Wednesday, April 12, 2017

NHL playoff preview: Anaheim Ducks vs Calgary Flames

  Today, the 2017 NHL playoffs will begin. So, I'll be previewing each and every series. Today, I'll preview the series between the number one team in the Pacific division, the Anaheim Ducks, play the first wild card team, the Calgary Flames. First, let's look at the teams.

     Anaheim Ducks
On offense, Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry and Ryan Kesler can still produce in the later years of their careers. Jakob Silfverberg, Andrew Cogliano and deadline acquisition Patrick Eaves all provide scoring. The Ducks are strong on defense. A hit by Flames captain Mark Giordano in the regular season will cost defenseman Cam Fowler the series. But, Hampus Lindholm, Sami Vatanen and Shea Theodore are still good enough to hold down the fort. Goalie John Gibson is young, but can still get the job done.

    Calgary Flames
Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan are two young and talented forwards. The Flames have a very good second line of Matthew Tkachuk, Mikael Backlund and Michael Frolik. On defense, Giordano, Dougie Hamilton, T.J. Brodie and Michael Stone create a strong top 4. Brian Elliott has very good playoff experience, leading the St. Louis Blues to the playoffs in recent years.

    My prediction: Anaheim Ducks
The main reason why I picked the Ducks is about something that isn't mentioned above. That is coaching. Anaheim head coach Randy Carlyle is experienced, with a Cup win in 2007. For a head coach, 45 is very young. Panthers star Jaromir Jagr is 45, and still playing. Flames head coach Glen Gulutzan is 45, and hasn't coached an NHL team until this season. That will cost the Flames.

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