Lake Erie Monsters coach Jared Bednar understands the challenge in front of his team as it prepares for the Calder Cup Western Conference Finals against the Ontario Reign.
The Reign are the defending champions, having won the title last season as the Manchester Monarchs, and return 15 players with championship rings. In addition, Ontario is big, physical and plays “Los Angeles Kings-style hockey” that wins in the playoffs. Read more»
If the Anaheim Ducks management and scouts have done one thing right in their recent history, it is that they have made the top end picks count. While every team has its missed opportunities, flops, and top picks that do not live up to expectations, the Ducks have had an enviable success rate. The mid-season Top 20 features 13 players from rounds one through three, while the top ten features eight players from the first and second rounds. They are getting wonderful seasons from their best prospects, and that is one of the many reasons why the Ducks pipeline is considered one of the more promising in the NHL. It is a group whose promise goes even deeper than the twenty names here.
While the NHL season has been altogether disappointing for the Anaheim Ducks, fans should take solace in the fact that the AHL team is not having a particularly bad season. They started quite hot, cooled considerably in November but started to come back around in December. With the current way the AHL is structured, with the Pacific playing fewer games, it is hard to get a handle on just how they compare with the rest of the league as of right now. Personnel moves in the organization will also affect the team as the season enters its critical second-half.
The Pacific Division was always going to be the American Hockey League’s most polarizing division.
With five teams playing 68 games and the other two playing 76, points percentage was handmade for this grouping. And with the California teams avoiding all of the dreaded three-in-threes? The Pacific Division is ripe with storylines created by the AHL’s western migration. Read more»