ONE PERSON’S VIEW OF HOW THE UPCOMING SECOND ROUND SERIES – ALONG WITH THE REST OF THE POSTSEASON – WILL UNFOLD FOR ORANGE COUNTY’S BELOVED NHL TEAM
BY NICHOLE CHOICE
If history is any indicator of things to come, the Calgary Flames stand little to no chance against the Anaheim Ducks in the upcoming playoffs. From a statistical, psychological, and perhaps even a superstitious point of view alone, the Flames haven’t emerged from a match-up in Anaheim in surplus of more than ten years, and that’s got to be a spooky and daunting prospect for the team to face.
The Anaheim Ducks demonstrate resilience to the extreme, and continually bounce back from circumstances when they are trailing for periods.
On top of that, the Ducks tend to sweep, while the Flames frequently require several games to eventually (hopefully, sometimes) defeat their opponent. These are in fact the immediate circumstances leading up to the matchup, as the Ducks are fresh off a sweep of the Winnipeg Jets, whereas the Flames, by contrast, duked it out to gradual victory over the Vancouver Canucks over the course of six grueling games.
The Canucks were no cakewalk for the Flames, and the lineup for the Ducks should prove all the more challenging, as the Ducks are in a very strong position even with their secondary scorers by way of Jakob Silfverberg and Emerson Etem.
Compound this with the fact that this is the second time the Flames and the Ducks have faced off in the playoffs, and Calgary has yet to prevail.
Another advantage for the Ducks: They face no key player injuries going into these playoffs. The Flames, on the other hand? That’s another story, as defenseman Mark Giordano underwent biceps surgery a mere few weeks ago. A torn tendon injury in late February occurred during a game that Giordano contributed an assist – he had 48 points going into the game – in order to help lead the team to victory over the New Jersey Devils.
Giordano’s injury came as no surprise to the Flames. This is the reason the team attempted, ultimately in vain, to acquire a defenseman during trading season, but to no avail. At this point, Giordano is well within the projected recovery time of four to five months for this particular injury.
This injury aspect is a daunting prospect to the Flames, as the Ducks come armed with eight strong defensemen and two capable goalies in Frederik Andersen and John Gibson.
Do The Calgary Flames Stand a Chance?
Now let’s not be ridiculous. Part of the thrill of sports enthusiasm is the attraction of surprise results, right? The Calgary Flames have made it this far in the playoffs for a reason, and they clearly are an accomplished team. Let’s take a look at what the Flames do have going for them…
For starters, the Ducks are not the only team to exhibit resilience, as the Flames are fresh off a four games to two series win over Vancouver, so it would be foolhardy to discredit or underestimate them because literally: anything is possible. The Flames are the ultimate underdogs, and their strength and control of the game is understated, as the Calgary team displays a flair for defying the odds.
Despite the odds, one thing seems like a surefire bet – if you’re the betting kind – and that is: if the Calgary Flames do indeed take this, they will not sweep; it will run a seven game gamut, and it will be an unpredictable ride for sure!
Who Will Take The 2015 Cup?
Popular opinion is that the Anaheim Ducks are still mighty, and are favored to take the coveted prize. Their performance – slaughter of, actually – against the Winnipeg Jets was a potentially strong indicator, and an eye opener for some, about the true nature of the might of the Ducks this season.
Orange County may very well be poised to welcome the Stanley Cup home this summer. Many thought the Anaheim Ducks and Winnipeg Jets matchup would be a long series, and this has been disproven by way of four straight wins by the Ducks. This is a team that many seem to favor, yet still seem to underestimate their might at the same time.
The last time the Anaheim Ducks advanced to the finals, they won the Cup, so is it safe to say that history is a good indicator of things to come? In this case, majority opinion indicates so indeed!
Nichole Choice is from the Los Angeles area and, by all evidence, is a dedicated Ducks fan whom we at SoCal Sports Annals are glad to have.