Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Thanks For Coming Out, 2013 Anaheim Ducks
While it looked like they were primed to be a contender out of the West, the Anaheim Ducks met with the stalwart of the Western Conference in their last hurrah, as the Red Wings took them out in the full seven making the Ducks wonder how a dream season turned into a nightmare at the end.
One of the interesting moves was the decision to play Jonas Hiller over the Viktor Fasth. While Fasth didn't have the experience Hiller had and may not have had the drive for it, there's no denying that Fasth was a hot hand most of the season. Their numbers were identical in most aspects, but since Bruce Boudreau wouldn't platoon the goalies in the playoffs-- we won't know what would happen if Fasth went in there.
An upside to it all was the emergence of guys like Kyle Palmieri, Nick Bonino, and Emerson Etem for the Ducks, even though they picked up the slack for Corey Perry and Teemu Selanne; both who didn't have the best playoffs in their careers. For Selanne, it could be his last playoffs as his future again hangs in the balance on what he may do with his career after this season. Fellow Finns Saku Koivu could be in the same situation, as his season wasn't overly memorable, but I doubt the two guys don't want to go out like they did.
Defensively, the core will be there for a while, with two veterans in Sheldon Souray and Francois Beauchemin to guide the likes of Cam Fowler and Luca Sbisa to lead the next direction of things. The tightness of the play will be definitely a question, as outside of Souray and Beauchemin, Ben Lovejoy (+4) and Bryan Allen (+1) were plus players of the regular defensemen. A cause for concern, but something that should come with time.
With Bruce Boudreau at the helm, the Ducks could very well be a force to be reckoned with, if they can actually play in the playoffs with the vigor they did in the regular season. Their main players are locked up for the long-haul and will be in Anaheim for a while, so they'll have time to work together and find their niche....or blow up entirely.