After a brief stint wearing the number 24, Beauchemin has settled back into his old Ducks uniform. Unfortunately, the Ducks of the present are giving us plenty of reason to get nostalgic about the Ducks of the recent past.
Daniel, favorite Beauchemin moment?
My favorite Beauchemin moment is now and will forever be the fight with Iginla in the 2006 playoffs. We talk about it a lot, and everyone remembers how it changed the series. The Ducks had to win that game to stay alive. Beauchemin and Niedermayer had been matched with Iginla all series. Carlyle loves him some match ups. Frankie had been chippy, as he always is, and Iginla had his fill. Iginla wanted this fight. He wanted to let it be known that the Flames weren't going to take this lying down. But, Beauchemin threw some bombs, and definitely gave more than he got.
I think this was also an important moment for fans of the organization. We'd watched this team play all year, and we knew what they were about. However, when you finally see an identity shine through in a playoff situation like this one, it provides you security as a fan. We talk a lot about effort. We want a team that just tries hard every night. When this fight happened I became 100% cognizant of who these Ducks were and the playoffs they could have. This was when I thought we could make another run at the Cup. I've always thought of Beauchemin as a Duck and always thought that not offering him a contract was one of the dumbest moves Murray ever made. Let's face it, Wisniewski gave Scotty more gray hair and shortened the captain's career. Beauchemin is the leadership we need on the blue line, anyone with doubts just needs to watch this video:
I think we all love that moment. It was the clip they showed before the game against the Caps. But I think what a lot of people forget is that Beauchemin had both of the Ducks' goals in their Game 3 loss in that series, and there were moments when it seemed like he was the player on the ice most determined to get the win.
And when I look back on Beauchemin's contributions, I DO think of the hits, the fights and a thousand small defensive plays, but I also think of the goals he scored. Sure, plenty of rubber deflected off of him and into the net, and he got caught here and there, but for a meat and potatoes defenseman, man, he's got a shot.
Early on in his time as a Duck, he crashed the net. Slowly, he unleashed that rifle of a shot as the top shot on the power play, often drifting center or right and finding his angles. But in a game a month before the Iginla fight, he showed me an incredible snipe down the left side which stuck in my memory. I'm still most impressed by the small defensive plays, but from that point on, if ever I saw Beauchemin streaking down the left side and losing his angle, or even just sitting at the point, I always trusted him to just shoot it.
The above goal is from the April 2, 2006 game against the Canucks. If it's not playing, check his nhl.com highlight reel here, or check an additional example below.