Before the NHL season begins, EA Sports put out their prediction for whom will win the Stanley Cup. This year, the winner is… The Anaheim Ducks
After 7 games played this season, the Ducks are 1-5-1 with a total of 3 points, sitting 29th out of 30 in the NHL standings. Throughout these 7 games they have only scored 6 goals (4 came in their only win against the Minnesota Wild) and have yet to win a game away from the Honda Center. Their upcoming schedule is not getting any easier. The Ducks are on the road and their next three games are against tough opponents; the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks, the 6-2-0 Dallas Stars and then 5-2-1 St-Louis Blues. All three of these teams are sitting top 5 in the Western Conference.
With that being said, the Ducks may end October 1-8-1. Will Bruce Boudreau be the victim of their slow start?
Since joining the Ducks, Bruce Boudreau’s record speaks for itself; 163 wins and 85 losses. It is fascinating to think that someone with such a record will be fired. However, we all know that all coaches have a shelf life and in professional sports we all tend to have short memories. Many have thought that Bob Murray (Ducks General Manager) would announce a coaching change this morning and that has yet to happen. I believe he will be patient just a little longer. However, if they don’t turn it around on this road trip, changes may be coming very soon. Boudreau is not solely responsible for this rough start, however he will be the first to suffer for it.
Superstars Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry are both off to awful starts. Combined, they have no goals, 2 assists and are +/- -6 on the season. If this team is going to get out of their rut, they will need to rely heavily on these two superstars to do so. When a team is performs poorly in hockey, the goaltender and team defence tend to get blamed. This is not the case in Anaheim. The one positive they have this year is their goaltender, Frederik Andersen. After Andersen’s 5 appearances this season, his GAA is 1.86 and a save percentage of .938%. this teams struggle is putting the puck in the net. With the stars on this team, they should be able breakout at any moment.
Could this possibly be the same team that EA Sports and other analysts have predicted to win the cup? The season is still young and the Ducks have time to save the coach and turn their season around. However, the only way that will happen is when their top end players start lighting the lamp. Hopefully they can do that before it is too little too late.
Spark Sports NHL Analyst