The Anaheim Ducks have been streamer a Pacific Division for months now, yet strictly clinched a local pretension Wednesday night with a convincing 5-1 win over a Edmonton Oilers. It is a third uninterrupted year a Ducks have finished in a tip symbol of a Pacific.
The Ducks also sojourn a front-runner to win a Presidents’ Trophy as a NHL’s altogether regular-season champion with a four-point lead over Central Division personality Nashville Predators and a New York Rangers, now in initial place in a Metropolitan Division.
With a win Wednesday night, Anaheim extended a advantage over a Pacific margin to 12 points with usually 3 games to play in a unchanging season. They also became a initial group in a NHL to strech 50 wins this season.
The Ducks’ considerable record has been built mostly on their success within a Pacific Division. Anaheim has a winning record opposite 5 of a 6 other teams in a Pacific, with usually a San Jose Sharks truly carrying their number. The Pacific champs went 17-6-5 opposite local opponents this deteriorate with 4 of those law waste entrance during a hands of a Sharks, who are all yet separated from playoff contention.
By winning a multiplication pretension and looking expected to constraint a Western Conference’s tip spot, Anaheim would accommodate a second furious label team, that during this indicate stays radically undecided.
The Winnipeg Jets now reason that position, yet have mislaid 3 of their final 4 and have usually dual points separating them from a field. The subsequent closest group is a Los Angeles Kings, now fighting to get behind into a playoffs to urge their title. Los Angeles still has 6 games remaining to make their run to a postseason. Lastly, there’s still a possibility that a Calgary Flames, now in third place in a Pacific, could tumble into a furious card. They reason a three-point advantage over a Kings for their stream slot.
The good news for Anaheim is that they have a winning record opposite all 3 of those clubs so distant this season. The Ducks are 3-1-1 opposite Calgary, 3-0-0 opposite a Jets and went 4-0-1 opposite a Kings.
The bad news is that Anaheim has not done a many of their final dual playoff appearances. They were bounced in a initial turn in 2012-13 by then-Western Conference enemy Detroit Red Wings. Last year, a Ducks ran into a contingent Cup champs and forsaken a second-round array to a Kings in 7 games.
The doubt during this indicate is if this group is opposite adequate from those final dual to make it. The similarities are flattering clear.
Goaltending stays unused streamer into a postseason. The Ducks indeed finished adult regulating 3 goalies final postseason and finished adult settling on rookie John Gibson. He could finish adult being a No. 1 again, yet a other choice is Frederik Andersen. Both are hovering around a joining normal when it comes to save percentage, with Gibson owning a .916 symbol in 22 appearances and Andersen carrying a .914 symbol in 50 starts before to Wednesday night’s action. Both are young, yet now have during slightest some postseason experience.
Head manager Bruce Boudreau has also never led a group past a second turn of a playoffs in 6 before trips. There’s a gorilla on his behind as most as there is one on a Ducks. There’s no doubt that Boudreau has been good for Anaheim and their coherence in winning multiplication titles over a marathon that is a unchanging deteriorate is flattering remarkable. He did a same thing 4 true years in Washington while with a Capitals as well.
This year’s Ducks do differ some from a final dual iterations.
The mainstays, Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf, are still there and still effective as ever. In a down scoring year opposite a league, both players saw their prolongation dump a bit, yet Getzlaf still has 68 points and Perry has 33 goals and 53 points. Having those stars during a tip is key.
The offseason further of Ryan Kesler has paid off large time so far. He has 47 points, good for third on a team, and provides a bar with a actor that can hoop some of a dirtier assignments to assuage some of a vigour on Ryan Getzlaf.
The bar also brought in a plain maestro defenseman in James Wisniewski who can pierce a puck, yield a small nastiness and already has 6 assists by his initial 11 games given rejoining a team. Simon Depres and Jiri Sekac also offer a bar a integrate of new pieces to block into a lineup in several ways. Additionally, bringing in Tomas Fleischmann from a Florida Panthers is good for depth.
Among a other advantages is that a group is a small comparison and wiser. Sami Vatanen, who has missed time with injury, has continued sappy into an effective descent defenseman. Hampus Lindholm took another step brazen during age 21. Rickard Rackell has grown into an bland player. Matt Beleskey had a dermatitis year and is third on a group with 22 goals. There are some weapons on this group over a big-name players. Cam Fowler was a new scratch, yet has seen his ice time stand again.
The Ducks are by no means ideal and really good could find themselves in another distressing conditions this postseason. Anything can occur in a playoffs, after all. However, as they hang adult their third multiplication pretension in as many years, they have to be feeling like they’re tighten to removing a hang of things.
Until a Ducks infer it in a playoffs, there will always be that doubt. For during slightest one night, though, they can suffer a fact that they’re atop a Pacific Division once again.