What can the Anaheim Ducks learn from the Carolina Hurricanes to make them a better team down the line?
Who would have thought there would be NHL hockey in August? At this point of the year, we’re normally well past the excitement of the Stanely Cup Playoffs, the NHL Draft, and Free Agency. Yet, here we are, on the opening day of the Playoffs, in August. However, for the second year in a row, the Anaheim Ducks are missing from the picture.
Looking down the barrel of a 9+ month hiatus, Anaheim Ducks fans don’t have much to look forward to, aside from their 6th overall pick in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft. Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean that Ducks fans can’t enjoy the excitement of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. There are sure to be a lot of upsets and triumphs, as we’ve already seen during the NHL qualifying round.
However, there are still a lot of questions lingering in our minds. Who should we root for? What do the Anaheim Ducks need to do in order to join in on the fun within the next few years? How can they learn from their fellow NHL teams around the league to further improve?
What better way to explore the answers to these questions than from an outsider’s perspective? Over the next few weeks, we will be looking for insight on the Anaheim Ducks from our fellow NHL site experts around FanSided.
This week, we sat down with the incredibly knowledgable site expert at Cardiac Cane, Omar Abdelgawad. As the first team to qualify for the Stanely Cup Playoffs, sweeping the New York Rangers in an incredible 3 game series, it seems only fitting that we take a look at things from the unique perspective of a Carolina Hurricanes fan.
There are certainly a lot of reasons Anaheim Ducks fans should root for the Canes during the playoffs this year, they have made themselves a dangerous opponent. However, what might be even more interesting is the lessons the Anaheim Ducks can learn from the 2020 Carolina Hurricanes.
Why You Should Root for the Carolina Hurricanes
Q: Since the Anaheim Ducks aren’t in the playoffs this year, Ducks fans don’t have a team to cheer for. Why should they root for the Carolina Hurricanes over other teams who have made it into the Stanley Cup Playoffs?
A: Because we are fun. The Carolina Hurricanes are what every hockey team should strive to be in order to make this league interesting and grow the market. A win for Carolina is a win for the NHL. But on an individual level, you should cheer for the Canes because there isn’t a single bad egg on this team. Every player plays good clean hockey. Any team coached by Rod Brind’amour and includes class acts like Jaccob Slavin or Justin Williams deserves your love and support. This is a team that plays for the fans. Honestly, there isn’t an ounce of ego on this roster. Also, imagine the Storm Surge if they win it all.
Running Away with the NY Series
Q: Congrats on the recent win against NY! What do you think the key(s) to stealing that series was?
A: What a win right? It is probably the most satisfying playoff win since stealing game seven last year against the Capitals. The keys to taking that series (not going to say stealing, they earned each win) were the conditioning and training provided by Rod Brind’amour. That and team cohesion.
Everyone trusted everyone else to do their job at a high standard and no one was caught out of position. The stars played like stars and the depth showed up. But how about both Mrazek and Reimer shutting down the net? Everyone talked about the goaltending that New York had, but it was Carolina’s that showed up big time to help secure the sweep.
Making a Bigger Splash in the Stanley Cup Playoffs
A: How do you think the Canes can improve to make an even bigger splash in the Stanley Cup Playoffs?
Q: The powerplay isn’t where they want it to be. They could have really turned this series on its head if it was. The Rangers would have had their bags packed before game three. But with Dougie Hamilton looking for a return and the extra time to work on it, look out.
The second thing is discipline. They need to stop giving up opportunities, no matter how good their kill is. That is less time you could be attacking the other end of the ice. It started to improve in game three. Let’s see if they can keep working on it.
A Walk Down Memory Lane
A: What has been your most enjoyable moment of the season thus far?
Q: Is this a trick question? My god, so much to chose from. But it will always be the David Ayres game. That emotional rollercoaster devastated and elevated me all at the same time. I felt like I needed to sleep for a week after that game. I probably did. It is all a blur. He and his amazing wife have been an unexpected but absolutely welcomed addition to the Carolina Hurricanes family. Any moment that adds to our family will always stand out more than anything else. Morgan Geekie having a three-point NHL debut is a close second, however.
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Important Lessons to Learn from the Carolina Hurricanes
A: In your opinion, what lesson(s) do you think the Anaheim Ducks can learn from the Canes 2019-20 season that the Ducks should implement going into the 2020-21 season that can help them be a little more successful on the ice?
Q: Build around your best players, but also keep everything balanced at the same time. The difference between the ice times of the best and worst forwards on this team is only a couple of minutes. Same with the defense. Everyone is expected to contribute on both ends of the ice. You let your stars be stars, but you don’t tell them to carry the team.
When the fourth line is almost as dangerous as the first line, that is a complete team that can compete. It doesn’t matter who the players are. We turned guys like Jordan Martinook into a threat to score. There are no “grind the clock out” lines. Everyone is there to play hockey.
The Anaheim Ducks Biggest Obstacle from an Outsiders Perspective
A: As an outsider looking in, what do you think the Ducks biggest obstacle going into their rebuild is going to be?
Q: The biggest obstacle for the Ducks is going to be overthinking things, not trusting the advanced analytics, and not getting buy-in. Don’t worry about the Seattle Draft, don’t over-analyze movements and trades, and trust the analytics to tell you who the best players are to go after. Bob Murray is going to have to work by, with, and through Dallas Eakins to develop a roster that has buy-in to the style of hockey the analytics say will help win games based on your best-performing guys.
You let them generate chemistry and you develop a leadership core that can motivate the younger players to buy into that system. Its easier said than done, but without any of that, you are playing beer league hockey with NHL players. A rebuild doesn’t happen overnight, but it can speed up with a program that trusts the coaching.
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