After their crushing loss in the 2003 Stanley Cup Finals, the Ducks were working their way back to get another chance at the Stanley Cup.
It may have been a slow process but it paid off big time in 2007. The Ducks would end up missing the playoffs in the 2003-04 season but they ended up drafting Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry, and Drew Miller who were all on the Stanley Cup-winning roster. However, the 2005 offseason was very influential in the Ducks cup win.
They signed Scott Niedermayer who was a key piece on the blueline in the 2006-07 season. Anaheim also signed Travis Moen who bolstered their depth on offense.
These moves set the framework for the amazing season that the Ducks were about to have.
Anaheim was coming off a disappointing loss in the Western Conference Finals in the 2006 Playoffs to the Edmonton Oilers. One player, in particular, seemed to catch the eye of GM (at the time) Brian Burke. That player was Chris Pronger. The 6”6’ defenceman brought a lot to the table with his game. He brought shutdown defensive ability while being very physical.
This was exactly what the Ducks needed on the blueline. Their style of play was very physical and they wanted their entire team to be able to play “Ducks hockey”.
The pieces of the puzzle were all coming together. The team was set going into the 2006-07 season.
They would start the season off strong. Anaheim didn’t lose in regulation until November 10th. Both J.S. Giguere and Ilya Bryzgalov were stellar in net. Everyone on the team was doing their job. Teemu Selanne led the way with 94 points in the regular season. He was 3rd in the league in goals scored with 48.
The Ducks were also very strong defensively. Chris Pronger and Scott Niedermayer topped off a very solid defensive core that was able to shut down the opposition.
The Ducks were set up to win the cup in 2007.
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The Ducks capped off a very strong regular season by finishing 1st in the Pacific Division with 110 points. They would end up playing the Minnesota Wild in Round 1. Ilya Bryzgalov started the series due to Giguere not being in the right mindset after the birth of his son. Giguere’s son Maxime had a problem with his eye. Jean Sebastion let Brian Burke know that he would sit out the end of the regular season. However, after Game 4, Giggy was ready to come back to the crease. From then on Giguere was the starter.
Anaheim was easily handling the teams that they faced on their way to the Stanley Cup Final.
Going into the series against Ottawa the Ducks had only lost 3 total games all playoffs. The Senators were going to be a good test for the Ducks. Ottawa was coming off a very exciting overtime win against the President’s Trophy-winning Buffalo Sabres. Even though the Senators were a strong opponent the Ducks were able to handle them easily. Anaheim would win the series 4-1 capping off the series with a dominating 6-2 win in Game 5.
Scott Niedermayer would be awarded the Conn Smythe trophy as he was the MVP of the NHL playoffs in 2007. He would be the 2nd Anaheim Ducks player to be awarded the Conn Smyth as J.S. Giguere was the first to win it in 2003.
Many fans would say that the 2006-07 season was the best in Anaheim Ducks franchise history.
From dominating through the regular season to doing the same in the playoffs, the 2006-07 Anaheim Ducks will be remembered as the best Anaheim Ducks team in NHL history, so far.
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