The Mighty Ducks – NHL 23-24′ season
Of all the storylines developing this season, none are as surprising as the start that the Anaheim Ducks have had. Last season the Ducks finished last in the Pacific Division with 58 points, bad enough to lock up the 2nd overall pick (Leo Carlsson). Looking at the below stats you can see why the Ducks were awarded with 2nd overall selection.
Goals For: 209 (31st)
Goals Against: 338 (32nd)
Fast forward to this season and Ducks fans are thrilled. Anaheim holds a 7-4-0 record and is coming off of a victory against the defending Stanley Cup Champs, the Las Vegas Golden Knights, handing them their first regulation loss of the season. Who saw that coming? The Ducks are a young team with plenty of young developing talent and have been for a few years. This season however, it finally seems as though things are falling into place. But in what is still a very young season, a lot can happen. In my opinion, all good teams start with their goaltending and the Anaheim Ducks have surely had an advantage in that category.
Both of the Ducks goaltenders have started 6 games. The veteran John Gibson holds a 2.67 GAA and a .910 SV% while the 23 year old Czech Lukas Dostal maintains a 2.80 GAA and a .920 SV%, along with a 5-1 record. While these numbers aren’t elite, to have both netminders putting up good numbers this early on is a big factor as to how the Ducks have won 7 games so far. Look for Dostal to hopefully keep improving as well and further bettering his numbers.
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When looking for any standout performances from the Ducks forwards this season, you can look no further than the 20 year old center Mason McTavish. The Ducks centerman has tallied 13 points in 11 games played so far. With 6 goals, 7 assists and a +5, Mason McTavish looks to be having a breakout year. Another young player who is performing exceptionally well is Troy Terry. The 26 year old winger has notched 5 goals and 5 assists in 11 games played. After a 37 goal performance in 2021-22, Terry saw his goal total decrease last season to 23. Through 11 games this season, it seems Terry has found his scoring touch once more, a great development for the Ducks. Trevor Zegras hasn’t seen the points come his way yet but surely he will soon find his rhythm.
Onto the Ducks defense and immediately you need to talk about Pavel Mintyukov and Leo Carlsson. Pavel is the surprise as if one would guess which rookie defenseman on the Ducks was performing well, you’d probably assume Carlsson. Not to say the 18 year old Leo Carlsson isn’t doing well, 4 points and a +2, but Pavel has sprung onto the scene. The 19 year old Russian defenseman is a +6, has 8 points so far this season and is one of the top rookies in points this year. The Ducks certainly are hoping that their future defense is anchored by Pavel and Leo, and so far the hope has a lot of promise to it.
Looking past the stats and points, the most important aspect of the Ducks hot start is the fans. Being put through years of mediocre and sometimes just BAD teams, the Anaheim fans have had little to root for. But now, the future seems brighter and the Honda Center is louder. If good fortune continues for the Ducks, look for more W’s in that win column.
This is an article written by Dylan "Mogo" Montgomery
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