Craig Custance chats with rival scouts and players to break down the strengths and weaknesses of the Anaheim Ducks.
The Ducks absolutely ran away with a Pacific Division race that went down to the wire last season. And yet, when you talk to people around the rinks, they're a team mentioned less frequently as a dangerous playoff team than division rivals Los Angeles and San Jose.
Maybe it's because one is the reigning champ and the other a sleeper pick gaining steam as an underdog. But the Stanley Cup buzz surrounding the Ducks is minimal, a sign that there are still doubters despite a strong regular season.
"They're a good team," said one long-time scout. "But they haven't gotten any better."
That doesn't mean they're not dangerous.
"The Ducks are a team that has two really, really good first lines that can hurt you at any time," said a veteran defenseman. "They definitely have the skill up front with Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry, Bobby Ryan, Teemu Selanne, Saku Koivu -- you name it."