Category Archives: Anaheim Ducks Gear

Troy Terry Jersey

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The Anaheim Ducks announced today that they three skaters will miss time due to injuries.

Troy Terry will miss approximately 10 weeks after suffering a broken bone below his kneecap. He took a knee-to-knee hit during the Flyers game yesterday in the second period and had to be helped off the ice. Terry had eight points (3G, 5A) in 33 games this season. The 22-year-old suffered a broken leg injury late last season that caused him to miss significant time as well.

The club also announced that Derek Grant would miss 4-6 weeks with sprain to his AC (shoulder) joint. No surgery is required, but the injury will force the Ducks to replace Grant on the 4th line as well as on the penalty kill and on the power play. Grant has had a career season so far with nine goals on the year. It is unclear how he suffered the injury.

Finally, Jacob Larsson was announced as day-to-day with an unspecified upper body injury.

To help fill the roster spots, the Ducks earlier today recalled left winger Max Jones and center Isac Lundestrom with the already present Sam Carrick filling in for Grant on the 4th line.

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First of all, have to give full credit to our friends at Blueshirt Banter for the concept. The best ten trades of the team in a decade. So let’s apply it to the Penguins!

Over the last ten years, the Penguins have made a ton of trades. Between two general managers in Ray Shero and Jim Rutherford, Pittsburgh has had some bold GM’s willing to move all kinds of pieces around to upgrade the team and contend for Stanley Cup championships. It worked since the team made the playoffs each and every year from 2010-19.

Here’s the qualifications, taken straight from BSB with the appropriate Pens’ related notes shoehorned in. By attempting the rankings of the best trades, I considered a few areas of evaluation. They are:
Immediate Face Value Appraisal

Sometimes, you know it’s a win, right from the time you see the Bob McKenzie tweet announcing the trade. (Think of the Kessel from Toronto deal — with salary retained!). Hindsight is always a factor when looking back on these trades, but sometimes right from Jump St. you can just tell that the Pens made a good move. If so, it’s probably appearing in this article and not the next one about the ten WORST trades of the decade.
Hindsight Analysis

But, knowing what we know now matters too. Carolina trading Pittsburgh in the eight overall pick in the 2012 draft seemed great at the time, but didn’t really mean very much now at the end of 2019. Dallas throwing in a seemingly random 2013 third round pick ended up being a very big deal right now. That’s hindsight and unknowable at the time of the trade, but ends up at this point being a big, big factor!
Impact on Team’s Success

Shedding a bad player for a serviceable player (like, say, Daley for Scuderi) means a lot more right now than trading a second round pick for a rental that didn’t add up to much. That kind of makes sense at face value, so let’s stay there.
Butterfly Effect… To a Degree

The Guentzel trade comes into play here. Who would have known at the time? No one, but that was a good move. On the other end, the Pens traded the draft pick that was Ryan Dzingel to Ottawa for Alex Kovalev. That one is probably going to show up in the other article for worst trades of the decade. In a big sense, this is part luck but any trade involving picks and prospects can end up meandering to a way different path eventually then what it looks like at the time of the trade, for better or worse.
#10: Feburary 1, 2019: Pittsburgh trades Riley Sheahan, Derick Brassard, a 2019 second round pick, and two 2019 fourth round picks to Florida in exchange for Jared McCann and Nick Bjugstad

Jim Rutherford made this trade as a part of his patented “correcting a mistake” type of deal, adding a 22-year old former first round pick in McCann in exchange for a disappointment in Brassard and a second round pick. The Pens got a third line center in Bjugstad who may pay off more later on with his size and skill, but the major prize was undoubtedly McCann.

McCann has scored 21 goals and 38 points in his first 66 games with Pittsburgh, living up to his pedigree as a talented young player. And he’s done that on a $1.25 million salary cap hit, a huge boost to a team like Pittsburgh that really needs a boost of youth, fresh legs, energy and at a bargain rate against the cap. This trade isn’t even that old, but it’s already paid off to add what the Pens thought they were going to get from Brassard but actually ended up needing to flip into McCann to make it happen.
9 – December 3, 2018: Pittsburgh trades Daniel Sprong to Anaheim for Marcus Pettersson

Sprong was a polarizing prospect but never found a way to find his way into the good graces with the Pens. Rutherford was boxed into a corner here and found a way to trade this unestablished player to get a needed defenseman. Pettersson was a 13-14 minute a night player in Anaheim just trying to find his way, when he got to the Pens he has become a 18-19 minute important defender for the Pens that has blossomed into a good NHL level player. And that wasn’t something they were going to get out of Sprong.
8- June 22, 2012: Pittsburgh trades Jordan Staal to Carolina for Brandon Sutter, Brian Dumoulin and the No. 8 overall pick in 2012 (used to select Derrick Pouliot)

This is a bittersweet trade, to be sure. It could have been much higher, had the Pens drafted a player like Filip Forsberg or Teuvo Teravainen who were both very much in the range of this pick. But, they didn’t.

