Playoff Team Stats
|G/PG||4.00 (1st)||3.00 (4th)|
|GA/PG||2.25 (6th)||2.33 (t-8th)|
|PP%||27.3% (3rd)||27.8% (2nd)|
|PK%||84.6% (t-5th)||81.2% (10th)|
Playoff Point Leaders
|Corey Perry||3G / 4A = 7 Points||Jiri Hudler||3G / 3A = 6 Points|
|Jakob Silfverberg||2G / 4A = 6 Points||Johnny Gaudreau||2G / 4A = 6 Points|
|Ryan Kesler||3G / 2A = 5 Points||Sean Monahan||2G / 3A = 5 Points|
Playoff Goalie Stats
|Frederik Andersen||4W / 2.20 GAA / .924 SV%||Jonas Hiller||3W / 2.20 GAA / .931 SV%|
|Karri Ramo||1W / 2.20 GAA / .924 SV%|
The Anaheim Ducks losing to the Winnipeg Jets was a lot of people’s sexy upset pick of the first round (I know, I’m guilty), but the Ducks made quick work of them and will now face the Calgary Flames.
This will be the second playoff meeting between the Ducks and Flames—Anaheim beat Calgary in seven games in the Conference Quarterfinals back in 2006. The Flames come in having lost 20 straight games against the Ducks in Anaheim.
Coming into the playoffs, the Flames’ starting 12 forwards only had 158 career playoff games between them, 90.5 percent of those games were played by just three players (Jiri Hudler, Mason Raymond and Brandon Bollig). In contrast, the Ducks have 349 games among their current 12 forwards. However, both of these teams are the youngest teams in the postseason with an average age of 26.7
Playoff experience could play a factor in this series, but that didn’t seem to slow Calgary down vs. Vancouver in round 1.
All season, the Flames have been led by their top line of Hudler, Sean Monahan and Johnny Gaudreau. The Canucks were able to slow them down for most of the series, holding them to a combined three goals and four assists (7 points) in the first five games of the series. However, when it mattered most, they exploded for a combined four goals and six assists (10 points) in the Flames’ 7-4 win. That line will likely go head-to-head with Ryan Kesler, who was an absolute beast in the Quarterfinals. They will also see a lot of Nate Thompson, should be able to return from an upper-body that held him out of the Conference Quarterfinals.
When talking about the Flames, how can you ignore what Michael Ferland did against Vancouver? The 23-year-old had two goals and two assists to go along with a team-leading 40 hits. He was a physical presence that got under the Canucks skin and he will look to do the same with the Ducks.
Anaheim is much heavier team than the Flames. They have an average weight of 206.8 versus 193.3 for Calgary (via James Mirtle). Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry are their top offensive options, but they have a ton of guys who can chip in. They showed they can go four lines deep after each line scored a goal in the four-game sweep of the Jets.
Jakob Silfverberg, 23, had just four goals and two assists in his first 25 playoff games, but had a fantastic series vs. Winnipeg while playing on a line with Kesler. He tallied six points (2G / 4A) in the four games and will need to be good again with that line likely going head-to-head with the Monahan line.
The Ducks third line didn’t have to be great in the first round, but they will likely be the ones going up against the Ferland line. Rickard Rakell gets it done at both ends of the rink, but only had one goal in the first round. Andrew Cogliano on the other hand, had one goal in three assists and has become a nice playoff piece for Anaheim—dating back to last season he has 11 points (2G / 9A) in 17 postseason games.
It is hard to ignore the success that the Flames have had despite missing Mark Giordano since late February. Even without Gio, the Flames blue line is still producing. The pair of Kris Russell and Dennis Wideman combined for eight points (2G / 6A), 18 shots and five power-play points in the first round. T.J Brodie had four points (1G / 3A) of his own—he is paired with Deryk Engelland who leads this blue line in hits and blocked shots in the playoffs.
It will be interesting to see which blue line can give their team an extra boost. Each team is capable of producing a ton of offence at even-strength and with the man-advantage.
Probably the most intriguing aspect of this series is that Jonas Hiller will return to Anaheim to take on the team that simply gave up on him last year. After spending seven seasons in Anaheim, Hiller signed with the Flames this offseason. Hiller went 1-2-0 with a 3.43 GAA and .889 SV% in three starts and one relief appearance against the Ducks this season. Despite the regular season struggles against his former team, Hiller comes in as a confident goaltender after posting a 2.20 GAA and .931 SV% in the first round.
Replacing Hiller, is a duo of 25-year-old Frederik Andersen and 21-year-old John Gibson. With Gibson sidelined by an upper-body injury it has been all Andersen in the postseason. After struggling a bit last season, posting a 3.10 GAA and .899 SV% in seven starts, Andersen has been perfect in 2015, going 4-0 with a 2.20 GAA and .924 SV% vs. the Jets. In three starts against the Flames this season, Andersen went 2-0-1 with a 2.60 GAA and .907 SV%.
Series Prediction: Ducks win in 7.
Leading Scorer: Ryan Getzlaf
Series X-Factor: Ryan Kesler