With one of the most entertaining four-game sweeps of all time in the rear-view mirror, the Ducks are now sitting pretty awaiting their opponent for round number two. Invoking the power of hindsight, here are the three Ducks players that stood out the most in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs:
3. Jakob Silfverberg
Silfverberg had a career season in 2014-15 in terms of goals and assists, but his first round performance alone may have already eclipsed what he accomplished during the regular season. Placed on a line with Ryan Kesler, Silfverberg went off for six points in four games, including a memorable game winner in game three.
Quietly one of the Ducks best players all year but never getting a prime spot in the lineup, Silfverberg’s talents are now really coming to light skating alongside Kesler and Matt Beleskey. He set up Kesler for the final dagger to the hear of Winnipeg in game four, and if that line can replicate that performance in round two, the Ducks should be able to torch Calgary or Vancouver.
2. Corey Perry
By Perry’s astronomical standards, the 2014-15 campaign was a bit of a letdown. After notching 43 goals the season before, Perry had a ten goal dropoff on top of missing thirteen games. For any other player, 33 goals is an outstanding season, but for some reason it felt like a quiet year from Perry.
With seven points in the first round, the former MVP brought the net-front peskiness he’s become infamous for, potting important goals for Anaheim. The old adage that , “your best players have to be your best players” rings true in the playoffs, and Perry certainly delivered in that respect.
1. Frederik Andersen
Four wins in four absolutely nail-biting come from behind wins? A .924 save percentage in the biggest playoff of his life? Frderik Andersen did all of that and more in round one, allowing for the dramatic exploits of Perry and Silfverberg, making some absolutely highlight-reel saves in the process.
Not knowing that he was going to start in the playoffs until the very end of the season could have been an obstacle for Andersen. Instead, it seems as if he used it as motivation, as his game took off when it mattered most. No team in the playoffs can go far if it doesn’t have a goaltender playing to the best of his abilities, and Andersen did just that in round one.
Felix Sicard is the Anaheim Ducks’ Lead Writer for The Hockey Writers. Now in his third season of covering the team, he writes previews and recaps for all Ducks’ home games, as well as weekly analysis pieces.
In addition to covering the Ducks at THW, Felix co-hosts SB Nation’s Anaheim Calling: The Podcast, as well as hosting The Garage Hockey Podcast.
For consistent Ducks’ content, be sure to check out his Twitter @Felix_Sicard.