Still, former GM Ray Shero was also boxed in a bit back in 2012. Staal rejected a long-term contract with Pittsburgh and would have been entering a “walk year” of his contract with the Pens. So they flipped him and got a replacement (if lesser) NHL center in Brandon Sutter and that high pick.

And, with hindsight, Brian Dumoulin ended up being the most important piece of this trade for the Pens. Dumoulin wasn’t at the time of the trade, and as we saw with several high defenseman draft picks of that era (Pouliot, Joe Morrow, Scott Harrington, Simon Despres), sometimes via development or injury a prospect doesn’t always pan out. Dumoulin did though, exceeding all reasonable expectations to turn into a rock-steady top pair NHL dman.
8 – February 22, 2016: Pittsburgh trades a third round pick to Edmonton for Justin Schultz

Before Justin Schultz came to Pittsburgh he was a punchline. A perceived terrible defenseman who could defend and had very little appreciable value to an NHL team. This was mostly due to a bad Edmonton team that threw Schultz into deep waters and tough assignments that didn’t fit him. And, to be fair, he performed very poorly there.

But in Pittsburgh, first as a 6/7 type of defender in the 2016 Stanley Cup run, he was insulated and put in favorable situations. Schultz’s confidence grew and by 2016-17 he was a 51 point player (12G+39A) and a key player for the 2017 Stanley Cup run.

It took a little faith, patience and projection but the Pens found a talented player in a bad situation and helped build him up into a vital piece of the puzzle that continues through the end of the decade.
6- July 28, 2015: Pittsburgh trades Brandon Sutter and a third round pick (used to select William Lockwood) to Vancouver for Nick Bonino, Adam Clendening and a second round pick (used to select Filip Gustavsson)

After Sutter stuttered in his role with the Pens, Rutherford used him to flip for Nick Bonino who was cheaper against the salary cap and ended up being an instrumental piece of the 2016 Stanley Cup run in the H-B-K line that gave Pittsburgh a huge advantage in the playoffs against teams like Washington, Tampa and San Jose. Bonino also was a key player in the 2017 Stanley Cup run up until an injury.

The Pens also got a boost in the draft swap that ended up netting them a premier goalie prospect who was used in a future trade. But that trade won’t show up here. This one was all about the boost that Bonino provided compared to Sutter.
5- July 26, 2019: Pittsburgh trades a conditional sixth round pick in 2021 to Edmonton for John Marino

A master stroke in scouting and situational awareness, the Pens plucked Marino out of Edmonton. Marino was not going to sign with the Oilers, so they were willing to deal him for a conditional pick. If the Pens didn’t sign Marino, they wouldn’t have to give up the pick making this a total “no risk, all reward” type of trade. But they did convince him to forego his senior year in Harvard and he’s instantly become a 19 minute-a-game player at the NHL level with excellent instincts, calmness. And he adds a right handed shot on an entry level contract that will pay off into the early years of the next decade.
4- December 14, 2015: Pittsburgh trades Rob Scuderi (retaining $1.1 million of salary) to Chicago for Trevor Daley

Another situationally smart trade, the Pens used Chicago’s salary cap crunch against them in order to steal a serviceable player in Daley for a used up Scuderi by buying the Blackhawks a little over $1 million on the cap for 1.5 seasons. It turned out great for Pittsburgh, since Daley somehow didn’t fit with the scheme/coaching of Chicago, but ended up being a viable second pair player in the 2016 Stanley Cup run, a big upgrade from the slow-footed and bad hands of Scuderi who wasn’t going to be able to fit in with the new Mike Sullivan era.
3- March 24, 2013: Pittsburgh trades Joseph Morrow and a fifth round pick in 2013 (used to select Matej Paulovic) to Dallas for Brendan Morrow and a third round pick in 2013 (used to select Jake Guentzel)

This uses hindsight, but that still counts in the long-run. Dallas dealt their captain in Morrow to the Pens for their 2013 ill-fated playoff run. Morrow gets a bad rap for his time in Pittsburgh, mostly by people who forget he dislocated his kneecap and still played through it.

