DUCKS FIVE KEY TRAINING CAMP QUESTIONS:
1. Who is the No. 1 goalie for the Ducks?
Based on last season's playoffs, it is Jonas Hiller. But while Hiller started all seven games of their first-round series against Detroit, Viktor Fasth was strongly considered and might have gotten the nod if not for battling late-season ailments and a lack of NHL postseason experience. The two shared the net and could do so again to start the season, and Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau has promised there will an open competition. May the best goalie win.
2. How does the health of Francois Beauchemin affect the defense?
The 33-year-old bedrock earned leaguewide plaudits for his career season but is also coming off a mid-May surgery to repair a torn ACL in his right knee. Beauchemin is skating and pushing to be ready for the Oct. 2 season opener in Colorado, but it is possible the Ducks could start without him. If he isn't ready, it means even more will be on the shoulders of Cam Fowler and Luca Sbisa with Sheldon Souray (torn wrist ligament) already gone until midseason.
3. Is Dustin Penner ready to seize a big role?
Penner has had a habit of bouncing in and out of his coach's doghouse, but he is back in Anaheim where he had great early success playing alongside Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry. He'll get that chance to reignite that chemistry as Boudreau will start him on the top line. The big winger had big moments with the Kings but failed to put up big numbers because of inconsistent play. Can he find his game again in the place he should have never left?
4. Are the talented youngsters ready for larger roles?
A silver lining in the Ducks' playoff loss was the play of Nick Bonino, Kyle Palmieri and Emerson Etem, who were among the team's best players. How much more is Boudreau going to put on their plates? Bonino, 25, will start out as the second-line center. Palmieri and Etem will contend for top-six roles or form the nucleus of a potent fourth line at the very least. They'll push for more ice time if they build on their play against the Red Wings and not rest on their laurels.
5. Is it time for Peter Holland to stick with the Ducks? Or is it Rickard Rakell's time?
The potential opening at center on the fourth line appears to be a battle between and Holland and Rakell, whom the Ducks took as their top draft picks in recent years. Holland has vowed to make the team, but Rakell also played a few NHL games last season before being sent back to juniors for more seasoning.
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