Following a 2014-15 campaign in which they were the number-one seed in the Western Conference due to a 51-24-7 regular season record, the Anaheim Ducks powered their way to the Western Conference Finals, where their season came to a screeching half after a 4-3 series loss to the Chicago Blackhawks.
After a bit of a short summer, Anaheim was ready to begin the 2015-16 season in hopes of producing another winning season and making a deep run in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. However, the Ducks did not quite take off as quickly as they intended, and at one point questions began to rise on whether or not Bruce Boudreau was going to be the one to lead this team back to the playoffs and a chance at the Stanley Cup. The top two players on this Anaheim team, Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry, were struggling to find the back of the net, as Perry did not record his first goal until November 4th and Getzlaf was unable to find the twine until November 16th. On December 31st, the Ducks were sitting at fifth in the Pacific Division with a 15-15-6 record and needed to work on getting things back on track as the halfway point of the season was quickly approaching.
We are now more than halfway through the season, and after shutting out the Buffalo Sabres Wednesday night, Anaheim holds a record of 32-19-8. Since January 1st, the Ducks have been soaring high, going 17-4-1 in their past 22 games. They are just two points behind the Los Angeles Kings, who for a good portion of the first half of the season, held a double-digit lead at the top of the division. This team has been clicking on offense, led by Getzlaf (48 points) and Perry (41 points), who are just two of the eight players that have 20 or more points this season. Anaheim is currently ranked 24th in the league in goals-for per game at 2.46 while holding the fifth best goals-against per game at 2.34.
Ducks general manager Bob Murray has already completed four trades this season, and with the emergence of his hockey team, he is certainly in position to be a buyer at Monday’s trade deadline to add some depth at forward heading into the playoffs. Perhaps a player such as Loui Eriksson from the Boston Bruins would be a good fit. However, Boston is currently occupying a playoff spot and with Eriksson’s production a big part of the reason why, it might take a little extra to acquire him. If the Bruins can get a contract extension worked out, then he’ll be off the board.
Despite the amount of time it took, Anaheim is now performing to the expectations that were set for them prior to the beginning of the season. They certainly picked the right time to peak heading down the home stretch of the regular season, and will look to make another deep run in the playoffs.
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