A tremendous Anaheim Ducks decade is coming to a close as 2019 ends. While the team didn’t win a Stanley Cup, they did manage to appear in six post-seasons. In those appearances, they won five series and made two Western Conference Final appearances. Both ended in heartbreak, though, effectively providing the sentiment of high hopes but low results that plagued this Anaheim Ducks decade.
Reviewing the First Five Years of the Most Recent Anaheim Ducks Decade
The Ducks started the decade by saying goodbye to captain Scott Niedermayer. After 18 seasons and four Stanley Cups across two teams, the Hall of Fame defencemen decided to hang up his skates. In his absence, the Ducks named Ryan Getzlaf as captain while naming Teemu Selanne and newcomer to the organization Saku Koivu as alternate captains.
The Ducks were hoping for a bounce-back season after failing to qualify for the playoffs the previous season. They went 47-30-5 and qualified for the postseason in a wild card slot. Corey Perry had a career year, scoring 50 goals and 98 points. Unfortunately, they fell in the first round to the Nashville Predators in six games.
After the heartbreaking loss to the Predators, the Ducks were hoping for a better season. They picked two major players in the 2011 NHL Draft. Rickard Rakell was grabbed in the first round (30th overall) and John Gibson in the second round (39th overall). They also traded for Andrew Cogliano. Selanne also made the decision to return for another season.
They had a dreadful start to the season that effectively ended Randy Carlyle‘s first tenure with the team in November. Overall, the team went 34-36-12 and finished fifth in the Pacific Division. For the second time in the last three seasons, they failed to qualify for the playoffs.
The Ducks were reeling from an uneventful season the year before and needed to take a stand. The NHL season didn’t start until January of 2013, the result of a lockout, giving the Ducks even less of a chance to make their statement. In the shortened season, the Ducks had a pretty good run. The Ducks went 30-12-6. They fell to the Detroit Red Wings in seven games during the First Round of the playoffs. Unfortunately, that trend would follow them for years to come.
The Ducks came out swinging in 2013, going 10-3-1 in October to start the beginning of one of the best years in franchise history. They fell short of the Presidents Trophy by only one point. They finished the season with 116 points, good enough for first in the Pacific Division and the Western Conference. They also ranked second in the league overall.
When it came to the playoffs, the Ducks swept the Dallas Stars in the First Round. They fell short to the crosstown rival Los Angeles Kings in the Second Round in seven games. To top off that unfortunate end of the year, Selanne retired after 23 NHL seasons, 15 of which were with Anaheim.
When Getzlaf took over the Ducks they seemed prepped and ready to become a dynasty. They had all the keys and, for the most part, they played well in the regular season. The 2014-15 season was another good year for the Ducks. They added Ryan Kesler to the roster, giving them a very solid second-line center.
The Ducks had another 100+ point season, finishing first in the Pacific Division and Western Conference again. They swept the Winnipeg Jets and blew passed the Calgary Flames in five games but hit a wall when it came to the Western Conference Final. The Chicago Blackhawks were on the way to a third Stanley Cup in five years and Anaheim couldn’t stop them. The Ducks gave them the best run for the money in seven games but Chicago prevailed, leaving the Ducks broken-hearted again.
The Ducks had a solid team. They had every chance in the world to bring home another Stanley Cup. They caught their Game Seven curses and they didn’t manage to make it over the hump in the first half of the decade. It would take a coaching change and a lot of luck to push over the hump.