But this trade ended up having long-term ramifications in the seemingly meaningless swap of draft picks. Ray Shero managed to upgrade a fifth for a third. No big deal on the surface. However that third rounder ended up being Jake Guentzel and has had a monumental impact on the Pens’ future from there on out.
2- Feb 12, 2011: Pittsburgh trades Alex Goligoski to Dallas for James Neal and Matt Niskanen

With an excess of defensemen (including the emerging Kris Letang) the Pens could afford to ship out Goligoski, who was a very good player in his own right. But Pittsburgh got incredible value in that trade by landing a future 40-goal scorer in Neal and a throw-in of Niskanen who ended up being a top-four defender for as long as Goligoski has. If this trade was one-for-one in either direction, it might have been a fair one (or a modest Pittsburgh win). But that Shero pulled two key players out of this one meant a huge win for the Pens.
1- July 1, 2015: Pittsburgh trades Nick Spaling, Scott Harrington, Kasperi Kapanen, 2016 first round pick (eventually used to select Sam Steel) and a 2016 third round pick to Toronto for Phil Kessel ($1.25m retained), Tyler Biggs, Tim Erixon and a 2016 second round pick (used to select Kasper Bjorkqvist)

Simply put, this was the trade that re-started the Pens’ dynasty. After things had grown stale in the middle of the decade, Rutherford swung for the fences and hit an absolute home run by acquiring Phil Kessel. And he got Toronto to retain salary AND take a player in Spaling that was filler to help balance the salaries. AND the Pens were able to make the deal without sending then top youngsters in Derick Pouliot and Olli Maatta to Toronto.

Kapanen and the first round pick were decent pieces to surrender, but paled in comparison to the immediate impact that Kessel made as one of the top players in the league for the 2016 and 2017 Stanley Cup runs and then scored 174 points in the 2018 and 2019 seasons that followed.

The 2010’s were such a crazy time for trades for the Pens. There wasn’t a lot of time for inactivity. Trades were the most major way for the team to re-shape itself and eventually become the only team in the salary cap era to win back-to-back Stanley Cups.

Of course, with good trades also comes bad trades. But we’ll save that for not Christmas to look into

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A few weeks ago, we asked you to send us your burning questions about the Anaheim Ducks. You delivered, sending several quality questions our way, and we really enjoyed taking the time to answer all of them. Our answers are honest, and we hope they were exactly what you were looking for.

Khalid Hart: As goofy as this may sound they really need to shoot more. Time after time we see them try to deke their way into the net only to get stripped of the puck or lose it altogether

Jonathan Morris: I feel like the Ducks need an elite scorer. Honestly, their play isn’t terrible but they have 0 finishers. Rakell is probably the closest and it’s not even close to some teams elite scorers around the league.

Ben Thomasian: Two-part answer: Firstly, the Ducks should look to upgrade their roster. It may seem harsh and some of the players may be fan favorites, but this isn’t a team built to outscore opponents. For years we spoke and complained about the bad players (who were hitting 20 goals) on Getzlaf’s LW, now we watch him with Devin Shore and Troy Terry. No disrespect towards those players, but they are not top-line scoring threats.

Finding players to go on this top line will filter down the depth chart. Secondly, they should implement a number of different playing styles that can be implemented for different situations. At present, the Ducks play one way at all times and it’s become an issue. As an example consider the Wild game recently.

In the first period they dominated playing their way, yet from the second period onwards, the wild slowed the game down and the ducks couldn’t respond. That wild team was lacking in strength and size up the middle after the Staal injury, it would have taken nothing for the Ducks to switch to a heavy forecheck and dumping the puck in deep – not a strategy they maybe should use often, but in that game would have worked well. Long story short, Eakins needs to diversify his playbook.

Ciara Durant: It’s simple… they need scoring, and quite frankly, they may not get it this season. The team as a whole has an issue finishing and there isn’t a player who could be defined as a natural goal scorer. Rickard Rakell might be the closest, but even still, he’s on pace to barely eclipse 20 goals.

I’d say the best and only thing Dallas Eakins can do in situations like this is go with what works. So far, we’ve seen success with the Rickard Rakell-Jakob Silfverberg line. You can really stick any center between them, and they lead the team most games. The Nick Ritchie–Adam Henrique–Ondrej Kase line also works. They may not be racking up the points, but they have chemistry, and as a coach, you have to work with what you’ve got.

TJ Watson: To improve offense, I would give more time to someone like Shore or Steel, and integrate Comtois into the fray. This team is young so there will be some dry spells, but if they can get better on defense, the offense will come.

Khalid Hart: No question about Zegras is the one everyone wants to see. This will be our first in-depth look at him on a national scale so everyone will be watching.

Jonathan Morris: Zegras, I want to see him compete against the best at his age and see how he handles it.

Ben Thomasian: Dostal is having a wonderful year, and he’s still incredibly young to be having the season he is as a netminder. It may be less about excitement and more about curiosity, but I’m looking forward to seeing how he goes against his elite peer group.

Ciara Durant: Hands down, Lukas Dostal. I wholeheartedly believe that he is the heir to the John Gibson throne, and it works out perfectly because Dostal should reach peak development by the time Gibson begins his decline. He played beautifully for “Team Czech Republic” last season, and after having an incredible season so far this year, I’m excited to see him play in the international spotlight. He is by far my favorite prospect currently in the Anaheim Ducks system (nothing against Trevor Zegras) and I think he’s going to be a big factor for his team in the WJC this year.

