December is typically a time when NHL general managers get together with their scouting staffs to evaluate where they are and, more important, where they are going as an organization. It's a time when enough of the season has been played for teams to have a real good idea of what they have on their roster.
On Tuesday, I looked at the issues facing each team in the Eastern Conference and the solutions they might consider as the NHL heads into the halfway point of the season. Today I look at the Western Conference:
The problem: With the second-best overall record in the NHL, the Ducks have proved that their performance in the lockout-shortened 2013 season was no fluke. As a result, there aren't too many holes to patch in this Anaheim lineup. One area where they could be better is special teams, as they find themselves distinctly mediocre on both the power play and penalty kill.
The fix: Anaheim will likely improve in this area simply by getting some of their injured defensemen (Francois Beauchemin, Sheldon Souray and Luca Sbisa) back in the lineup. Outside of that, there isn't much else that is urgent on GM Bob Murray's to-do list.