After getting blitzed 6-1 by the Colorado Avalanche in their season opener, the Anaheim Ducks have righted the ship in a big way, by reeling off five consecutive wins. Their latest triumph was a 3-2 victory over the visiting Calgary Flames, handing the Flames their first regulation time loss of the campaign. The Ducks received outstanding goaltending from Viktor Fasth, who turned aside 33 of the 35 shots that he faced.
Anaheim is getting what you would anticipate for them to be successful. Star forwards Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf are both off to solid starts, having combined for 11 points between them. Goalie Jonas Hiller has been outstanding between the pipes, with a measly 1.30 goals against average and a sparkling .959 save percentage, and they are getting solid play on the blue line from veteran Francois Beauchemin. Beauchemin is near the top of the pack for plus-minus amongst defenseman at +8.
A couple of new Ducks have been quick to make an immediate impact with their new club. Jakob Silfverberg has netted four goals so far. He was part of the Bobby Ryan deal that saw the perennial 30-goal man leave the Ducks and head to Ottawa. Silfverberg was pegged as an offensive talent, and his game seems to be blossoming with the change of scenery. Another solid contributor has been Mathieu Perrault, who is making the most of his fresh start in Anaheim after a previous stint in Washington. Perrault has racked up five points so far.
The Ducks have to be happy with their early season success, even though veterans Teemu Selanne and Saku Koivu have both gotten off to slow starts. Selanne netted his first goal of the season in the victory over the Flames. Also, young defenseman Cam Fowler is bound to be better than he has been in the early stages of the 2013-14 season.
Head coach Bruce Boudreau has put together an impressive win-loss record since taking over the reins in Anaheim, and if the Ducks continue to get solid contributions from their stars, mixed in with some surprising productivity and strong goaltending, they will continue to be near the top of the pack in the NHL’s Western Conference.
Rick LaFitte is an NHL writer for Rant Sports