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Ducks go from worst to one of the best in offensive production

November 21, 2021, 4:31 PM ET [0 Comments]
Kevin Allen
Blogger •HHOF Writer's column on the NHL • RSSArchiveCONTACT
Last season, the Anaheim Ducks finished second-to-last, 30th overall, in the NHL standings. They ranked last in scoring with a 2.21 goals-per-game average. Their power play clicked only 8.9% of their time.

The Ducks weren’t flying in the right direction.

This season, everything that went wrong last season, seems to be going right. Here are 10 reasons why the Ducks have the NHL’s eighth-best record at 10-5-3.

1. Troy Terry is enjoying a breakthrough season (12-10--22) to lead an improved offense that currently ranks eighth in the NHL. The Colorado native only totaled 20 points in 48 games last season. At 24, his game has come together

2. Center Ryan Getzlaf has discovered the fountain of youth. At 36, he is averaging better than a point per game (19 points in 18 games). He only had 17 points in 48 games last season. He seems rejuvenated. Sometimes, when a couple of players raise their performance level it becomes contagious. You can see that happening with this team.

3. Ducks’ power play is scoring at a 26.8% clip. Anaheim has 14 power play goals and point man Kevin Shattenkirk has assisted on half of those goals.

4. Rookie Trevor Zegras is an impact player as the team's No. 2 center. He is tied for second on the Ducks in scoring with six goals

5. Goalie John Gibson, always a factor, has enjoyed an impressive start with a 9-3-2 record, 2.31 goals-against average and .926 save percentage. He owns a .917 career save percentage. He keeps the Ducks even on nights when they can't find their offense. He's been a top goalie for years, but in their good start they have displayed the offense necessary to take advantage of Gibson's stellar play. In the past, they have often wasted his efforts.

6. Defenseman Shattenkirk is enjoying a strong season. He has 14 points and he’s +6. Shattenkirk offensive style doesn't fit with every team, but he seems perfect for this group.

7. Plenty of offensive support. Adam Henrique has six goals and 15 points. Cam Fowler has 13 points. Isac Lundestrom has 10 points. Sonny Milano has nine.

8. Improved outlook. At the risk of sounding like Ted Lasso, the Ducks are starting to believe. They are playing with confidence. They are acting like they can compete with the NHL's top team.

9. Hope on the horizon: Zegras. Jamie Drysdale and Mason MacTavish are strong cornerstones for the future. They are playing impressively for young player, but everyone understands they are going to improve every week. That fuels increased optimism.

10. Coach Dallas Eakins making the parts fit. Who knows whether the Ducks can sustain this higher level of play. But give Eakins credit for providing Terry and Zegras the opportunity to show what they can do. He’s pushing the right buttons,
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