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December 26, 2010
Team Prospectus
Anaheim Ducks

by Timo Seppa

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TEAM STATS

Anaheim Ducks, 2009-10
Goals For: 	238	8th 
Goals Against: 	251	22nd
GVT: 		-13	19th
Points:		89	17th

VUKOTA Projection for 2010-11
Goals For: 	230	16th 
Goals Against: 	241	26th
GVT: 		-11	24th
Points:		87	24th

The Ducks rallied in the second half of 2009-10 but never really got within hailing distance of a postseason berth. In the first season After Niedermayer and perhaps Selanne’s final campaign, the familiar questions persist for Anaheim: can they succeed with a top-heavy roster of Getzlaf, Ryan, Perry, Selanne, Koivu, Visnovsky, Hiller and very little else as far as quality?

INDIVIDUAL STATS

Interestingly, you won’t see the names Getzlaf or Perry appearing on this leaderboard of secondary stats for the Ducks, which of course shouldn’t lead you to believe that Todd Marchant is a superior forward to them. But perhaps Bobby Ryan is?

Also of note are the big Hits/60 numbers both at forward and on defense, as well as the large amount of shot blocking imported in over the summer.

Ducks top forwards, by 2009-10 stats

Shots/60: Teemu Selanne 11.1, Jason Blake 10.4, Bobby Ryan 10.3
Hits/60: Aaron Voros 13.4*, George Parros 12.5, Troy Bodie 7.5
Blocked shots/60: Todd Marchant 3.4, Aaron Voros 2.6*, George Parros 2.5
Takeaways/giveaway: Todd Marchant 2.6, Jason Blake 2.1, Bobby Ryan 1.4
Net penalties/60: Dan Sexton +0.9, Bobby Ryan +0.7, George Parros +0.7
Faceoffs: Saku Koivu 51.4%, Todd Marchant 49.9%

Ducks top defensemen, by 2009-10 stats

Shots/60: Lubomir Visnovsky 4.8, Toni Lydman 3.7*, Sheldon Brookbank 3.7
Hits/60: Brett Festerling 14.5, Andy Sutton 8.0*, Toni Lydman 6.0*
Blocked shots/60: Andy Sutton 8.3*, Paul Mara 5.2*, Toni Lydman 4.7*
Takeaways/giveaway: Brett Festerling 0.7, Lubomir Visnovsky 0.6, Brett Festerling 0.5
Net penalties/60: Lubomir Visnovsky +0.2, Brett Festerling +0.0, Sheldon Brookbank -0.3

*New acquisition
Minimum 40 games played

Ducks goaltenders, 2009-10 stats

Jonas Hiller established himself as potentially Anaheim’s goaltender of the future with his fine performance in the 2008-09 playoffs. Since then, he’s been making his case among the second tier of NHL netminders: the near-elite.

Jonas Hiller

Save percentage .918
Even strength save percentage: .930
Power play save percentage: .874
Shorthanded save percentage: .877

Curtis McElhinney*

Save percentage: .885
Even strength save percentage: .874
Power play save percentage: .909
Shorthanded save percentage: 1.000

SHOOTOUT PROSPECTUS

The Ducks feature a deep lineup of credible shooters, for instance with Corey Perry (33.3%) and Jason Blake (31.8%) not quite making the list below. A surprising failure at the skills competition is highly-skilled Bobby Ryan (8.3%). With Jonas Hiller also an above average backstop, Anaheim should take home more than their share of extra points over time.

Best options, shooters with 10 or more career attempts

Saku Koivu: 38.7% (12 for 31)
Ryan Getzlaf: 37.0% (17 for 46)
Teemu Selanne: 35.0% (14 for 40)

Best options, shooters with a limited track record

Cam Fowler: 100.0% (1 for 1)
Toni Lydman: 50.0% (1 for 2)
Lubomir Visnovsky: 40.0% (2 for 5)

Goaltenders

Jonas Hiller: .733 career (66 for 90), .630 in 2009-10
Curtis McElhinney: .500 career (6 for 12), .500 in 2009-10*

THE BIG QUESTIONS FACING THE DUCKS

Big Question #1: Do the Ducks have enough depth in their bottom six and throughout their defense to compete at even strength?

The talk:

Teemu Selanne: “The teams that are good at 5-on-5, they are tops in the league. Obviously, special teams are going to win a lot of games, and they are like good extra bonuses for you. But that’s one thing—we have to find a little more depth from 5-on-5 scoring, and when we can do that, we’re going to be a really solid hockey club.”

Jason Blake: “When we’re playing well and doing the things we’re supposed to do, we’re just following the game plan, and that’s getting the pucks behind the defensemen and forechecking them and using our speed…and creating offense like that…If we just stay the course and follow the game plan, it’s a good team in here, with a good group of core young players. We’ve just got to keep moving forward.”

Teemu Selanne: “We play with a lot of confidence, and we play pretty solid all-around hockey and we don’t make many mistakes and everybody does their job. But too much we’re going up and down—we win six, we lose five—that’s not the key. The next step for us is just to try to play better consistently and try to win not in bunches, but consistently.”

VUKOTA says: The Ducks have four players predicted to produce between 12-13 GVT and four players predicted to produce between 5-7 GVT.

Timo says: Anaheim is fifth-worst in the NHL with 0.81 GF/GA at 5-on-5 play, while they’re a seventh-best 21.0% on the power play. If that doesn’t say “top-heavy roster”, I don’t know what does.

Answer: No, not even close. Their bottom six forwards and bottom three defensemen can’t compete with their counterparts on other teams. The addition of Cam Fowler has helped, but there’s a lot left to fix.

---

Big Question #2: Can Anaheim count on Jonas Hiller to be a championship-caliber goaltender?

The talk:

Teemu Selanne: “Absolutely. He has all of the tools to be one of the elite goalies. Obviously, it takes a lot, but he has all the skills, and I’m expecting he’s going to do that…When a goalie gives us a chance to win every night, it’s huge.”

VUKOTA says: Jonas Hiller 50 GP, .916 save percentage, 12.3 GVT.

Timo says: As Philip Myrland mentioned in Hockey Prospectus 2010-11, Hiller’s .930-plus even strength save percentage over the last three seasons puts him in the class of the elite goaltenders.

Answer: Yes. There’s every reason to believe that the 28-year-old netminder should provide excellent goaltending through the remaining three and a half seasons of his contract.

---

Big Question #3: What’s life like after Teemu Selanne finally retires?

The talk:

Jason Blake: “He’s got 600-plus goals and he’s a Hall of Famer, and his presence in the locker room and on the ice is a huge piece of the puzzle for our team.”

VUKOTA says: Teemu Selanne 56 GP, 19 G, 22 A, 41 P, 6.0 GVT. We’ve got the games played nailed, at least.

Timo says: The timeless Selanne has produced at an incredible 1.10 points per game pace (turning back the clock to 2005-06 to 2006-07 scoring levels), though the 40-year-old continues to struggle to stay in the lineup consistently.

Answer: The Ducks will undoubtedly take a hit, especially on the power play and in the locker room. But could Selanne possibly play another season?

Timo Seppa is an author of Hockey Prospectus. You can contact Timo by clicking here or click here to see Timo's other articles.

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