Why The Anaheim Ducks Will Win The Stanley Cup

Why The Anaheim Ducks Will Win The Stanley Cup

Taking a look at the Anaheim Ducks this season.

The Anaheim Ducks have been one of the most consistent teams in hockey since the earlier part of the 2000’s. They were so close to advancing to the Stanley Cup Finals but fell short to the Nashville Predators in game 6 of the Western Conference Finals behind a Jonathan Bernier in goal as a backup. The Ducks have a very legitimate shot of winning the Stanley Cup this year. They have this time window of a few seasons to go all the way but that window does not last very long

Anaheim did not lose anyone impactful last year and only made their roster stronger by adding Ryan Miller as a backup and Dennis Rasmussen as a 4th line center. They worked to improve their depth even with having lots of depth already from their AHL affiliate, the San Diego Gulls.

The Ducks finally overcame their game 7 woes by defeating the Edmonton Oilers at home in a thrilling game at Honda Center. That game 7 curse has been haunting them for a few years now and overcoming that obstacle was a huge part of them being successful.

The Ducks have the pieces in place to have a Stanley Cup winning team especially going down the stretch. They have elite scoring on offense, a physical defense, and reliable goaltending.

Playoffs are all about having momentum going down the stretch and having that carry over into every series. The Ducks have a few players with injuries right now including Ryan Kesler, Patrick Eaves, and Cam Fowler. Those 3 guys are extremely pivotal in the success of the Anaheim Ducks. Even without those guys, Anaheim has been in games and they’re getting scoring from all of their lines. Kesler is expected to be back by January and once all these guys come back from injury, there will be a shift in the way that the Ducks play.

If the Ducks can get that momentum down the stretch, they should be able to advance in the playoffs where I predict they might meet the same Nashville Predators again which is a series that can go either way depending on the goaltending. If they make it to the final, I predict they will either be facing the Pittsburgh Penguins or the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Ducks have a very physical team and that’s what you need to beat these fast, puck-moving eastern conference teams like the Penguins and the Lightning. Physical play is the key for the Ducks in the postseason and if they can rev it up, they have a great shot to compete for the Stanley Cup in 2018.

Cover Image Credit: Flickr

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Portland Is The Three Seed, For Now

Are the Trail Blazers good enough to dethrone the top-two teams?

The Portland Trail Blazers are the three seed right now in the Western Conference in the National Basketball Association. However, the difference between the three seed and the ten seed is not very many games at this point in the season.

They are behind the Golden State Warriors and the Houston Rockets who look as if they are on a different level so far this year with their play.

Damian Lillard has been just what the Blazers need in terms of scoring and giving the ball to his teammates in the perfect moments. His supporting cast of CJ McCollum, Ed Davis, Evan Turner and others has also been playing extremely well lately.

Davis has become one of the best offensive-rebounders in the league and has been giving the team a lot of second-chance opportunities.

This team is playing well together and recently coming off of a win against the Golden State Warriors without Stephen Curry.

Many are still wondering if this Blazer team is legitimate in the West because they will most likely have to face the Rockets or the Warriors, and they haven’t made it too far in previous seasons.

They are all playing well right now and hitting a hot streak, but it may be too early and the other teams may be too much in the playoffs.

James Harden and the Rockets, as well as, Stephen Curry with the Warriors are the primed favorites to be in the Western Conference Finals. The two teams are well above the rest of the conference and have the most stars on their team.

The Warriors are probably the favorites again to represent the West in the Finals, just because of their talent and experience being there multiple years in a row now.

In order for this Blazer team to stay in the three seed, as well as continue on to win some playoff games, they will need a few things to happen.

They will need to stay hot and keep making their shots, they will need Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum to continue shooting extremely well, the supporting cast as well as young players getting more involved, and maybe some luck from the other teams losing.

I fully expect the Trail Blazers to make it into the playoffs, but I am unsure how far they will make it in the extremely talented Western Conference.

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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Jordy Nelson's Time As A Packer Has Come To An End

Jordy Nelson is moving on from Green Bay, which gives fans an opportunity to reflect on his impact as a Packer.

After 10 seasons with the Green Bay Packers, wide receiver Jordy Nelson has been released by the team this past Tuesday. This came only a day before the NFL’s free agency period began. The reasoning, stated by the Packers front office, for the release was creating more cap space to sign free agents. It is a tough part of the business side of the NFL. Nelson has been an irreplaceable part of the Packer’s success over the last ten years. On and off the field he has defined what it means to be a team player and a true Packer.

Nelson was drafted by the Packers in the second round of the 2008 NFL Draft from Kansas State University. He was a part of the 2010 Packers team that won Super Bowl XLV against the Pittsburgh Steelers. In 2011 he and quarterback Aaron Rodgers made a deadly passing combination for defenses. Over the next four seasons, Nelson proved to be one of the most productive receivers in the league. In the preseason of 2015, Jordy Nelson tore his ACL in the second preseason game. The Packer’s offense would miss him, as he sat out for the entire season. He came back strong the next year. Nelson led the NFL with 14 receiving touchdowns. He was named NFL Comeback Player of the Year in 2016.

Green Bay, Wisconsin became Nelson’s second home. Fans were able to appreciate his hard work for a decade. They knew that whenever number 87 in green and gold was in the lineup, they could always count on him to make the tough catches. His friendships with his teammates and coaches make him a role model for all football fans. Not everyone is a Packers fan, but everyone can say something nice about Jordy Nelson. Whether it’s his quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, or an opposing cornerback, they can all respect Jordy Nelson.

Aaron Rodgers said via Instagram, “It’s definitely a sad day” Nelson will be missed by fans, teammates, coaches, and opponents. On one hand, football is just a game, and Jordy Nelson embodies what it means to love the game of football. On the other hand, football is a business. The release of Nelson will create cap space to allow the team to spend more money on other players. It is a tough decision to make and it is a very real part of the business side of the NFL. Emotions are hard to set aside in situations like this. These things happen not just in football, but in all sports. Beloved players come and go. Parting ways with those type of players can be hard on a team and a fanbase. Nelson will be missed by Green Bay, but his talents and hard work will be appreciated by his new team, the Oakland Raiders. It certainly has been a joy to watch number 87 fly down the field for a catch on Sundays for 10 years. All we can say now as Packers fans is, thanks for the memories Jordy Nelson.

Cover Image Credit: Instagram

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