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Can the Anaheim Ducks win the Stanley Cup?

Stanley Cup

DSC_0050” (CC BY 2.0) by  briweldon 

After a slow start to the season, Anaheim Ducks have completely turned their campaign around and now sit second in the Pacific Division, although the San Jose Sharks do still have a game in hand on their rivals.

Anaheim aren’t a bad side and still have faint hopes of reaching the postseason. From there, who knows? We take a look at why the Ducks are in contention for the Stanley Cup and consider whether they can go all the way in 2016.

Anaheim are bang in form and it would take a brave man to back against them. They have earned victories over some of the best sides in the league, including the LA Kings and Chicago Blackhawks.

A 6-2 loss at the Pittsburgh Penguins halted Anaheim’s six-game winning run and the Ducks will try and emulate this feat. As of February 22nd, the latest NHL odds show that Anaheim are 12/1 and, on current form, they certainly look like viable Stanley Cup contenders.

It would appear that Christmas was the real turning point for the Anaheim Ducks this season. Since returning after the holiday period, Anaheim have been very difficult to beat and this has helped propel them up the rankings. While their attacking unit has been red hot in recent times, Anaheim’s goaltenders shouldn’t be overlooked.

Frederik Andersen and John Gibson have both enjoyed plenty of success this season and the Ducks have plenty to thank them for. After all, without Gibson’s intervention whilst Andersen was ill, Anaheim may never have had the opportunity to challenge for a place in the postseason.

Gibson has retained his place and made 22 saves in Anaheim’s recent encounter against the Calgary Flames.

However, it’s Anaheim’s forwards who have been grabbing most of the attention in recent times. The Ducks are scoring goals for fun, in fact they netted another five in the victory over the Flames, with captain Ryan Getzlaf extending his point streak to eight games.

Anaheim now sit just behind Pacific leaders Los Angeles but can they really topple the Kings? Of course they can. If they maintain their current form throughout the rest of the regular season, the playoffs may be very interesting indeed.

Anaheim’s sudden improvement was unexpected but, now, it’s hard to imagine them missing out on the playoffs. The Ducks will look to finish the season strongly and may possibly be targeting their fourth successive divisional crown. From there, who knows.

The Ducks last won the Stanley Cup in 2007 and are due a postseason victory, however, it will be very difficult against a much improved Eastern Conference led by runaway NHL leaders, the Washington Capitals.

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