These Ducks Don’t Quack
The Anaheim Ducks, through 60 games played, have amassed the best record in the NHL and look every bit as scary as the team that won it all seven seasons ago.
The Ducks are arguably the most loaded team in the NHL and may be the only team that can say their fourth line is every bit as good as its first. They still have enough of the old guard that won it before, while a new group has integrated into the team securing a competitive foundation for many seasons to come. Ryan Getzlaf is the team captain and the leader of the Orange County bunch. Getzlaf has scored 29 goals while teammate Corey Perry has deposited 30 pucks into nets in NHL arenas nearest you.
The Ducks have many ways to beat a team and are best when they attack in waves. They are one of the best teams at keeping the puck in their offensive zone and are one of the fastest teams on skates in the entire NHL. They have no fear of the opposition whatsoever and know how to intimidate. The Sharks thus far have beaten the Ducks two out of three games this season winning both matches in San Jose.
The Ducks, in the only meeting with Team Teal in Anaheim this season, simply opened a can and had the game won by the end of the second period. In addition to Getzlaf and Perry, Nick Bonino, Andrew Cogliano, Dustin Penner, Mathieu Perreault, Kyle Palmeri, Saku Koivu and others have led the Ducks in several offensive categories and make up what could be arguably the best team in the NHL right now. Don’t forget Teemu Selanne, a one time Shark and all-time Shark nemesis is still playing too. Selanne, at 43, skates like he’s 21. In net, Jonas Hiller is still the top goalie, earning that job at the Sharks expense five seasons ago (we won’t go over that again, we all know that story).
Again, the onus is on the Sharks should they meet the Ducks in the postseason. The Sharks entering the Olympic break trail Anaheim by just seven points in the Pacific Division standings. It has helped the Ducks have recently gone through a slump also which has brought them back to earth a little. However, just as the case is with the Kings, don’t look for the Ducks to down for too long. Their team is simply too good for that.
If the Sharks do overtake Anaheim in the standings and get home ice, and are healthy, have a chance here and maybe a better one than if they play the Kings. However, the Sharks again will absolutely need to steal one in the Honda Center. If the Ducks get home ice, it could be a very tall order for Team Teal here. The Sharks then would for certain need to take all games at the Shark Tank, or if they take two out of three would have to find a way to split four at the Honda Center.
Much easier said than done.