelings of the overall Ducks fanbase from now until the end of the season.
Anaheim currently sits fifth from the bottom of the league in the standings. They’re second to last in goals scored per game. Their power play is in the bottom three of the league while their penalty kill is in the bottom third. The kids are suffering from overblown expectations as reality has slowly sunk in that they won’t be the saviors of the team this year. And goaltending has regressed from otherworldly to just average.
There are certainly some positives this season, like the fact that their play is largely better than last year (as far as underlying shooting metrics go) and the fact that this team doesn’t look nearly as overmatched as they did against most teams last year.
That said, a growing section of the fanbase believes that the “retool” might actually need a more aggressive rebuild instead. While the prospects still have time to grow and Trevor Zegras is on the way, many believe that Bob Murray needs to supplement these moves while properly planning for the upcoming expansion draft. Trading at least one or two core players who’s ages and prime production years don’t line up with the perceived contending window has become the wish of a very vocal section of the fan base.
On the other hand, there are some fans who believe the current group of prospects like Sam Steel, Troy Terry, Max Jones, and Max Comtois can develop into the players this team needs. Hence why the confidence number isn’t completely in the gutter.
As we head into the latter portion of the season, we’ll see how these numbers evolve as we begin asking this question most weeks to track the changes from now until April.