Khalid Hart: If you’re not saying Cam Fowler you’re going to disappointed. In terms of leadership, it makes sense, in terms of longevity it makes sense. After all, Cam’s been with the team for the longest right after Getzlaf. I think it will come down to a vote between the coaches and the leadership group in the locker room.

Jonathan Morris: I think its Fowler, he has been there, went through the ups and downs and is having a year of growth.

Ben Thomasian: Another two-part answer: First the reality check: It’s Cam Fowler. Always has been, always will be. There is no real debate here. Second, the dream: Brad Lambert. The Ducks are incredibly awful and in with a real chance of drafting #1 overall in the 2022 draft. They take future Finnish superstar Lambert and we all profit. Get on the bandwagon now people!

Ciara Durant: Simple, Cam Fowler is Ryan Getzlaf‘s heir apparent. I was rather shocked when he wasn’t one of the Ducks alternate captains this season, but I have quite enjoyed watching Jakob Silfverberg and Josh Manson in that role. But, regardless, the Anaheim Ducks have been grooming Fowler for this position for years. I wrote about this a few seasons ago, and it still rings true today.

TJ Watson: I think Rakell is the future captain, he has the tenacity, youth and also a guy who can put a team on his back in different ways. I think for this team, it needs to be someone young enough who can help guide the team into the future.

Jonathan Morris: I would gauge interest on both, I would prefer to keep Rakell because I think he can develop further into a scorer, Henrique is a very solid 3C but the results plus the paycheck arent what we need.

Ben Thomasian: Yes. You want me to clarify? The Ducks, we assume, are rebuilding. Henrique is getting on for 30 and we know there is a typical decline in performance moving forward from that age bracket. He’s also signed for a fair dollar value going forward, yet is performing as well as any Duck this season (although his scoring has dropped away of late – 1 point/goal in the past 11 games.)

Trading him now while he still has perceived value would likely get a better return which would help accrue draft assets to accelerate a rebuild. It also provides the Anaheim Ducks cap space which they may be able to weaponize to accrue more draft collateral. It may be hard to deal with, but the hard question should be “is Henrique part of the next Anaheim Ducks cup contending team?” If the answer is yes, they should keep him, if not….

Ciara Durant: To be quite honest, I would not be opposed to trading either of them. The Ducks may not have outrightly said they are rebuilding, but things seem to be going that direction. Take New York for example. The Rangers just went through a rebuild. Was it easy? No. They had to trade players that had been with the team for years. We saw “the King” Henrik Lundqvist cry when Mats Zuccarello was traded to the Dallas Stars.

The Ducks are in desperate need of change, and both Rickard Rakell and Adam Henrique could potentially get the Ducks a good return. You can’t be stingy in situations like this. While it may hurt a little bit, especially since they are two fan favorites, but again, you have to be open to all options in rebuilds/retools.

TJ Watson: I won’t consider trading Rakell, because of my answer above. I would consider resigning him for the right price. I’m a maybe on Henrique, he hasn’t been a bust trade, unless you’re looking to get someone like, say TJ from TBL, or someone of better talent.

Khalid Hart: I don’t see why not. He’s working on earning it as we speak but this goes back to the previous question letting him go via trade or letting him walk is a really difficult thing to do unless the return is amazing or we get someone who is just as good if not better. If we do none of that we come out looking like the biggest losers in the end.

Jonathan Morris: Yes, as long as they push to be competitive, if they go full rebuild then they need to trade any asset with value for picks/prospects. We lack elite players and elite prospects. We have potential in both areas but nothing clear cut.

Ben Thomasian: Probably not. I tend to have a dislike of signing guys getting close to their 30’s (he’ll be 28) to long term contracts (which he’ll want). He’s been a good player for us, but it may be time, at that point, to let him walk.

Khalid Hart: If you asked me this during the 2016-17 season when we were still competitive I would’ve said yes please in a heartbeat. Right now it just doesn’t make sense. And knowing Radulov he’s in a win-now mode so he wouldn’t settle for a retooling season or seasons with the Ducks.

Jonathan Morris: No, the Russian Machine is broken. The Anaheim Ducks stay away from Russian players typically and Radulov while Firey and competitive night in and night out is trending down in a league that is getting younger and faster each and every year. Players are going to start being to old for this league at 30, we are seeing it shift there now. So I would stay away from trading for players above that.

Ben Thomasian: Yes and No. He’s old. He’s great, but he’s not going to instantly fix this team by himself. If he’s one of a couple of players the Ducks are bringing in to help them eek out another playoff appearance, then it would be a good move. If he’s the only player coming in, then it feels like it would be just adding a player to reach bubble playoff status and if they’re lucky a one and done postseason appearance. My personal preference in that situation would be to rebuild for the future, and an old dog like that isn’t going to be around when the Ducks are aiming to be cup contenders again.

