NHL Predictions: Anaheim Ducks Futures Odds
by Alan Matthews - 8/29/2013
It might be hard to remember after a crushing first-round loss to Detroit in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but the Ducks were pretty much the second-best team in the Western Conference the entire 2013 season and were battling Chicago for the No. 1 seed for a while there. Anaheim still finished 30-12-6 for the best winning percentage in team history.
Swedish goalie Viktor Fasth was one of the best rookies of the season, although he faded a bit down the stretch, and the team went exclusively to veteran Jonas Hiller in the playoffs against the Red Wings. Anaheim would finish the regular season fourth in goals-against. While having two quarterbacks in the NFL means you really don't have a single good one, having two good goalies is a great problem to have.
The Ducks had three forwards any team would love in Ryan Getzlaf (team-leading 49 points last year), Corey Perry (36 points) and Bobby Ryan (30 points). They also appear to have a potential rising star in right wing Kyle Palmeiri, who had 10 goals and 21 points in 42 regular-season games and could be seen at times on the top line in the postseason along with Perry and Getzlaf.
Anaheim's big offseason move was trading Ryan, a four-time 30-goal scorer, for two excellent young Ottawa Senators prospects in Jakob Silfverberg, Stefan Noesen and a first-round pick. Silfverberg should contribute immediately as he had 10 goals and nine assists in 48 games last year. After signing Perry and Getzlaf to big contracts, the Ducks had to clear some space. Ryan has two years left on a five-year, $25 million contract. Ryan, the No. 2 overall pick in 2005, has 289 points (147 goals, 142 assists) in 378 career games.
The Ducks brought back Dustin Penner. He signed a one-year deal after having 14 points in 33 regular-season games with the Kings last year. He won a Cup with them in 2012 and won his first Cup with the Ducks in 2007. Penner seems the favorite to replace Ryan on the top line. Anaheim also re-signed Saku Koivu to a one-year deal. He had 27 points during the 2013 regular season with the Ducks.
The Ducks are still waiting to hear whether future Hall of Famer Teemu Selanne will return. A 20-year veteran, the 43-year-old Selanne scored 12 goals and had 24 points in 46 games last season. His decision on whether to play one more year should happen any day. I think he does. He's 11th on the NHL's all-time goal-scoring list with 675 and is second among active players behind Jaromir Jagr (681 goals).
There has been some bad news. Defenseman Sheldon Souray suffered a torn ligament in his right wrist while working out in July and underwent surgery. He's expected to miss 4-6 months. Souray had 17 points, 52 penalty minutes and a plus-19 rating in 44 games last season.
2013-14 Anaheim Ducks Schedule Highlights
Anaheim opens the season on Oct. 2 at Colorado, the start of a three-game road trip. The Ducks were 2-1 against the Avs last year. In their lone visit to Denver on Feb. 6, the Ducks won 3-0 as -128 favorites. It was the first shutout for Fasth. Souray and Koivu each had a goal and an assist for the Ducks.
A five-game homestand follows that opening trip, with the Rangers visiting for Anaheim's home opener. Then it's back on the road for a season-long eight-game trip from Oct. 22-Nov. 4. Certainly the highlight will be a visit to Boston on Halloween night. Among other notable games is a trip to Pittsburgh on Nov. 18, a visit from the rival Kings on Dec. 3, and at the Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks on Dec. 6. The Red Wings and Ducks staged that great seven-game playoff last season, and the Ducks visit Detroit for the lone time on Dec. 17. The Wings won Game 6 there and then Game 7 back in Anaheim, where the Wings visit Jan. 12.
But there's little doubt which game is circled: Jan. 25 when the Ducks and Kings face off at Dodger Stadium, the first outdoor U.S. regular-season game west of the Mississippi. The NHL owns a portable rink and refrigeration equipment to keep the ice at suitable temperature. Older hockey fans may remember a 1991 exhibition the Kings played against the Rangers outside of Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. It didn't go well. Hopefully technology has improved enough by now.
The Ducks close the season at home on April 13 against Colorado. Every team's schedule includes a break from Feb. 9 to Feb. 26 for the Olympics in Russia.
2013-14 Anaheim Ducks Futures Odds & Past Trends
At Bovada, the Ducks are 22/1 to win the Stanley Cup and 12/1 to win the West. In 2013, Anaheim was 18-27-3 “over/under” -- 11-11-2 at home and 7-16-1 on the road. The Ducks are 9/2 to win the Pacific Division -- division odds just released Thursday at Bovada.
NHL Predictions for the Anaheim Ducks 2013-14 Season
The new-look Pacific Division lost Dallas but added Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver. That makes it much stronger, in my opinion. The Canucks remain a Stanley Cup threat, and the Oilers are very much on the rise. The Flames stink. On the props currently offered, I am not a fan. I'd list the Ducks as probably the third-best team in the division behind the Kings and Canucks. But I see no reason why this team can't finish with around 95 points -- in the last full season the Ducks had only 80.
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