Anaheim Ducks Stanley Cup Playoffs Run Could Be Successful

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during the third period of a game at Honda Center on March 6, 2018 in Anaheim, California.

Last night the Anaheim Ducks beat the Minnesota Wild and secured a spot in the playoffs. Last year, the Ducks made it to Game 6 of the Western Conference Final, but ultimately fell to the Nashville Predators. This year, the Anaheim Ducks Stanley Cup Playoffs run could be successful with the help of a few assets.

Anaheim Ducks Gear Up For Stanley Cup Playoffs Run

If they plan on making it over the hump, the Ducks are going to be depending on the whole team. Young forwards Rickard Rakell and Ondrej Kase are on a roll to end the season. Marcus Pettersson and Andy Welinski are in the show, so to speak, with the injury to star defensemen Cam Fowler. The icing on the cake is back up goaltender Ryan Miller stepping up to hold down the fort.

Young Forwards

Rickard Rakell is having nothing short of a fantastic year. He is a permanent fixture on the top line alongside Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry. This is his second consecutive 30-goal season and he leads the Ducks in overall points. Last year, he was injured during Game 6 of the Western Conference Final, but if he manages to stay healthy for the whole playoff run, he will be a huge part of making it into the Stanley Cup Final.

Also, Ondrej Kase is breaking out. There is no other way to put it. He broke the 20-goal plateau last night with the game-winning goal that also sealed the deal for the Ducks going to the postseason. The third line that he plays on, alongside Nick Ritchie and Adam Henrique, held the Ducks together for a stretch earlier this year. When coach Randy Carlyle is looking for an emergency bump in offense, he has been known to move Kase to the top line with Getzlaf and Rakell. Kase is improving every year and he is a great tool to have in the arsenal.

Defense

The Ducks have one of the deepest defensive corps in the NHL with Hampus Lindholm, Josh Manson, Cam Fowler, and Brandon Montour. They also have veteran leadership in Francois Beauchemin and Kevin Bieksa – two amazingly gritty players. The two players that have to step up are Marcus Pettersson and Andy Welinski. Pettersson has become a familiar face on the Ducks roster and reached his 20th consecutive game as a Duck on Wednesday. He scored his first goal on North American ice in that span and has been proving himself to coach Carlyle.

Welinski has made five appearances with the Ducks this year and put up two points. He plays alongside Pettersson in the AHL, and together they make a good team for a third defensive pairing. If Welinski is to make himself a more consistent player on the team, he will have to step up and earn his spot.

Goaltending

John Gibson has kept the Ducks in the running for a playoff spot all season long. He has made amazing stops, giving the Ducks a chance in every single game that he has played in. Unfortunately, the Ducks have found themselves in an all too familiar place with Gibson getting hurt during the last part of the regular season. But there is hope in the form of Ryan Miller.

Miller signed a 2-year deal with the Ducks in the offseason and has made 26 appearances in the net for them this year. Miller, who at one time was arguably the best American-born goaltender, has an amazing sense of calmness in his style of play. You will never see him get frazzled or lose his cool even when he does not play well. He was a definite upgrade to the teams backup situation. He and Gibson are a good duo and they can help make the push and earn the big prize.

What’s Next For Anaheim

The Ducks made it into the postseason by the skin of there teeth and could not have cut it any closer. With two games left in the regular season, they will finish the year and wait for the dust to settle to see the team they will play in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

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