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"Voice of the Ducks Nation"
Buffalo, NY • United States • 21 Years Old • Male

The New-Look Ducks

Posted 3:21 AM ET | Comments 5
For the first time since the PPG line of 2006-2007, the Ducks have legitimate secondary scoring.

The signing of Saku Koivu and the shipping of Chris Pronger to Philadelphia for Joffrey Lupul (and Luca Sbisa + Draft picks) accomplishes something that has been sorely lacking in Anaheim since Edmonton snatched Dustin Penner with a huge offer sheet and Andy McDonald was shipped to clear cap room for Scott Niedermayer to return - two rock-solid forward lines. Most observers put the top two Ducks lines as Ryan / Getzlaf / Perry and Lupul / Koivu / Selanne, and there's little doubt that'll be the configuration they open the season with against San Jose.

So how's that going to play out?

In his last four seasons, Joffrey Lupul has only scored less than 20 goals once (he immediately bounced back). He can be reliably counted on to chip in at least 20 goals, and roughly 50 points, though one can reasonably expect a boost in morale (he loves Anaheim and was excited to be traded back) and a new-found determination he's shared with the O.C. Register to give him motivation to increase production.

Saku Koivu consistently scores at least 50 points a season, though one can reasonably expect a little more - he's shown great chemistry with Teemu Selanne in the past, and he's playing with extremely talented linemates without the pressure of captaining the most storied franchise in NHL history. Hey - he might have some fun on the ice for once without being worried he'll be criticized simply for not learning a language.

Teemu Selanne, I suspect, will be the big story. Selanne - who will turn 40 at the conclusion of this season - is only two seasons removed from a 96 point outing that saw him net 48 goals. His last two average seasons can't be considered definitively indicative of a decline - he never found chemistry with any of a parade of linemates, and while Andrew Ebbett tried last season, he never clicked with the Flash the way Andy McDonald did in 2006-2007. Expecting 96 points may be a bit much, but a significant rebound from last season's production is entirely reasonable.

If the Ducks can fix some of the problems that have plagued them the last few seasons - ill-timed penalties and general undisciplined play most notably - and fix their goaltending controversy, there is no reason they shouldn't be considered a legitimate contender for a deep playoff run this coming season.
August 5, 2009 11:03 AM ET | Delete
Lups def has the skill to be a 30 goal scorer and 60-70 point player if he stays focused. Just keep him away from the bars and night clubs.
August 5, 2009 6:14 PM ET | Delete
August 6, 2009 1:10 AM ET | Delete
I'm a little distressed to hear that Lupul is still hittin' the sauce. That was one of the reasons the Ducks got rid of him on the first place. Hopefully the "homecoming" and the chance to play with Koivu and Selanne will have a maturing effect on Joffrey. Other than that I think the Ducks will survive the loss of Pronger and have a good chance to make a serious playoff run.
August 6, 2009 1:11 AM ET | Delete
I almost forgot. Thanks for the post Falkan! Hopefully there will be more coming.
August 13, 2009 7:39 PM ET | Delete
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