There are many different factors that go into creating a championship winning team, and it’s fair to say that postseason experience plays a major role. The Pittsburgh Penguins have it in spades, but so do the Anaheim Ducks. After all, this is their second appearance in a Western Conference Final in the last 3 seasons, and the majority of the players who were there the last time are still on this team. The Ducks had to battle their way out of Alberta to get to this point, sweeping the Calgary Flames in the opening round before taking out the Edmonton Oilers in a thoroughly enjoyable 7-game series. The Western Conference looked pretty wide open this season, and the Final looks as though it may be a tight one, especially given that the Ducks and Predators play a style of hockey that is predicated on solid defense. This series looks like a bit of a coin flip, so let’s start by taking a closer look at the Ducks and what they bring to the table. Find out more about the updated NHL betting picks here.
Here’s A Closer Look At The Anaheim Ducks 2017 NHL Betting Analysis
Anaheim Ducks Strengths
The Ducks are a team that know how to win, and are in fact the only division winners left in the final four. One of the strengths of this team, as we already mentioned, is their experience. Lesser teams would have folded after losing their opening two games at home, as the Ducks did in the second round versus the Oilers, but rather than panicking, they went into Alberta and levelled the series. Home ice advantage is going to be key for the Ducks in this series, and when you consider that this one looks destined to go the distance, that edge may be what separates these two teams. The Ducks are not reliant on one sole player, although you would be excused for believing they are after watching Ryan Getzlaf pick up 10 points in the series versus the Oilers.
Anaheim Ducks Weaknesses
This is a team that is solid from top to bottom, but if they do have an Achilles heel, it is between the pipes. They have made it to this stage of the playoff in spite of Craig Anderson rather than because of him. Of the 4 starting goaltenders in this series, Anderson is way down the list in save percentage at .914. This series is more than likely going to be low scoring, and it may well be a big save here or there that shifts the momentum one way or another. Can the Ducks really rely on Anderson to be the guy that makes that save?
Betting the Ducks in the Western Conference Final
I am almost totally convinced that this series is going to go the distance, and if you like the Ducks to prevail, then you can get them at +375. If you believe that they can get the job done a little quicker, then take them to win in 6 games at odds of +450. I think the Ducks are in trouble in this series, but I’m also aware that this is going to be a close one that could go either way.