Our Anaheim Ducks Expert Panel: What is the Ducks biggest weakness heading into the playoffs?

NASHVILLE, TN - MAY 22: Ryan Kesler
NASHVILLE, TN - MAY 22: Ryan Kesler /
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Anaheim Ducks
ANAHEIM, CA – NOVEMBER 15: Head coach of the Anaheim Ducks, Randy Carlyle talks to his players. (Photo by Debora Robinson/NHLI via Getty Images) /

Greg Johnson – Contributor, Puck of a Feather

I’m tempted to say the Ducks’ biggest weakness will be depth. But then I look at the organization and I see the players who don’t get a regular shift. The forwards include face-off specialist Antoine Vermette, grinder J. T. Brown, and highly skilled Kevin Roy.

The defensemen include injured veteran Kevin Bieksa, puck-moving rookie Andy Welinski, Korbinian Holzer, and 6’6″ Jaycob Megna. In net, if our hero John Gibson gets hurt, the Ducks will start the solid veteran backup in Ryan Miller. The Ducks have plenty of depth.

If it’s not depth, then their weakness has to be scoring, right? But the Ducks have three lines that can score. And playoff hockey is notoriously tight checking. Low scoring games won’t scare the Ducks.

Since scoring won’t be the soft spot of this team, it has to be the coaching. Head Coach Randy Carlyle just loves to play grinders on the fourth line when he has plenty of skill in the organization. Also, he still doesn’t trust the youth. The Ducks should dress more young, fast skaters. Unfortunately, those guys shuttled back and forth between Anaheim and San Diego all season.

Hole in the Bucket

That coaching brings us to what is truly going to be the Anaheim Ducks’ biggest weakness in this year’s playoffs. That will be their presence, as in they won’t be present in the playoffs. This team can’t seem to get out of its own way this season. Carlyle doesn’t seem to know speed is the name of the game in 2018. Hence the Ducks are dangling on the precipice of missing the postseason for the first time since 2012.

That outcome is Okay. The San Diego Gulls will welcome Marcus Pettersson, Korbinian Holzer, and Andy Welinski back for their own playoff run. Gulls coach Dallas Eakins understands the state of the game in 2018.