Tonight the #2 seed in the Western Conference , the Anaheim Ducks, take on the #7 seed Detroit Red Wings. To help us out with the Ducks perspective on the series, we got into the “Flying-V” formation with Jen from AnaheimCalling.com. Make sure to follow Jen at @WhatWouldJNDo and @AnaheimCalling on Twitter.
1. The Anaheim Ducks got off to a fantastic start this year, but played relatively inconsistently down the stretch, what was the difference early on in the season as compared to the end?
I think I’ve pinpointed the change in the team to when Nick Bonino was injured during a morning skate. He missed 21 games until returning for the last few games of the season. He was the second line center that had developed a really good chemistry with Teemu Selanne and Kyle Palmieri. Head Coach Bruce Boudreau struggled to find a consistent center and second line center to take his place. With the exception of the first and third lines, everyone else went into a blender.
2. The Ducks face off against the Detroit Red Wings in the first round of the playoffs, how do the Ducks match up against the Red Wings?
This is the one team I didn’t want to face in the first round. This will be the sixth time the two teams have met in the playoffs. There is just something about the Red Wings that drives Anaheim insane. The Ducks become very high strung and easy rattled. They manged to keep it under control when playing in Detroit earlier in the season; however, when the Red Wings came to Anaheim, the Ducks fell apart. Hopefully with the home crowd bump, the Ducks will get back to where they were when they overpowered the Red Wings 5-1 at the Joe.
3. Goaltenders Jonas Hiller and Viktor Fasth shared the duties essentially 50/50 this season. Is head coach Bruce Boudreau going to continue the time share or will he ride the hot hand?
Both goalies have cooled as of late. Look for Bruce to go with experience over wunderkind status, as Hiller starts game one.
4. Ageless wonder and sure fire first ballot Hall of Famer, Teemu Selanne started off the season playing really well. But in the last two months he has played to a -12. Is age finally catching up to him?
I’m not sure if it’s age as much as it is the condensed schedule. Bruce is fine with Teemu resting as much as he feels his body needs, but Teemu being Teemu, he always wants to play and practice. After the Ducks clinched the playoff spot and division title, Selanne had two games off and came back with renewed energy in the final game of the season. Hopefully this carries on to the playoffs.
5. Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf were both signed to monster 8-year contract extensions. Between those two and Bobby Ryan they are owed nearly $23 million combined the next two years. Was it a good move?
Absolutely. Going into the season, the general consensus was that Getzlaf would stick around and Perry would walk. When Perry signed his deal, we were shocked and happy. Selanne is the current face of the franchise but he’s not going to play forever (at least I think he won’t). Perry and Getzlaf are the next best thing to replacing Selanne in the public eye. Now it’s a matter of building around them, plus Bobby for the length of his current contract, with the outstanding draft picks of the past few years.
6. The Ducks have one of the top power plays in the league, but had the second fewest power play opportunities in the league. Is there any way for the Ducks to create more power play chances?
Talk to Dustin Brown and the Sedins on the diving technique?
7. Series Prediction?
I’ve got the Ducks in 7. Just like the Cup year, Selanne lands the final blow in OT.