Just 17 games into the season, it could be time for the Anaheim Ducks to make a very hard franchise-altering decision.
Alright Anaheim Ducks fans, it’s time for us to chat. Yes, I know it’s only been 17 games. It is, of course, the smallest of samples. I recognize this. I embrace it. But it’s time. Time to talk trade…. and to find a new Coach…. and a fresh General Manager. But, I digress.
Why do the Anaheim Ducks need a trade, you might ask? Well to be blunt, this is a team that is currently overreaching its underlying statistics. That is to say, that while they’ve won games, they’ve not really taken control of games and have instead been on the back foot through most of them. Some might suggest that this is taking advantage of their one true strength, John Gibson. Others may be justifiably worried.
After all, this team is 24th for positive shot attempts, and 29th overall for shot attempts against. They’re giving up the 25th most scoring chances, yet they’re merely scrapping into the middle of the pack (18th) for generating them. The accumulated effect of not taking shots, and having the “Godtender” in net, is that they have the 6th highest PDO in the league. That is to say that the Ducks accumulated shooting percentage and save percentage is currently the 6th highest in the league. With those gaudy totals, they’re currently managing to scrap into 6th in their Division with the league’s 20th best points percentage.
Statistics like these are how you make John Gibson sad. Do you want John Gibson to be sad? No? Then don’t do these things. Perhaps more concerning for Gibson’s mental health – and let’s be real here, all of ours as well – is that all of these statistics are currently trending towards the negative. The Anaheim Ducks are getting worse, not better. They’re already overachieving according to the product they’re producing on the ice, and that product is currently in decline. Certainly, injuries have played a part. Yet, that was the case last season as well. Weren’t we led to believe that this year would be different? Weren’t the injured guys all gone? Wasn’t Dallas Eakins a superior coach that knew the kid’s names?