This series will cover all thirty teams and go over the most important player, and player who’s performance most needs to improve to help the team succeed.
The Ducks had a great offensive team last year and (like all four other teams in the Pacific Division) spent part of the season in the drivers seat. In the post season they went up against their mirror image, a team with a great defense but that was offensively lacking. With star forward Bobby “still there at 2” Ryan injured, they fell to the Nashville Predators. This season it’s with some of the youngsters a season more experienced going another round or two is likely if people play to their potential, and stay healthy.
Corey Perry. With fifty goals he was the undisputed offensive leader for the team last year. With a +9, 11 game winners, 4 short handed goals, a solid faceoff percentage, and leading his teams forwards in short handed time on ice he was hands down the most potent player for the team. This year he’s likely to need to match that level of contribution, particularly in the post season for the team to make it to the next level.
With his rookie season under his belt and even a playoff appearance, it’s time to see if the Ducks most highly touted recent draft pick can address the weaknesses in his game. Heading into the 2010 draft Cam Fowler was talked about in the same breath as eventual number one and two picks Hall and Seguin. On draft day with questions as to his commitment and ability in his own zone swirling, he fell not just from the top five where he was a consensus selection but all the way out of the top ten to twelfth. If Fowler can keep his offensive game, and sacrifice less defensive positioning, he might just be the catalyst to propel the team higher and deeper. With a -25 last season he’s got plenty of room to improve.