As we approach the start of the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs, Too Many Men On The Site will be taking a look at the teams that have qualified. Included will be stats, record, and why they will and will not win the Stanley Cup. Next up are the Anaheim Ducks.
Anaheim Ducks- 1st in Pacific Division, 1st in Western Conference
- Ryan Getzlaf (31 G, 56 A, 87 Points)
- Corey Perry (43 G, 39 A, 82 points)
- Nick Bonino (20 G, 27 A, 47 points)
Why the Ducks Will Win the Cup:
For the first few months of the 2013-14 season, the Anaheim Ducks were undoubtedly the best team in the NHL. They hit a few rough spots around the mid-way point, however they have been able to keep things together and have locked up the Pacific Division title. If they can finish strong this weekend, they will also finish first overall in the Western Conference and ensure home ice advantage throughout the playoffs.
The Ducks are the full package: explosive offense, tight defense, and a depth at the goaltending position that every other team in the NHL is envious of. The Ducks have flourished under head coach Bruce Boudreau, who has won a championship trophy at every level he has coached or played at, with the exception of the Stanley Cup.
The Ducks have dominated the Pacific Division; sweeping Los Angeles, Phoenix, and Vancouver, going 3-1 and 3-1-1 with Calgary and Edmonton respectively. Their only losing record is against the San Jose Sharks, who they went 2-2-1 against. In Central Division play, only the Chicago Blackhawks and the Dallas Stars were able to best the Ducks; in both series they went 1-2-0.
Why the Ducks Will Not Win the Cup:
Normally goaltending depth is a welcomed issue, not a hinderance for most teams. However, going into the Stanley Cup playoffs, Ducks head coach Bruce Boudreau has a bit of a dilemma. Jonas Hiller is an outstanding veteran goaltender who has playoff experience with the Ducks. He will keep cool and calm under pressure. Frederik Anderson is a permier goaltending prospect for the Ducks and Boudreau has not shied away from giving the young net minder starting chances this season. He is the future of the Anaheim Ducks and has shown he can handle the NHL workload.
Not to blow things out of proportion, I have to wonder if the Ducks are over thinking things. After leading the Pacific Division for the majority of the season, the Ducks could end up being the own worst enemy here. They need to select a goaltender for the playoffs and then stick with that decision. A controversy in the crease, whether media created or not, will be an un-needed distraction during the playoffs.
The Ducks have a good chance of contending for the Cup this season, however, we must not ignore that the Western Conference will be a long and hard-fought battle. The best teams in the NHL stand between the Anaheim Ducks and the Stanley Cup Final. Anything can happen.
Previous Posts In This Series: Pittsburgh Penguins - St.Louis Blues - Colorado Avalanche - Detroit Red Wings - San Jose Sharks - Minnesota Wild - Chicago Blackhawks - Tampa Bay Lightning - Philadelphia Flyers - Columbus Blue Jackets - Montreal Canadiens - New York Rangers