Ducks Off to a Flying Start

Year in and year out, the Anaheim Ducks are one of the league’s most consistent games.

They win a lot of hockey games with depth, smart play, solid defense, and great goaltending. While the team has not won a Cup since 2007, they have still been one of the NHL’s better teams for a long time now.

That thought has not changed in the early going this season. As of this writing (October 17), the team is fourth in the entire league with a 4-1-1 record to start the season. Should they beat the Isles on the 17th, that will give them the second-best record overall.

For this team, it begins with the play of their star netminder, John Gibson. Gibson, 25, who was fantastic last season, is off to a great once again this year.

In five games, Gibson is 3-1-1 with a 2.07 goals against average, a .944 save percentage, and one shutout. After showing the league last year that he can be one of their best goaltenders, he is already doing the same this year, which is great news for the Ducks.

Speaking of great goaltending, the team is also getting it from backup Ryan Miller. He’s had 80 minutes of action and in those 80 minutes, he has come away with one win and has posted a 1.52 goals against average and a .946 save percentage.

Speaking of keeping the puck out of their net, the team has a whole is doing a great job. They are sixth in the league in goals allowed with 13, which means that the club is playing responsible in their own end, is making life manageable for their goaltender, is being smart with the puck, and doing a good job of clearing rebounds.

The team is also showing once again that they have a lot of depth. The Ducks were one of the best teams in the Western Conference last season despite having to deal with a ton of injuries.

Well, this year, it appears that they may have to do the same as Corey Perry is going to miss five months after undergoing knee surgery. The team is also dealing with an injury to their captain Ryan Getzlaf (groin), though he is expected to return to the lineup any day now.

Like last season, however, the Ducks have found a way to battle through it and survive thus far. Players like Jakob Silfverberg (7 points), Hampus Lindholm (6 points), Max Comtois (5 points), and Adam Henrique have all played well to start the season, which helps lessen the negative impact that injuries usually have.

With how competitive both the Pacific Division and Western Conference are, the Ducks’ strong start could mean a lot come April.


Photo: Los Angeles Times

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