Final Report Card for the Anaheim Ducks' 2013-14 Season

Brad Kurtzberg@@sealshockeyContributor IMay 17, 2014

Final Report Card for the Anaheim Ducks' 2013-14 Season

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    The Ducks were the top seed in the Western Conference this year.
    The Ducks were the top seed in the Western Conference this year.Chris Carlson/Associated Press

    The Anaheim Ducks finished the season with the best record in the Western Conference and the second-highest point total in the NHL with a 54-20-8 mark, good for 116 points.

    Despite the great regular season, the team's exit in the second round of the playoffs has to be considered a disappointment. The Ducks led their series against the Los Angeles Kings 3-2 but lost the last two games, including Game 7 at home.

    Here is a look at the Anaheim Ducks' 2013-14 season. We will examine each area of the team and discuss its strengths and areas that need improvement.

    Feel free to comment on any of the areas discussed here or to mention something you feel was omitted. As always, indicate why you feel the way you do.


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    The Ducks led the league in goals scored.
    The Ducks led the league in goals scored.Jae C. Hong/Associated Press

    The good news is the Ducks led the NHL is goals scored during the regular season with 263. The bad news is that their goal scoring was dominated by just two players: Corey Perry, who was second in the league with 43 goals, and Ryan Getzlaf, who added 31.

    Only two other players on the team scored more than 20 goals, Nick Bonino and Andrew Cogliano who each had 22.

    Devante Smith-Pelly showed a lot of promise and raw ability in the playoffs and should have a bright future.

    Kyle Palmieri is a steady presence and contributes in other ways besides just scoring goals.

    Jakob Silfverberg is only 22, but the Ducks expected more out of him than the 10 goals he scored this season.

    The veteran leaders on the team this year were shadows of their former selves offensively. Teemu Selanne (nine goals) is retiring after a Hall of Fame career, while Saku Koivu (11 goals) is uncertain if he will return in 2014-15.

    The Ducks have a dangerous offense, but they need to develop some better secondary scoring to take pressure off of Perry and Getzlaf. There is some young talent on the roster, but now that promise needs to turn into production.

    Grade: A-


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    Cam Fowler was a key for the Ducks defense.
    Cam Fowler was a key for the Ducks defense.Associated Press

    The Ducks have a lot of young talent on defense, and the future looks bright at this position.

    Cam Fowler led all defensemen with 36 points in 70 games. Fowler was hampered by a knee injury late in the season. He has four years of NHL experience, and it's hard to believe he's still only 22.

    Hampus Lindholm had a promising rookie season, while Sami Vatanen gives Anaheim a third talented, young defenseman.

    Francois Beauchemin adds experience and poise. He may not make headlines, but he's steady and smart with the puck and is capable of playing major minutes on a regular basis.

    Ben Lovejoy has size and is steady in his own zone. Luca Sbisa is another young defenseman who could be around a long time, while Mark Fistric adds stability to the third pairing when he's in the lineup.

    Overall, the Ducks finished ninth in the league in goals against.

    The Ducks could use a shutdown defenseman with size, but overall, this is a young and talented group. 

    Grade: B


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    The Ducks rotated goalies throughout the season.
    The Ducks rotated goalies throughout the season.Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

    The Ducks started the season with arguably the deepest group of goaltenders in the league.

    Veteran Jonas Hiller got the bulk of the starts and appeared in 50 games. He finished with a 29-13-7 mark to go with a 2.48 GAA and a .911 save percentage.

    Still, in the playoffs, coach Bruce Boudreau seemed to lack confidence in Hiller. First, Boudreau started Frederik Andersen, then, when Andersen was injured, he turned to John Gibson.

    Andersen is only 24 and finished with a 20-5-0 record and a 2.29 GAA. His .923 save percentage was also better than Hiller's.

    Gibson may have more potential than Andersen. At 20, he had an impressive NHL debut by recording a shutout in his first regular-season and playoff game this season.

    Gibson wasn't equal to the task of winning Game 7, but the Pittsburgh native has a bright future and is rapidly becoming a fan favorite.

    Grade: A-

Special Teams

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    Teemu Selanne was still effective on the power play.
    Teemu Selanne was still effective on the power play.Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

    With all the talent the Ducks have on their roster, Bruce Boudreau has to be disappointed with the fact that they finished 22nd in the league on the power play.

    They converted on just 16 percent of their power-play chances, scoring 44 times on 275 chances with the extra attacker.

    Besides Perry and Getzlaf, Nick Bonino was a big factor on the power play with seven goals. Selanne and Fowler were also steady contributors with the man advantage.

    The Ducks lost a productive forward on the power play when they traded Dustin Penner to the Washington Capitals.

    The penalty kill ranked 13th in the league with an 82.2 percent success rate.

    Andrew Cogliano led the team with three shorthanded goals. Daniel Winnik, Saku Koivu and Jakob Silfverberg were also key contributors on the penalty kill.

    Overall, special teams was an area the Ducks need to improve upon.

    Grade: C+


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    Bruce Boudreau had another strong regular season.
    Bruce Boudreau had another strong regular season.Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

    Bruce Boudreau has been a very successful NHL coach, at least during the regular season.

    He has four seasons with more than 100 points, including this year's campaign with the Ducks.

    But despite his regular-season success, Boudreau has never led a team past the second round of the playoffs in six postseason tries.

    The Ducks were statistically top-heavy in the scoring department, much like his Capitals teams were with Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom and Mike Green.

    Early in the playoffs, Boudreau had success juggling his goalies. He turned to Hiller after Andersen was injured, and the veteran played well. Then he went to Gibson over Hiller midway through the series against the Kings, and Gibson won his first two games in convincing fashion.

    Boudreau is a very good coach who is popular with his players. But he needs to have more playoff success to reach the next level among NHL coaches.

    Grade: B+ 


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    A very successful regular season ended in playoff disappointment.
    A very successful regular season ended in playoff disappointment.Debora Robinson/Getty Images

    It's tough to call a season where you finish the season as the top seed in the Western Conference a failure, but it's also a major disappointment when the No. 1 seed is ousted in the second round of the playoffs.

    Losing to your regional rival after you led the series 3-2 only makes it hurt a little more.

    The Ducks have plenty of talent on this team, and Boudreau seems to get the most out of them during the regular season.

    In Getzlaf and Perry, the Ducks have two of the most talented offensive players in the NHL. They also have a good young core on defense and two very highly regarded young goalies.

    Despite Selanne's retirement, there is a lot of young talent on this team, making the future look very promising.

    Still, you have to wonder if Boudreau can ever get his teams over the playoff hump.

    Grade: B+