Can the Anaheim Ducks Keep It Up?

Photo by Yannick Peterhans/USA TODAY Sports

The Anaheim Ducks are exceeding all expectations so far in 2023-24. They are one of the hottest teams in the NHL, on a six-game winning streak, and just handed the Vegas Golden Knights their first regulation loss of the year.

The Ducks currently sit in the first wild-card playoff spot in the Western Conference with a 7-4-0 record. While the team has been better than almost anyone expected, it’s still only November, and there is a ton of hockey left to be played. It’s one thing to exceed expectations for a month, it’s another to do it for an entire season. The Ducks have looked great so far, but can they keep it up?

Related Article: 9 Keys to the Ducks’ Hot Start

Goaltending

One of the biggest improvements for the Ducks this season has been between the pipes. Goaltending has been a major issue for Anaheim over the last few years. Their goaltending was consistently below average, and at times, downright atrocious. That has not been the case this season, however.

The emergence of Lukas Dostal has been a game-changer. The 23-year-old is in his first full season in the NHL and sports a 5-1-0 record with a 2.80 GAA and .920 SV%. John Gibson finally has some pressure off his shoulders and is back playing like a serviceable NHL goalie. He’s 2-3-0 with a 2.67 GAA and .910 sv%. If the Dostal/Gibson tandem continues to play this way, Anaheim will have a chance to win just about every night.

Scoring

The Ducks are also scoring a lot more goals than they did last season. After finishing 2022-23 with the second-worst offense in the NHL at 2.51 goals per game, the 2023-24 Anaheim Ducks are scoring 3.36 goals per game. Again, it’s only November, but that is a difference of almost a full goal per game.

Mason McTavish, Frank Vatrano, and Ryan Strome are leading the way, but are far from the only players contributing. Eight players have 5+ points for Anaheim, and 20 skaters have recorded at least one. McTavish, Vatrano, Strome, and Troy Terry are all in double digits through just 11 games. If the Ducks can continue to score at this clip, they will remain in the playoff hunt all season long.

Upcoming Schedule

Anaheim’s upcoming schedule features some very winnable games as well as a few tough matchups. The Ducks have already proven they can beat good teams with wins over Carolina, Boston, and Vegas. They’ll try to continue that trend against Colorado, Florida, Los Angeles, and Vancouver later this month.

Overall, the Ducks’ remaining November schedule looks like this.

11/7- vs Penguins
11/10- vs Flyers
11/12- vs Sharks
11/14- @ Predators
11/15- @ Avalanche
11/17- vs Panthers
11/19- vs Blues
11/22- vs Canadiens
11/24- vs Kings
11/26- @ Oilers
11/28- @ Canucks
11/30- vs Capitals

That’s a lot of home cooking for the Ducks and a chance to make this so much more than just a hot start.

Can They Keep It Up?

I believe the Ducks can continue to play at this level and potentially compete for a playoff spot this season. They have a great mix of youth and veterans. Lukas Dostal is a game-changer in goal. And they have a favorable upcoming schedule to rack up more points early. Obviously, they have to continue consistently doing all the good things they are right now, but I believe Anaheim is improved enough to do just that. Will the Ducks make the playoffs? Eh, it’s still a little early for that. Will the Ducks be in the hunt? Absolutely, I see no reason why Anaheim can’t be competitive all season long and in the playoff race right until the end.

We Got The Jack Inside The Rink

In episode 8 of the Inside The Rink podcast, Matty and Smitty are joined by new co-host Conrad Jack. After the long hiatus, we get back to hockey with a PACKED episode!Matt Rempe & the Devils vs. Rangers Line BrawlCould the Vancouver Canucks squander a playoff opportunity? Have the Winnipeg Jets finally figured out their lines?Flyers Head Coach John Tortorella is a sound byte MACHINEOvechkin is on his way to 895, Who is next?McDavid joins elite company with 100 Assists in a seasonRyan Hartman was suspended 3 Games, was it worth 3 games??Can Auston Matthews hit 70 Goals this season?The Eastern Conference Wild Card race is heating up, who lands the two playoff berths?For all of your hockey news and more from the show, visit us at insidetherink.com and watch us on YouTube! How to support us and our sponsors:TicketmasterColumbia Sports ApparelESPN+ SubscriptionFanaticsDraft Kings – CODE ITR
  1. We Got The Jack
  2. Episode 7. Player Safety First!
  3. Episode 6. Early Trade Season
  4. Episode 5. Longing For The Chiarelli Years
  5. Episode 4. Ottawa’s On Fire

Jonathan Duncan

Jonathan Duncan is a lifelong hockey fan. He has covered the NHL, via video content, since 2017 on his YouTube channel Off the Wall Hockey. He has also produced written content for Overtime Heroics and now Inside the Rink.

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