Anaheim Ducks: Optimism Found in the Performance of Two Power Forwards

Anaheim Ducks left wing Max Comtois (53) Mandatory Credit: John Locher/Pool Photos-USA TODAY Sports
Anaheim Ducks left wing Max Comtois (53) Mandatory Credit: John Locher/Pool Photos-USA TODAY Sports /

The 2020-21 season has been somewhat of a mess for the Anaheim Ducks. They’ve struggled to put together wins, leaving them at the bottom of the West Divison and on the cusp of being one of the bottom five teams in the league. It is hard to be optimistic when the standings tell such a brutal story.

Enter Max Jones and Max Comtois. To be quite honest, I didn’t think either would be a permanent fixture in the Anaheim Ducks lineup this year. Over the past few seasons, it seems like the narrative has always been that one Max would run the other one out of a job. Then, Bob Murray brings in the likes of Sonny Milano and Danton Heinen, adding more competition to the mix.

But, as I always say, may the Lord make my words as sweet as honey, for today I must eat them. And in this instance, nothing satisfies me more than two players who prove me absolutely wrong in all the right ways.

Max Comtois Light’s the Anaheim Ducks Lamp

The Anaheim Ducks have struggled to find consistent goal scorers over the last few seasons. Starting the season off hot, Max Comtois was the only player to score for the Ducks in their first game of the season. Building off of that momentum, he would be the first to score for the club in Game 2.

Comtois had shown growth and improvement from seasons prior, which led all of us to put a tremendous amount of hope in the 22-year-old forward. Nevertheless, as the age-old adage states, all good things must come to an end. Over the next nine games, Max would register just one point.

However, a switch seemed to flip for young Comtois during the Anaheim Ducks shoot-out loss to the San Jose Sharks. Heating up again, he scored two of four goals that night. Since then, Comer has registered 9 points in 9 games, including 5 goals.

In 20 games, he is the only player on the Anaheim Ducks roster to reach the double digits in scoring. He also leads the team in goals, with 8 credited to his name. While it would be nice to see the rest of the team contribute goals to the score sheet on a more regular basis, Max Comtois offers something to the Anaheim Ducks that they desperately need right now; consistency.

He is currently on pace to have a 34 point season, besting his current season-high of 11 points. Barring injury, if his consistency rubs off on the rest of his team, I do not doubt that he could end the season leading the team in points, goals, or even both.

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Max Jones Finds His Niche on the Power Play

The Anaheim Ducks power play has looked awful this season. But, what’s new? As things currently stand, the Ducks have the third-worst power play in the league, sitting ahead of only the Detroit Red Wings and Minnesota Wild. Over the last two games, however, things have been looking up with the addition of Trevor Zegras to the lineup. Nevertheless, it seems to be Max Jones who has found his niche.

While his point production (3g) in his 11 games with the team doesn’t jump off the page, Max Jones has been playing extremely well for the Anaheim Ducks lately. He brings the physicality Ducks fans (and Bob Murray) love to see, but he also seems to have a newfound confidence since being paired on the wing with Ryan Getzlaf.

This translates well on the power play as well. In the last two games, against the Arizona Coyotes, Jones has scored two power-play goals. This is a huge accomplishment considering the Ducks have struggled to put the puck in the net when they have the advantage. His two PP goals also account for 40% of the power-play goals scored by the Anaheim Ducks this season.

As a big fan of Jones, it has been rather encouraging to see the 22-year-old power forward find success on the ice over the last few games. Sometimes it just takes a little time and the right linemates for a player to find his confidence, and I happen to really enjoy the Max Jones-Ryan Getzlaf-Sonny Milano line.

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