Ciara Durant: No, and simply because the Ducks aren’t currently in a spot to compete for the cup. Adding Radulov to the mix may increase their chances, but I’d much rather have a high draft pick so the Ducks can build a better foundation for their future when they are Cup contenders once again. As a player, I respect Radulov, but at the age of 33, he’s aiming for the Cup now. Dallas is in a good spot to make a playoff run like they did last season. Trading him to a team that has no chance at the Cup just seems unfair to me.

Ciara Durant: It depends on term and price. While Rakell is probably one of the better forwards on this team, we haven’t seen him have another year similar to his 2017-18 season. He’s going to be older when his current contract expires, and he’s going to want to cash out with his big contract. The Ducks really need to consider all their options and hope Rakell is willing to sign a team-friendly deal. I am not opposed to resigning him, but I’m skeptical.

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UNIONDALE, NY (AP) — The Anaheim Ducks showed their resiliency in a back-and-forth game on the road against the New York Islanders.

Jakob Silfverberg scored in regulation and added the shootout winner in the Ducks’ 6-5 win over the Islanders on Saturday.

Adam Henrique had a goal and an assist, John Gibson made 28 saves as the Ducks snapped a two-game skid. Max Comtois, Sam Carrick and Cam Fowler also scored.

“We made the most of our opportunities,” Fowler said. “We had contributions from everyone up and down the lineup and when you can do that, it helps you win hockey games.”

Anders Lee, Brock Nelson and Mathew Barzal each had a goal and an assist while Semyon Varlamov made 23 saves as the Islanders fell for the second time in three games. Nick Leddy had a goal and two assists, and Jordan Eberle and Derick Brassardd each had two assists.

Ryan Pulock tied the score 5-5 when he blasted a slap shot past Gibson with 6:41 left in the third period. Leddy and Brassard assisted on the Islanders’ second power-play goal of the game.

Fowler scored a go-ahead goal midway through the third when his wrist shot sailed over Varlamov’s glove.

“It just felt like we would have a couple of good plays and then they would get one play and it would be in the back of the net,” Barzal said after the frustrating loss.

Varlamov started his second straight game, which was the first time the Islanders opened with the same goalie in consecutive games this season. It was the ninth longest streak in NHL history of a team alternating goalies.

Henrique scored for the second time in two games when he sneaked in front of Leddy at 5:25 of the middle period to give the Ducks a 3-2 lead. Michael Del Zotto and Korbinian Holzer collected assists on the play.

“We need full team efforts here, up and down the lineup,” Ducks coach Dallas Eakins said. “That’s a damn good hockey team over there. To be able to come into their rink and score five goals against a team that is that stingy, we’ll feel pretty good about that.”

Less than five minutes later, Barzal answered with the most entertaining goal of the high-scoring game at 9:20 of the second. Lee took advantage of Barzal’s speed and floated a perfect lead pass to help his teammate zip past the Ducks’ defenseman to tie the score at 3-3.

Lee ended his three-game goal drought with his 10th of the season to open the scoring. Barzal was able to drag defenseman Erik Gudbranson to his side of the ice before sliding the puck across to Lee at 1:50 of the first period. Eberle also assisted on the play.

Islanders defenseman Scott Mayfield was unable to block out Comtois before he tipped in Isac Lundestrom’s shot at 16:27 of the first period to tie it 1-1.

Carrick gave the Ducks a short-lived one-goal lead when he netted his first of the season at 17:03.

Nelson ended a back-and-forth first period with a power-play goal to even the score 2-2 just 47 seconds after Carrick’s goal. Pulock and Leddy assisted.

Leddy went on to add a goal of his own with 5:45 left in the second to give the Islanders a 4-3 lead. The smooth-skating defenseman slipped behind a Ducks defenseman and Nelson found Leddy all alone in the slot.

Silfverberg responded with a game-tying goal 26 seconds later. Henrique and Hampus Lindholm each recorded their second points of the game with assists.

“We are not thrilled with giving up five but to see five go in should give our guys a little bit of a boost moving forward,” Fowler said. “Then if we can really lock down defensively that’s when things will start to turn for us.”

NOTES: Before the game, Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello said Cal Clutterbuck will be out indefinitely after an operation on his wrist. The alternate captain suffered the injury against Boston this week when Patrice Bergeron’s skate inadvertently cut his wrist. … Barzal and Pulock skated in their 200th NHL game. … Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf missed the game with flu-like symptoms. ,,, Anaheim scratched D Jacob Larsson.

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Ryan Kesler and Kevin Bieksa have entered the world of podcasting.

The “Kes and Juice Podcast” debuted today, promising to talk about “hockey, life, and other stuff.”

Longtime teammates with both the Vancouver Canucks (10 years) and Anaheim Ducks (3), Kesler and Bieksa have a lot more time on their hands these days. Bieksa, 38, is effectively retired, and hasn’t suited up since the Spengler Cup last year. Kesler, 35, is on long term injury reserve with the Anaheim Ducks and may have already played his last game due to a hip injury.

