Qualifying for the Stanley Cup Playoffs is difficult.
Sure, there’s always some criticism levied at the NHL postseason because more than half of the league — 16 out of 31 teams — make up the tournament. But ask franchises like Buffalo or Edmonton how difficult it is to consistently compete (or in those cases, ever compete).
Because of that, there should be a lot of pride that the Anaheim Ducks were able to participate in the Stanley Cup Playoffs for six straight years. Entering the 2018-19 season, only the Pittsburgh Penguins boasted a longer streak of consecutive postseason appearances.
While the Ducks were unable to win a championship during that time frame, five Pacific Division titles and two Western Conference final appearances are nothing to scoff at. It was an unprecedented level of success for a franchise that, don’t forget, Wholesale Cheap Jerseys
won only one playoff series in its first nine years of existence.
Unfortunately, that streak is done, the Ducks’ core that we’ve grown so familiar with is a year older, and a fresh wave of talent is knocking at the door.
Yes, the 2018-19 season was, for the most part, a major embarrassment for the franchise. The Ducks’ 12-game losing streak that spanned almost an entire month is one of the longest in NHL history, and the team also strung together two more losing streaks that lasted seven games. At one point, from Dec. 18 to Feb. 9, the Ducks played 21 games and won only two of them.
Anaheim finished with its lowest point total — save the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season — in seven years, and nearly became the first Ducks team since 2003-04 to finish with under 80 points in the regular season. They were one of only two teams, with Arizona being the other, to not have a player exceed 50 points (Ryan Getzlaf finished with 48 in 67 games).
All that, along with the silly stubbornness to relieve head coach Randy Carlyle, will be the legacy of the Ducks’ 25th anniversary team.
Now, the Ducks had a prime opportunity to bottom out, sell off every valuable player without a no-movement clause, and fully embrace a rebuild. Considering general manager Bob Murray’s actions, and his comments, he has no interest in throwing away seasons to land higher draft picks in the near future. Like it or not, Murray believes he can turn this ship around in a hurry.