As the Anaheim Ducks enter the holiday break, we explore some of the items that they have on their Christmas list this season. The Ducks’ hope is that their wishes on this list become more than just thoughts, but a reality to get the team through the rest of this season and to the postseason.
The Anaheim Ducks have defied expectations set by many, as they are right in the thick of things in a crowded Western Conference playoff picture. It is a long way until the regular season ends with plenty of work to do.
The Anaheim Ducks have excelled in some areas like defense and goaltending, but have also been inconsistent and ineffective in areas like scoring and special teams. My hope is that they can improve in their weaker areas, but also maintain their strengths for the rest of the season.
Here are the Anaheim Ducks’ five things that are on their 2018 Christmas list:
1. A Healthy John Gibson All Year Long
The Ducks have been relying on goaltender John Gibson all season long. My hope is that he stays healthy and does not get injured or fatigued as the Ducks battle for a playoff spot. He may have to play over 60 games to give the Ducks a chance to get to the postseason.
2. A Better Power Play
The Ducks have been inconsistent and vulnerable on the man advantage this season. They rank in the bottom third in power play conversion and have given up six shorthanded goals this season, two more than last season (4). I would love to see the Ducks execute better on the man advantage with crisper passing and quicker decision making. They need to utilize that one-timer shot more often from the faceoff dots.
3. A More Consistent, Goal scoring Offense
The Ducks have only scored 96 goals this season through 38 games. That’s a shade below 2.5 goals per game and is not going to get it done for the Ducks to get to the playoffs. This team is far too talented to have scoring struggles.
The Ducks only scored two goals in their last three road games before the holiday break and unsurprisingly, lost all of those games. My wish is for them to score more along the lines of three goals per game the rest of the season to support their excellent goaltending and defense.
4. A Lady Wild Wing Mascot
Got to have some fun, right? We all see the Ducks’ mascot Wild Wing at Ducks game and community events. I always ask myself, why isn’t there a Lady Wild Wing Duck? Doesn’t he have a girlfriend or partner?
The Ducks should get a second mascot, a Lady Wild Win, to complement the popular known Wild Wing we all know and love. It would add a fun dynamic to appearances at games as well as off the ice at community events.
5. The Second Stanley Cup
It would be an amazing story if the Ducks could win the Stanley Cup in their 25th anniversary of being an NHL team.
It’s not going to be easy by any stretch of the imagination, but a Stanley Cup would be immensely celebrated as this organization has significantly developed from being a Disney trademark to an NHL hockey powerhouse (100+ points in the last 6 regular seasons) and a strong pillar in the Southern California hockey community.