Colorado Avalanche Fan’s Playoff Profile: Anaheim Ducks vs. Winnipeg Jets


Some Colorado Avalanche players are preparing to fly to the Czech Republic to represent their home countries in the IIHF World Championship that starts May 1. Some are lounging pool-side or packing to head out on vacation.

In other words, no Colorado Avalanche player is preparing for NHL playoff hockey because we didn’t make it this year.

Here at Mile High Sticking we’ll be dissecting the season for awhile in an attempt to figure out what happened to the Colorado Avalanche this year. However, in the meantime, we’ve got hockey, playoff hockey in fact.

And as a hockey fan, I’ve got opinions.

I’ve already shared my bracket, but I’ll share it again because I’ve predicted one of the teams in this series to take all:

Completed 2015 NHL Playoff Bracket.

That’s right, I think the Anaheim Ducks have an excellent chance to win the Stanley Cup this year.

Offensive Prowess

The one-two punch of Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry is practically unrivaled in the NHL.They practically define hockey chemistry. Naturally, they are numbers one and two on the team, Getzlaf with 70 points and Perry with 55. That may seem a little low for Perry, but he scored an impressive 33 goals in fact.

He also scored a ridiculous, game-winning goal against the Colorado Avalanche:

Add to that the offensive prowess of Ryan Kesler, an acquisition the Ducks made last summer. He has 20 goals and 27 assists for 47 points. Right wing Jakob Silfverberg is no slouch with his 39 points.

Now, it should be obvious the Ducks aren’t an offensively-gifted team like, say, the Colorado Avalanche. However, they have game vision, and they stick to their game plan.

Game Plan

When I think of tight, mahcine-like hockey, I think of the Anaheim Ducks this season. During the first two games they played against the Colorado Avalanche, the Ducks made the Avalanche look like an AHL team at times.

This team is precise in its passing. They have their system, and they stick to it. It’s a somewhat defense-based system, and it’s driven by puck-possession, which is highly effective.

Anaheim went out last off-season with the stated intention of increasing their size while maintaining their skill. They succeeded.They added Kesler, a gifted forward at 6-foot-2 and 208 pounds. They also acquired defenseman Clayton Stoner, 6-foot-3, 213 pounds.

In fact, the Ducks have only four players under 6-foot and six under 200 pounds. There’s an awful lot of hockey player coming at you when you face Anaheim.

Side note, I’m especially looking forward to watching what Corey Perry and Dustin Byfuglien do with each other. Perry is an instigator of the highest order and Byfuglien… well, we all know what he can do.

Arizona Coyotes Fan for the Winnipeg Jets

A fellow editor, William Grigsby of Howlin’ Hockey, is rooting for the underdog in this series. He points out that, in the season home opener between his Arizona Coyotes and the Jets, Winnipeg won 6-2. As Grigsby puts it, “I was there, it wasn’t pretty.”

Grigsby feels what adds insult to injury is the fact that 6-foot-5, 206-pound Blake Wheeler scored two of those goals. Wheeler had been drafted by the Coyotes but chose not to sign with the team. Grigsby would like to see “how the Ducks’ defense tries to corral him.’ (Personally, they’ll probably try to sign him — or maybe the Avs ought to offer for him.)

However, the Ducks have a tendency to blow series leads — can you say LA Kings? If the Jets make a late push, or goalie Ondrej Pavelec suddenly gets hot… well, Winnipeg could be real dark horses and come from behind.

In the end, Grigsby feels the physicalily (the Jets were eighth in the NHLin hits) and speed-oriented style of the Jets will defuse the Ducks. He predicts the Jets take the series in six.

As you can see by my bracket, I think the Ducks could actually sweep Winnipeg.

Next: Why the Jets Will Defeat the Ducks in Round 1

Next: Avs Fan's Playoff Profile: Bobby Ryan

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