By Kyle Shohara
As we approach training camp and the start of the 2014-15 season, AnaheimDucks.com will preview each player on the roster, highlighting last season’s accomplishments and providing insight into what you can expect this season. Our preview continues with defenseman Bryan Allen.
The 2014-15 campaign will mark the 14th NHL season for veteran defenseman Bryan Allen, and third with the Ducks. The hulking blueliner, who stands 6-foot-5 and weighs in at 224 pounds, was a physical force and a model of consistency for the Ducks last season.
Allen, who turned 34 on August 21, collected 10 points (all assists) with a career-high +20 rating and 75 penalty minutes in 68 games in 2013-14. His 75 penalty minutes led club defensemen while his 118 blocked shots ranked fourth overall.
Allen achieved several milestones last season, including appearing in his 700th career NHL game on March 20 at San Jose, and then skating in his 100th game as a Duck just three days later against Florida at Honda Center.
Known more for his grit than offense, Allen recorded his 100th career assist in a 6-3 win on November 2 at Buffalo, and tied a franchise record with a career-high +5 rating in a 6-0 home-opening victory, October 10 against the New York Rangers.
Allen appeared in his fifth Stanley Cup Playoffs, skating in all 13 postseason games vs. Dallas and Los Angeles. Allen ranked second on the club with a postseason career-high 28 penalty minutes (16 of which in Game 4 at Dallas).
Though Allen won’t likely light up the scoreboard in 2014-15, Ducks fans can expect him to do what he does best, and that’s playing physical, hard-nosed hockey. He figures to be a fixture on the penalty kill, where he ranked sixth overall on the squad last season in total shorthanded time-on-ice (154:16) and fourth overall in average TOI per game (2:16).
In a scoreless first period of Game 4 at American Airlines Center in Dallas, Cam Fowler found Allen wide open just inside the offensive zone. With the Stars’ forwards deep in the zone because of the onrushing Fowler, Allen was left uncontested as he unleashed a slap shot that gave the Ducks a 1-0 lead in the game. Though the Ducks wound up losing the game, they eventually eliminated the Stars in six games. Allen’s goal was his first as a Duck, and the first of his postseason career. The last time Allen scored a goal was on Feb. 28, 2012 vs. Nashville as a member of the Carolina Hurricanes.
BY THE NUMBERS
20 -- Allen finished the 2013-14 regular season with a +20 rating, the best of his career. His previous career high was +8, set in 2002-03, as a member of the Vancouver Canucks.
121, 118 -- Allen ranked third among team defensemen and fifth overall with 121 hits, and fourth overall with 118 blocked shots.
5 -- Allen returns to his familiar No. 5 after spending his past two seasons with 55. Allen has worn 5 since his days with the Canucks, dating back to the 2002-03 season.
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