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.