Saturday, October 27, 2012

2012-2013 NHL Season: What We're All Missing, Part 4

By Pete Dombrosky (@Pete_Dombrosky)

What We're All Missing, Part 1
What We're All Missing, Part 2
What We're All Missing, Part 3

As we're sure you've heard, the NHL has cancelled all games though the end of November. But don't fret, What We're All Missing's got you covered. If you like what you read, share it with your team's social media realm to reach the owners and help convince them we need the NHL back ASAP!

Anaheim Ducks
2011-2012 Record: (34-36-12) 80 points
Playoffs: Failed to qualify

Hockey fans everywhere should be wondering how the Anaheim Ducks were so bad last season. They collected only 80 points, finished last in the Pacific Division and ranked No. 24 in goals for and No. 20 in goals against. Two seasons ago, the Ducks finished with 99 points, were No. 2 in the Pacific Division and made it to the playoffs. There have been bigger drop-offs in the NHL from one season to another, but this team has Corey Perry, Teemu Selanne, Bobby Ryan and Ryan Getzlaf, all of whom are considered to be elite players. The truth is, each of those elite players had unusually down years.

That’s why Ducks fans would miss this season were it not to happen. When elite players have a down year, they usually follow them up with a bounce-back season. If all four of them do that, the Ducks should have enough offensive fire power to work their way into the postseason once again.

And speaking of Teemu Selanne, what could be a more important reason to want this season to happen? Selanne is 42 and even though he led the team in scoring last year, it’s not likely he’ll maintain those abilities much longer. As time passes without hockey, Selanne’s remaining ice time is ticking away with it. More importantly, if the season isn’t played, he might not come back next year. It’s sad to think that we might never see him play again because of the collective bargaining agreement. Ducks fans should be mentally willing the lockout to end so they can witness the final chapter of a Hall-of-Fame career.

Calgary Flames
2011-2012 Record: (37-29-16) 90 points
Playoffs: Failed to qualify

Last season the Flames had their fewest number of wins since 2002-03, but finished ninth in the West, just one spot out of the playoffs. All and all, you could say it was nearly a successful season, depending on who you ask. But this year, there are some changes on the way that should intrigue Flames fans. Calgary has three new coaches behind the bench: associate coach Jacques Cloutier, assistant coach Martin Gelinas and most importantly, head coach Bob Hartley.

Hartley has an extensive NHL pedigree, a career record of 329-226-61-34 and a Stanley Cup championship with the Colorado Avalanche in 2001. During his five-season tenure in Colorado, the team finished first in the division every year. His time with the Atlanta Thrashers was less productive – he led the team to the postseason only once in five seasons. But Hartley could be just what Calgary needs: fresh perspective from a Stanley Cup-winning coach.

The Flames also have some on-ice additions this season. The team acquired KHL standout Roman Cervenka, forward Jiri Hudler (from Detroit) and blueliner Dennis Wideman (from Florida). General manager Jay Feaster told the team’s official website he believed the trio could greatly improve the club.

“They're very skilled players and they're all very creative," he said of the new additions. “I think bringing them into the fold is going to help our team a lot.”

Flames fans are hoping just the same.

Check out Pete's Pittsburgh sports blog, KeystoneSportsSpot!

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