Ducks News & Rumors: COVID, Standings & More

Hello, there. I hope you all are well during this holiday season and may whatever you’re celebrating this month be filled with joy and good tidings. The 2021 calendar year is quickly coming to an end and with it have come some inconveniences for not only the Anaheim Ducks, but the entire NHL.

Ducks Have Four Games Postponed

The Ducks last played on Dec. 18, a 6-5 overtime loss to the Phoenix Houston Arizona Coyotes. Since then, the Ducks have not played a single game. No, they didn’t get an early start on the NHL’s regularly scheduled holiday break. All of their games leading up to the holiday break were postponed due to COVID-19 protocols. The Omicron variant has wreaked havoc on professional sports leagues around the country and the NHL is no exception.

Cross-border games were postponed through the holiday break in the NHL, which meant that the Ducks would not be able to embark on their three-game road trip up north. The Calgary Flames, who currently have their fair share of players in COVID protocol, would have been the Ducks’ first opponent on the road trip, followed by the Edmonton Oilers and the Vancouver Canucks.

Yesterday, the league announced all games on Dec. 27 would be postponed as well, meaning the NHL would not resume the season until Dec. 28. The Ducks play on Dec. 27 in Anaheim against the San Jose Sharks, which means they will now have to wait until Dec. 29 to play in a game once again. Their game on Dec. 29, also in Anaheim, is against the Canucks.

In the Driver’s Seat at Christmas

Sure, they might have a couple of games in hand compared to the teams below them, but not many expected the Ducks to be first in the Pacific Division. They are currently tied for first in the Pacific with the Vegas Golden Knights, with Vegas ahead of them thanks to three more regulation wins.

After finishing 30th overall during the abridged 2020-21 season, the expectations for the Ducks this season could not have been lower. However, thanks to the performances of players like Trevor Zegras, Sonny Milano and Troy Terry, the Ducks have looked like an entirely new team. Ryan Getzlaf has been one of the best players on the team over the past several seasons, but it’s now reflected in both the box score and the underlying numbers instead of just the latter like it had been last season.

Jamie Drysdale Trevor Zegras Anaheim Ducks-Ducks News & Rumors: COVID, Standings & More
Jamie Drysdale and Trevor Zegras, Anaheim Ducks (Photo by Debora Robinson/NHLI via Getty Images)

The defensive core has looked much more cohesive this season as well, with Kevin Shattenkirk bouncing back from an abysmal first season with the Ducks. Jamie Drysdale is beginning to settle in as an everyday NHL defenseman at 19 years of age. The emergence of Simon Benoit has also brought stability to the Ducks’ third defensive pair, a position that has been lacking over the last several seasons.

The continued strong play from goaltenders John Gibson and Anthony Stolarz has been a strength that the Ducks can yet again rely on. Barring injuries, this team certainly looks like it will be a playoff contender.

Terry Close to 20-Goal Season

After Max Comtois was the Ducks’ breakout player in 2020-21 with 17 goals and 33 points, Terry has claimed that mantle for the 2021-22 season. Terry has already surpassed Comtois’ goal total from last season and quite possibly could surpass his points total as well before the turn of the new year.

With 18 goals, Terry sits just two away from 20 and it seems like a foregone conclusion that he will reach that total by the All-Star break. The Ducks haven’t had a 30-goal scorer since Rickard Rakell during the 2017-18 season. Terry has a good shot at becoming the next one.

Related: Ducks Prospects: McTavish, Galimov & More

As uncertainty begins to grip the sports world once again, I’d like to once again wish all of you safe and happy holidays, wherever you may be. The Ducks have been a far more entertaining team this season thanks to their young guns and rejuvenated veterans. Here’s hoping that it continues throughout this season and the seasons to come.

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