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
VANCOUVER, BC – MARCH 27: Corey Perry /

Redan Lopez – Contributor, LA Sports Hub

The Anaheim Ducks biggest weakness and challenge in the playoffs will be the lack of speed overall among their forwards. The Ducks are not one of the fastest teams in the league. They are one of the most skilled teams. Their lack of speed is their Achilles’ heel as it does not resonate throughout the lineup.

Other teams in the Western Conference that the Ducks will eventually have to go up against have tons of speed on their wings and defense – The Nashville Predators, Winnipeg Jets, Vegas Golden Knights, and even other teams like the San Jose Sharks and Colorado Avalanche (assuming they make the playoffs). These teams can really skate. While I do think the Ducks have speed on the back end, especially their top four defensemen of Hampus Lindholm, Josh Manson, Cam Fowler, and Brandon Montour – their forward corps lacks those speedsters.

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This is mostly due to the age some of their top players. The Ducks, however, are a physical, skilled team. They outwork you with their tenacity and energy versus getting to the puck quickly. In other words, tiring other teams out and causing them to create unforced turnovers by excellent positioning and physicality.

Shorten the Ice

As a result, the Ducks will need to make it a shorter rink by spending more time in the attacking zone. The Anaheim Ducks do have some quick players, such as Adam Henrique, Andrew Cogliano, newly acquired Troy Terry, and Ondrej Kase. The truth is that their top six is not the fastest, their most important players are Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry, Ryan Kesler, are not as swift.

If the Anaheim Ducks are able to contain the speed of their opponents and are not forced into a 200-foot game consistently, I like their chances to make a great playoff run. However, if they get stuck in their end of the rink and are forced to move back and forward throughout the entire rink, I see a tired Ducks’ team that may not have the legs to keep up come playoff time.