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yave1964

2019-20 Ducks year in review

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  Anaheim next on the list

 

PRESEASON EXPECTATIONS Expected to finish lower third of the conference, a slight chance at making the playoffs if everything in the World broke right.

 

FINAL RECORD 29-33-9 6TH IN Division, well out of a playoff spot. In spite of the fifth worst record in Hockey,they won the battle of California.

 

HIGH POINT OF THE YEAR They started hot, winning three in a row to begin the season and six of their first eight, they gave up only 14 goals in the span with Gibson and a tight defense they looked to be slightly ahead of the rebuilding curve.

 

LOW POINT OF THE YEAR From there they stumbled along, winning a few losing a few, slipping below .500 but remaining in the hunt in a weak division until December 29th when they lost 2-1 in overtime to the Flyers. From there they lost seven of eight and never were really relevant again. Dallas Eakins was rumored to be on the way out before the virus shut down the game.

 

STRANGE STAT OF THE YEAR Cam Fowler was the clubs lucky talisman, he scored nine goals and the team went 8-0-1 in the games in which he found the back of the net. Another strange stat, they scored five or more goals six times, usually a sure sign of a blowout but four of the six went to overtime showing the Ducks offense came in games in which the defense forgot to show up.

 

WHAT WENT RIGHT Henrique was solid leading the team with 26 goals and in points, Silferberg added 21 tucks. Fowler and Lindholm were a very solid and underrated duo on the back end. Steel, Terry, Jones, Comtois and Larssen were all given a chance to sink or swim and while none were exactly breakout performers they all had their moments showing the youth is ready to perform now. Ryan Miller (9-6-4) was a very capable backup. Derek Grant was a solid bottom six contributor. Getzlaf wasnt horrible.

 

WHAT WENT WRONG : Gibson was bad, no other way to put it. Overused with a soft defense in front of him, he seems worn down and haggard. Rackell seems to have lost his game entirely, after two consecutie seasons in the mid thirties for goals he has slipped to 18 and then 15. Same with Ondrej Kase who looked like a solid power forward a few years ago, still young he is a shadow of his self with 7 goals and injury prone. Nick Ritchie went from top line potential to barely justifying fourth line duties. Josh Manson took a big step back on the back end. Injuries were a real concern with this club, a lot of times teams blame injuries and i am not saying the Ducks are a playoff contender with great health but they had ten players who could and should be classified as full time starters miss at least ten games.

 

FREE AGENTS none of any significance. Del Zotto and Irwin from the back end wont be back, Ryan Miller really was not bad in a limited role and might still have a job. Nobody else is worth mentioning.

 

OFFSEASON QUESTION MARKS: To me, Gibson is the biggie, who is the real Gibby, the one who looked like the best goalie in hockey for half a year or the one who ranked in the bottom third of the league among starting goalies this year? The Ducks go nowhere unless he gets it together. After that, a trio of young snipers who all have watched their careers derail, Rackell, Kase and Ritchie MUST get it together this year or be be passed by hungry young talented forwards fighting for power play time and offensive zone time. These three if they can combine for 70 goals compared to the anemic 30 from this past year could be enough to get the Ducks into the conversation.

 

 They have their own first and the Bruins as well. Obviously they are hoping to move up from 5th and hope that if the season resumes the Bruins bow out in the first round to give them a better selection. 

 

  The kids didnt embarrass but the young veterans all took a step back. They must find a true number one center as well but that can be said about half the teams in the league.

 

 

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