“It’s a chance to show off our personalities,” Kesler explained, before acknowledging the differences between how he and Bieksa are perceived.

“I think people get you (Bieksa) but a lot of people don’t get me,” Kesler added.

“People are going to like you (Kesler) when they get to hear you,” Bieksa said. “You were guarded [with the media in Vancouver]… When people get to actually listen to you talk, they’re going to understand why we’re friends.”

The pair spent a long time talking about their old team, with Bieksa explaining: “[The Canucks] still have a place in both of our hearts. We spent a lot of time there. We want the team to do well and get back to the playoffs.”

“I know it was a tough break up, but they’ll always have a place in my heart,” said Kesler, whose relationship with the fans in Vancouver soured when he forced a trade to Anaheim in 2014.

“When you touch the puck and you get booed every time, it definitely hurt,” said Kesler.

See also:
Sopel speaks out in support of former Canucks coach Marc Crawford
Kesler says he still isn’t over Canucks’ 2011 Stanley Cup loss in revealing interview
Bieksa shares hilarious old stories with former Canucks teammate Burrows

Kesler and Bieksa spoke about a number of things on their first podcast, discussing issues past and present. It may remind fans of the popular hockey podcast Spittin’ Chiclets, with ex-players talking openly about their playing days, with a bit of swearing mixed in.

On the topic of abusive coaches, Kesler shared his own experience from early in his career, without naming anyone in particular.

“I was kicked, I was verbally assaulted, to the point where I needed to start talking to a sports psychologist,” said Kesler.

Todd Bertuzzi was the duo’s first guest, with the ex-Canucks winger sharing an amazing story about the players partying every night during training camp and showing up to practice hungover.

Before signing off, Bertuzzi offered Kesler and Bieksa some lighthearted encouragement with their new venture: “Good luck with this sh*t. I hope you don’t f*ck it up.”

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Anaheim Ducks center Adam Henrique scored his 11th goal of the season in Saturday’s 6-5 shootout victory over the Islanders, while adding an assist in the contest. Henrique positioned himself nicely in front of the net and got his stick on a deflection for the even-strength goal in the second period, while setting up teammate Jakob Silfverberg with a diving pass to even the game at four goals apiece. Max Comtois, Sam Carrick, Jakob Silfverberg and Cam Fowler each added a goal in the high scoring contest. Henrique has accumulated points in three of the past four contests — and has 11 goals, eight assists and 19 points through 36 games — but the 29-year-old should only be monitored in deep formats at the moment.

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ANAHEIM, CA — The Dallas Eakins Era in Anaheim has gotten through its first growing pain.

The pain arrived in the form of a sprained MCL for Josh Manson on October 24th against the Dallas Stars. Anaheim would only manage four wins in its following 10 games, denting the club’s playoff hopes. To lose is one thing, but the Ducks’ overall game dipped into dark waters during that stretch. With Manson now healthy and back in the lineup, there’s optimism that Eakins’ squad can find its game again.

Until Manson’s MCL injury, Anaheim’s newly-minted head coach had his club playing solid, if unspectacular hockey, to the tune of a 52.23 expected goals-for percentage at five-on-five. The 28-year-old defenseman’s presence allowed for Eakins to deploy his blueline in a very specific way. Manson, alongside Hampus Lindholm on the first pairing, ate up all the tough assignments, making way for the up-tempo tandem of Cam Fowler and Brendan Guhle to play a more offensive style against weaker competition. The synthesis of those two pairings sheltered Anaheim’s third pairing of Jacob Larsson and Korbinian Holzer. Lindholm and Manson did not necessarily dominate in their role, but the ripple effect on the other two pairings was undeniable. Guhle, in particular, looked confident joining the rush and provide that added layer of attack that so many had envisioned under an Eakins-led team. Those visions soon vanished with the fall of a single domino.

Anaheim would see the delicate balance of its blueline construction buckle alongside Manson that fateful night in Dallas. Ducks’ General Manager Bob Murray sought immediate support, plucking physical defenseman Erik Gudbranson out of Pittsburgh by way of trade just a few days later.

Yet, as Gudbranson tried to find his bearings on a new club, Anaheim would suffer another setback in the form of an injury to Lindholm. Any possible solution for Manson’s absence went out the window, as Eakins had to contend with a war on two fronts. Lindholm would eventually return, but the damage was done. The Ducks saw their expected goals-for percentage go from well over 50 percent at the time of Manson’s injury, all the way down to 45 percent by mid-November. Eakins tried just about everything. Larsson got time next to Lindholm on the first pairing, Michael Del Zotto would see big minutes, even Holzer was thrust into critical penalty killing minutes. Nothing seemed to really stick, perhaps hinting at an overall lack of depth. Both Guhle and Larsson badly struggled in Manson’s absence; both have since been sent down to the minors. Eakins tried to minimize their work-loads as best as he could by alternating them on the third pairing, but even that didn’t work.

