October Report Card: Analyzing the Anaheim Ducks Recent Success and Failure

ANAHEIM, CA - OCTOBER 03: Anaheim Ducks center Ryan Getzlaf (15) on the bench during the first period of a game against the Arizona Coyotes played on October 3, 2019 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, CA. (Photo by John Cordes/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
ANAHEIM, CA - OCTOBER 03: Anaheim Ducks center Ryan Getzlaf (15) on the bench during the first period of a game against the Arizona Coyotes played on October 3, 2019 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, CA. (Photo by John Cordes/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /

The first month of regular season hockey has come to a close. How did the Anaheim Ducks perform? Did they earn a passing grade?

October has officially come to a close, and it’s time to go over how the first month of the 2019-20 season has gone for the Anaheim Ducks. I’m going to break it down in a non-analytical sense for the more casual fan and the brain of someone who grasps analytics but has a good hold outside of the box that analytics puts the game into. We will go over the different aspects of the Anaheim Ducks game, and review their successes, failures, and what we can expect moving forward.

5v5 Offense

Grade: C

The offense has been a tough thing to pin down. The chances have been there, the possession is so much better than what we saw last year, so what is missing? Most definitely it is the ability to finish. Just watching a game, you can see the vast improvement in the Ducks system. There are still improvements to be made and the young players are still adapting to the NHL.

But the promise of a better offense is already starting to be seen. Troy Terry got his second of the season against the Jets, Sam Steel is playing with the confidence that we need him to, Max Jones is a workhorse and there is just a matter of time before that pays off, and Max Comtois has started to really gel on Ryan Getzlaf‘s wing.

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Grade: C-

Before a string of injuries really hit the unit, the defense had been decent but was definitely not a unit to be feared, but was working hard to limit chances. After losing Brendan Guhle, Josh Manson and Hampus Lindholm for little stretches, we have really begun to see the pitfalls of having only 3 true top 4 NHL defensemen. The bottom 3 and the swappable players are really struggling and are making life very difficult for John Gibson and Ryan Miller.

Lindholm is expected back tonight, Manson will be out 5-10 weeks, and Guhle is down with San Diego, but will hopefully rejoin the club shortly. Josh Maura looked very good in his first action of the season against Winnipeg with 3 assists.


Grade: B

Speaking of the goalie, let’s get right to the facts. They have been a saving grace on a team definitely going through growing pains. Gibson, in particular, has made ridiculous save after ridiculous save to help keep our little Ducklings out of hot water. Miller has been phenomenal as a backup and continues to help solidify the Anaheim Ducks as having one of the best goalie tandems in the NHL. Gibson has been spotty as of late and that could very well be attributed to the injuries on the blue line to close out the month. Look for him to lock it down and have a stellar November.

Penalty Kill

Grade: A-

The penalty kill has been remarkable and that starts with the goalie and moves outward. Their system is working and the results are showing. They do a good job of keeping assignments and zones and they aren’t looking for the cute play exits from their zone. Simple, crisp and effective. Gibson and Miller are not perfect and are going to need this core group of penalty killers to continue to work hard to keep this a strong point of this team.

Power Play

Grade: F

The power play is awful. The chances are few and far between, while in the later games of the October schedule it has looked much better, it definitely is the biggest glaring deficiency on this team. Again, the Anaheim Ducks lack clear cut finishers, they generate chances and for one reason or another, the puck just avoids the back of the net. They need to work on play scheme and figure out the formula and fast.


This team has exceeded early-season expectations, the young guns are acclimating themselves nicely, Ryan Getzlaf and Adam Henrique have done a fantastic job of providing not only leadership, but scoring. If the defense can lock it down better in their own zone and the power play can find some recipes for success, this team is looking like a playoff contender and a tough team to handle on nights that things are clicking. It might not be the prettiest season, but if the month of October is any indicator, it’s going to be a really fun and exciting season.

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