So between a little vacation and a lot of Redskins training camp, I’ve been neglecting In the Room for a couple of weeks. Well, no more. This is the first of 30 entries aptly entitled “30 Teams in 30 Days.” This will be a look back at last year, the offseason and a look ahead to camp and the season ahead for each team. I’ll go in alphabetical order, in part to avoid ranking teams before I absolutely have to and to make the Caps last. Without further ado, first up on the list are the ex-defending champs, the Anaheim Ducks.
2007-08: 47-27-8, 102 points (second in Pacific)
PLAYOFFS: Lost to Dallas in first round
WHAT WENT RIGHT: Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry ascended to top-line status, and both were rewarded with handsome but reasonable contract extensions. Scott Neidermayer and Teemu Selanne both returned mid-season and performed well. J-S Giguere had another elite season in net.
WHAT WENT WRONG: The Neidermayer/Selanne saga was a drain on the team’s attempt to repeat as champions. Doug Weight, acquired for Andy McDonald, and free agent Todd Bertuzzi were disappointments, and scoring depth up front was a huge issue. GM Brian Burke, when not feuding with Kevin Lowe, was unable to get anything in return for goalie Ilya Bryzgalov, who had a nice run with Phoenix.
ARRIVALS: C Brendan Morrisonn
DEPARTURES: LW Todd Bertuzzi, C Doug Weight
POSSIBLE PROSPECTS: RW Bobby Ryan, LW Logan McMillan
What about Teemu?
While Neidermayer has already agreed to keep playing, Selanne is still waiting to decide. The Ducks are pinched financially, but they can afford to move someone like Mathieu Schnieder (or precisely him) to make room for Selanne.
Is Bobby Ryan finally ready?
It is unfair that people have been so impatient with Ryan, but when you are the No. 2 pick in a draft that starts with some guy named Sidney Crosby, there are going to be expectations.
PROGNOSIS: It is all about secondary scoring in the OC. The Getzlaf-Perry-Kunitz trio and the defense/goaltending are great, but Morrisonn and someone (maybe Selanne, but more likely Bobby Ryan or Ryan Carter) have to produce some offense on the second line. It is the difference between being a solid playoff team and a Cup contender.
|Chris Kunitz||Ryan Getzlaf||Corey Perry|
|??? (McMillan/Carter)||Brendan Morrison||Bobby Ryan|
|Travis Moen||Samuel Pahlsson||Rob Neidermayer|
|Brad May/George Parros||Todd Marchant||Brian Sutherby|
|Scott Neidermayer||Chris Pronger|
|Francois Beauchemin||Mathieu Schneider|
|Kent Huskins||Sean O’Donnell|
*NOTE: This is not necessarily an attempt to guess line combinations