The passage of time tends to provide solutions. For Eakins, the return of Lindholm brought back a semblance of stability. Fowler and Gudbranson formed a workable second pairing, while Josh Mahura arose as Anaheim’s most polished defensive prospect. Del Zotto, the well-traveled veteran, did well in spot minutes.

Where the Ducks once struggled to control the pace of play, they now have a new-found level of credibility. Although the scoreboard results haven’t been there, strong road performances against the likes of Washington and Winnipeg indicate that the club has left its darkest struggles behind. From a low point of 42.8 percent, Anaheim has clawed its way up to a rolling average of 49.18 percent from an expected goals-for perspective. That’s a considerable spike, showing how the Ducks have both managed to tighten up their own defensive zone work while also transitioning that into greater offensive chances.

Anaheim’s most recent loss against Los Angeles both demonstrated just how far the club has come, and also how much further it has to go. Just as they did against Minnesota earlier in the week, Eakins’ men limited their opposition’s offensive opportunities. Sure, the Kings got their licks in, but gone were the complete defensive breakdowns that had so often marked their long stretch of losses.

The challenge now turns to the offensive zone, where the coaching staff is searching for line combinations to spark its forwards. Jonathan Quick did indeed stand on his head for Los Angeles, turning aside 36 of 37 shots, but the Ducks had plenty of golden opportunities that they simply failed to capitalize on.

Ideally, Eakins would like his team to play a faster attacking style, something that’s a lot harder to accomplish without a stable blueline. With the back end now sorted out, the focus now turns to making sure there won’t be too many more games like the one that happened on Thursday night.

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The Anaheim Ducks announced today that they three skaters will miss time due to injuries.

Troy Terry will miss approximately 10 weeks after suffering a broken bone below his kneecap. He took a knee-to-knee hit during the Flyers game yesterday in the second period and had to be helped off the ice. Terry had eight points (3G, 5A) in 33 games this season. The 22-year-old suffered a broken leg injury late last season that caused him to miss significant time as well.

The club also announced that Derek Grant would miss 4-6 weeks with sprain to his AC (shoulder) joint. No surgery is required, but the injury will force the Ducks to replace Grant on the 4th line as well as on the penalty kill and on the power play. Grant has had a career season so far with nine goals on the year. It is unclear how he suffered the injury.

Finally, Jacob Larsson was announced as day-to-day with an unspecified upper body injury.

To help fill the roster spots, the Ducks earlier today recalled left winger Max Jones and center Isac Lundestrom with the already present Sam Carrick filling in for Grant on the 4th line.

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There’s been a lot of talk about Ryan Getzlaf and him increasing his shots per game this season under Dallas Eakins. At face value, he’s scored more goals than we fans would expect and is on pace for 30 goals on the year. A mark he’s only hit once (2013-2014) in his career with the Anaheim Ducks. This would naturally seem like a good thing and thus the praise has been forthcoming for the player and the coach who has gotten through to him. More is better right? Maybe. Maybe not.

At a glance, the team, as a group, are getting an average of 28.9 shots on net per game. This can be further broken down to 26.5 shots in games they win, and 30.1 shots in games they lose. It’s almost become a bit of joke that they haven’t won a game in which they’ve outshot their opponent. Although score-effect has a lot to do with that.

The 28.9 average ranks the Ducks 27th in the league for this particular metric. Most fans, whether they’re all about that old school thug life, or they bat off over “advanced statistics,” would recognize that more shots are better than less and that more shots are more likely to result in more goals. Thus, Getzlaf as an individual shooting the puck more is considered an overall boon.
The Anaheim Duck Don’t Win More with Getzlaf Increasing His Shots

At a glance, Getzlaf is shooting at the 4th highest rate of his career, which is the highest since the 2014-2015 season. To put that in perspective, he’s shooting 8.5% more across all situations. A number that can be broken down to a 15% increase at even strength. This season, he’s shooting the puck near enough to 2.5 times per game (2.47 to be precise), subdivided to 1.87 times at even strength and 0.53 on the powerplay. All this is part of the Anaheim Ducks new system of shooting the puck from wherever they can, whenever they can.

However, as mentioned above the Ducks seemingly shoot the puck far less in games they win. This too is true for Getzlaf. In games the Ducks win, Getzlaf is shooting the puck 1.16 times per game at even strength. In fact, the Ducks have only won 2 games in which Getzlaf has shot over his season average. Let that sink in.

The Anaheim Ducks have won 2 games in which Getzlaf has had 3 or more shots per game. However, the Ducks are a team that has lost a lot of games of late, so this may not surprise. What may surprise is that the Ducks score fewer goals as a group in games which Getzlaf has 3 or more shots. Specifically, when Getzlaf has 0-to-2 shot in the game, the Ducks average 3 goals. When Getzlaf has 3 or more shots on net, they score 2.15 goals per game.

