by PuckStopsHere on 11/19/11 at 05:49 PM ET
The lowest scoring team in the NHL so far this season is the Anaheim Ducks. Their 2.0 goals per game is the lowest total in the NHL right now (that does not include “phantom” goals for shootout wins).
Anaheim is off to a poor start this season. They have the fourth worst record with 6 wins and 13 losses. Four of those losses gave them regulation tie points to give them a total of 16 points on the year.
Anaheim’s lack of scoring is a bit of a surprise. They have several talented offensive players, but the only one who has real offensive success this season is Teemu Selanne. Selanne has 18 points in 19 games. Since Selanne is 41 years old, it is reasonable to wonder if he can keep it up all season.
The only other players scoring at better than point per game rates this year are Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry, but with 13 and 11 points respectively they have disappointed. A big drop from last year comes from Lubomir Visnovsky, who was a very successful puck moving defenceman last year and was a key to their offence. This year he has been limited to four points in 16 games. He is currently out with a broken finger.
Perhaps Anaheim’s problems were predictable. They had the worst team Corsi rating in the NHL last year. Their puck possession was very poor. This mostly came from depth lines that struggled to show they were NHL capable. I figured that they might be able to solve the problem as replacement level players should be available in the off season and they do have some talented front line players.
The Ducks managed to make the playoffs despite their poor puck possession in 2010/11 in part due to strong goaltending from Jonas Hiller. He hasn’t looked so good this season with a .905 saves percentage. Perhaps he isn’t the same goalie after his vertigo problems of last year. Perhaps he will find his stride as the season continues. They have had good special teams in the last couple of years and that helps to prop them up despite poor even strength puck possession numbers.
I think Anaheim’s offence is too good to remain worst in the league but they are unlikely to repeat their results last season. The Ducks are struggling. Their Corsi last year predicted these problems. I think they are better than their start, but they are likely not going to make the playoffs.
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