The Ducks are three years removed from the first Stanley Cup win in their history, but the fans haven’t forgotten the magic of 2007. Although the team has lost a couple key components to that championship run, others have stepped up. Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry and Bobby Ryan have ensured consistent scoring for years to come for these Ducks, and Jonas Hiller has proved to be an excellent man in net, even if he does have a strange-looking mask.
Expect: Anaheim to get hot under the warm California sun. Teemu Selanne in on pace for one of his better seasons in recent memory, but at 40 years old, he may lack the stamina to sustain that through the stretch run and into the playoffs. Hiller will continue to provide solid goal-tending, and the Ducks will again find themselves among the discussion about Stanley Cup contenders, especially if they can make it out of the first round.
Surprise: Defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky will continue to produce for his second Southern California team, and finish in the top three in defenseman scoring, behind Dustin Byfuglien and Nick Lidstrom. (He currently sits at fifth, three points behind Lidstrom.)
Prediction: The Ducks will surprise many with strong play to finish out the regular season. They currently sit in the seventh spot, but have played three more games than teams like Colorado, Minnesota, and Los Angeles, which are not far behind in the standings. Anaheim will stand firm, though, and cruise in to the playoffs sitting in the sixth seed.