All that is to say that Getzlaf shooting the puck more isn’t necessarily better, and it’s incredibly lazy to suggest that it may be the case. However, in some cases, this may actually hold true. This season Getzlaf is shooting 11.9% less on average per game, on the power-play, than his career average. This is also the 4th lowest total of his career to date. The discerning fan will recognize that the Ducks power-play is truly abysmal (10.5% conversion rate) and ranked 2nd last in the league.
Getzlaf Shooting More Has Improved the Power Play

However, while Getzlaf is merely shooting 0.53 times per game while on the power-play, the Ducks have scored power-play goals in 6 of the 13 games in which Getzlaf has registered a shot on net in this facet of the game. This is in stark comparison to the 2 goals in 17 games in which Getzlaf has not had a shot on net during the power-play.

So taken together, we can establish that Getzlaf shooting more at even strength may not necessarily be beneficial to the teams’ success, yet him shooting more on the power play might be. These two phenomena may not necessarily be mutually exclusive things. We know from a very long career, that Getzlaf is one of the best pure passing players in the game. Him looking to shoot the puck more takes away from his greatest strength and limits the abilities of other players to score. At even strength, general play is more fluid, thus threading the needle with a deft pass is likely to result in a shot on net from a dangerous position.

On the power-play, however, and particularly on the Ducks power play, the general flow of play is more stagnant. The puck moves around the outside basically waiting for a defensive lapse to occur. Getzlaf making these types of passes does not really help to get quality scoring chances. However, Getzlaf does possess a heavy shot, and it is a good shot when he uses it. This of course why people want him to shoot the puck more. At even strength, it doesn’t measure up to his ability to pass, but on a stagnant power-play his shot can create rebounds and thus dangerous follow up opportunities to score.

Taken together we can see that the Anaheim Ducks may have the right mindset, but poor application. More shots overall is a positive trend. This should be at a team level however and not necessarily the captain. He is a gifted passer of the puck, and while he is currently scoring at a high percentage, we know passing is more likely to be a reproducible skill as he ages. We can see from above that Getzlaf shooting more at even strength, correlates to others shooting less, and the Ducks, as a team, scoring less. We can also see that he’s doing less on the power-play and that this change too, is hurting the team score overall.

I admire the captain taking more upon himself in certain situations, however, it may be time for the coaching staff to step in and give him a nudge in the right direction once again. Coaches should be placing players in positions to best use their strengths and this should be no different. It may be time to push the captain to utilize all the strengths he’s shown us over the past decade and more.

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Chris Kreider scored twice and Henrik Lundqvist made 19 saves as the New York Rangers won a tough and physical game against the Anaheim Ducks, 5-1, at Madison Square Garden on Sunday. It snapped a three game losing streak.

There was a scary moment in the third period when Filip Chytil went slamming into the boards knees first after Korbinian Holzer’s stick hit his foot. Chytil laid on the ice for a few minutes but eventually skated off with help from head athletics trainer Jim Ramsay. He did return to play in the period but looked uncomfortable.

Earlier in the game it was a Chytil who got the Rangers on the board first. The scoring got underway about seven minutes into the first period. Brendan Lemieux chipped a pass to Filip Chytil in the neutral zone, and Chytil skated all the way to the net and back-handed a shot past Ryan Miller to give the Rangers the early lead.

Only a minute later, Brett Howden knocked in a loose puck hanging after a saved shot from Anthony DeAngelo to give the Blueshirts a 2-0 advantage.

At about halfway through the period, Anaheim’s Sam Steel knocked in a puck that was in mid-air past Henrik Lundqvist to put the Ducks on the board.

But Kreider took a pass in the neutral zone three minutes later, and just like Chytil, skated all the way through the neutral zone and forced the puck past Miller to give the Rangers the 3-1 lead, which held until the end of the period.

The second period was extremely intense, and it may very well be the Rangers’ most physical period of hockey so far this season.

16 minutes into the period, Kreider deflected a pass by Zibanejad from behind the net, which led to another goal and put the Rangers up 4-1.

But mere moments later, a rather unusual incident occurred involving Lemieux. Erik Gudbranson gave Lemieux a shove, and challenged Lemieux to a bout. Lemieux skated away after Gudbranson dropped the gloves.

Gudbranson was given a 10 minute misconduct for slamming his sticking snapping it in half afterwards, and Lemieux was given a minor penalty.

As the second period ended, Lemieux was handed a 10-minute misconduct and a two-minute roughing minor for punching Hampus Lindholm at the end of the period.

To start the third, Zibanejad scored his third shorthanded goal of the season to give the Rangers a 5-1 edge.

Later on, Michael Haley and Nicolas Deslauriers gave the Garden faithful an amazing bout, which ended with Deslauriers getting pinned to the ice by Haley. Both received five-minute majors.