When it came to scoring goals last season, there were few teams worse than the Anaheim Ducks. They averaged just 2.45 goals per game, which was worth 23rd place in the NHL.
Part of the problem was the struggles of the trio of Corey Perry, Bobby Ryan, and Ryan Getzlaf. All three should rebound in 2012-13 — although it remains to be seen if Ryan will be traded.
However, the Ducks need more than just a star-studded top line and, of course, Teemu Selanne to be an elite team. They need at least some degree of secondary scoring.
That’s what they really lacked last season. Selanne, Perry, and Ryan were the only players that breached the 15-goal mark and only three other players finished with between 10-14 goals. One of them was Saku Koivu, who will turn 38 in November and, unlike Selanne, is starting to show his age.
Unfortunately, this is one area of their game that they really didn’t address over the summer, so if the team is going to progress in 2012-13, they really need someone other than their big four to step up.
One potential candidate is Kyle Palmieri, who has been a star in the AHL for two seasons now and might get a full-time job with Anaheim next season. Another prospect that might be part of the solution is Peter Holland, who will be competing for a roster spot after getting his first taste of life in the NHL last season. He netted his first NHL goal last November and went on to record 60 points in 71 games as an AHL rookie.
If youngsters like them can emerge as at least complimentary players in 2012-13, then the Anaheim Ducks might be a serious playoff contender. If they don’t, then Anaheim is probably in for another long season.