Anaheim head coach Bruce Boudreau has the distinction of being an NHL head coach who has the shortest span of time between jobs. Exactly one week after being fired by the Washington Capitals, Boudreau was behind the bench coaching the Anaheim Ducks. At first, the decision to bring in Boudreau looked shaky as the team was not responding to his methods. But it takes time for a head coach to get his system and his philosophy installed into a team. When this season started, Bruce Boudreau showed his fighting spirit by not backing down from Colorado head coach Patrick Roy as Roy was pushing the dividing wall between the two team benches onto Boudreau’s head. Bruce Boudreau and the Ducks have a lot to prove this season and Stanley Cup championship will make their point very nicely.
Reason 1: Jonas Hiller has competition.
Bruce Boudreau has shown that he has no problem pulling goaltender Jonas Hiller from a game an putting Viktor Fasth in his place. Last season, there was talk of Fasth replacing Hiller as the starter as Fasth posted a 15-6-2 record in 23 starts. Hiller was injured during Fasth’s run and it was obvious that Hiller was not happy to hear how his backup may take his starting job. With Fasth on the bench, Boudreau knows he can get the very best from Hiller on a regular basis. If Hiller falters, then Boudreau can put in Fasth. Either way, the Ducks are solid in goal.
Reason 2: Anaheim is awesome at home.
After 22 games played in the 2013-14 season, the Anaheim Ducks are 8-0-0 at home. While playing well on the road is important to win in the playoffs, a team that can win at home poses a serious threat as well. If Anaheim can grab home ice throughout the first two rounds of the playoffs, then there is little doubt that the Ducks will emerge as a Western Conference finals contender. The team also wins on the road, but the Ducks are deadly at home. To this point, no team has even come close to beating Anaheim at home and that kind of confidence is important in the playoffs.
Reason 3: Corey Perry.
It is always dangerous when a hockey team relies too much on one player for its offense, but the Ducks just cannot help it. In 22 games this season, winger Corey Perry has 23 points, which includes 12 goals. He is plus 10 and he has managed to stay out of the penalty box, which helps his team even more. There are plenty of players on this Anaheim roster who can score goals, but it all revolves around Perry. He is a gritty winger that has no problem going into the corner to get the puck or getting involved in a scrum in front of the net. As long as Perry is on his game, the Ducks are tough to beat. You can keep up with the Ducks all season long by visiting Northbet and liking the Northbet Facebook page.