1. Dallas Eakins will lead the Anaheim Ducks to the playoffs during his first season as head coach.
Jonathan Maxfield: Fold- The Anaheim Ducks will play better this season and be far more entertaining to watch, but I don’t personally think it’s going to drastically improve their place in the standings. This is still a team with 3 top 4 defenders and, at best, 5 top 6 forwards. A player like John Gibson could drag them kicking and screaming to the playoffs, but I don’t see it. I think they’ll finish 7th-10th worst in the league.
Ed Stein: Call- Eakins has worked with many of the younger players previously and has a good feel for what they can do. The Anaheim Ducks will be better than last year. The question is, how will the rest of the Western Conference stack up?
Khalid Hart: Raise- If Eakins has as much synergy with the kids as advertised, then the Ducks should have no problem making the playoffs in year one. Combine that with the fact that the players actually have a coach they want to play for.
Last season, you could tell there were many times where the boys just went through the motions rather than actually competing. Also, I can’t see this team having the same amount of injuries they’ve been having the last few seasons. Hopefully, things will be different. This isn’t a Cup year and that’s okay. Buckle up, folks. We’re in the Eakins era now!
TJ Watson: Raise- Last year was a fluke as far as the number of injuries we sustained. The fact that Eakins has experience with the younger guys definitely helps out and I think the younger guys energize the veterans.
I also look in our division and I think we can get past our rivals, particularly the Los Angeles Kings and the Edmonton Oilers. I think with a new coach, this may be like when Mike Babcock rook over and we went to the Cup. This team is looking for a new start.
Alan Negrete: Raise- With the way he knows the rookies playing styles paired with the veterans, who can help each other out by sharing experiences, I’m fairly sure we will make the playoffs this season with no doubts. With the rookie’s speed and the core veterans knowledge of the game, they make for a very dangerous group of players.
Kenny Marcial: Fold- There will be a vast improvement in every aspect of their game, including talent, but that doesn’t mean we are any closer to the postseason. Unfortunately, there is so much youth on the roster, the odds are against Anaheim in making the playoffs.
In addition, Edmonton and Buffalo’s epic late seasons collapse, as well as some uninspiring late-season wins, the standings made Anaheim appear better than their on-ice product. With the Devils and Rangers suddenly looking like contenders, and teams like Buffalo having continued progression, there is a very real possibility the Ducks finish lower in the standings, even with a much better team.
Ciara Durant: Fold- I don’t think the Anaheim Ducks will make it to the playoffs next season, and it really has nothing to do with Dallas Eakins. I believe he will have a positive impact on the team, and with an influx of young talent, they will be much better than last year. However, this team isn’t going to change overnight. They still have bad habits that Eakins is going to have to break them of. The vets and rookies played together last season, yes, but it was a mess.
It going to be a huge adjustment for all of them. I believe they’ll play worse at the beginning of the season and have their typical second-half “comeback.” Still, with several teams that are looking really good going into the regular season that didn’t look good last year, this lowers their chances even more. Nevertheless, I wouldn’t mind having another high first-round draft pick going into the 2020 offseason. Add another elite prospect that can play alongside the likes of Trevor Zegras, and make their playoff come back the following season (assuming a lockout doesn’t drag out!)