One of the more disappointing aspects of this Anaheim Ducks team coming out of the 2013 season was the play of Cam Fowler. Actually, it wasn’t so much the play of Fowler, but the lack of production from the offensive defenseman. Not that it was all entirely his fault.
Playing in 37 games for the Ducks during the lockout shortened 2013 campaign, Fowler posted only 11 points on the season, including just a single goal. For a player who put up totals of 40 and 29, respectively, in his first two seasons, that was a much lower output than what was expected.
But it wasn’t entirely his fault. A combination of injury and a lightened load on the blue line led to less on the stat sheet from the defenseman, who will turn 22 at the end of this year. Fowler averaged about three minutes per game less than he had in the previous season.
He also saw over a minue less per game with the man advantage than he did in the previous season. Even with that decrease, half of his points came with the Ducks on the power play. Anaheim had the fourth best power play in the league in 2013. So what is the true reason for Fowler’s decrease in points? After all, even in a shortened season, along with a few less minutes, that decline seems pretty dramatic.
Much of his absence from the box score with any sort of regularity could certainly stem from the injury he sustained in early February. Fowler missed about three weeks that month after he was boarded by Jarret Stoll. That’s definitely part of it. Regardless of the reason, his strong finish could mean positive things for next season.
Fowler posted points in four of his last five games, including his only goal of the year. He added five blocked shots and a plus-5 rating over that span as well. In the postseason, he added another three points in seven games, along with a plus-3 rating. Two of his three points came with the Ducks on the man advantage.
The way Fowler finished the 2013 season definitely means positive things for next year. He was able to shake off his struggles from earlier in the year and finish strong, continuing the be a weapon for the Ducks on the power play. Look for him to return to form in a big way next season.