ANAHEIM -- Each of the past two postseasons have ended in familiar fashion for the Anaheim Ducks, a disappointing defeat in a Game 7 at Honda Center after a successful regular season.
The 2014-15 Ducks have already progressed further than the previous two teams. One of the biggest reasons is their young, skilled defensemen.
General manager Bob Murray has overhauled the defense over the past couple of seasons, moving away from a collection of low-risk veterans to a swift skating group. For a team with such high expectations, it has taken courage to commit to fielding a lineup with four defensemen who have not reached their 24th birthday, but Anaheim has been rewarded with a late-season spike in its possession statistics and a deep run in the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
"I think with all of the young guys, we are in a good organization that lets you develop at the pace that you can do," Ducks defenseman Hampus Lindholm said. "They have great guys around the organization to help as well. There’s [Scott Niedermayer], who I talk to a lot. He’s been really good for me. Being paired with Francois [Beauchemin] has been great too as a veteran guy to kind of rely on. They’ve been doing a great job of shaping us the way they want."