I can never pick just one player or thing when it comes to this stuff, so I didn’t. I know, I’m a rebel.
Most Valuable Duck – Ryan Getzlaf. I’m still in shock that this guy is even on my radar. I think it comes down to the fact that this guy is just damn good. This Getzlaf, the one we thought we had all along, is pretty incredible. He’s an "MVP" caliber player...finally.
Honorable mention – Andrew Cogliano. I had to settle for this one. I say that because I feel like there are a handful of guys who could qualify as the runner up in this category, but I decided to go with a player who is scoring goals, killing penalties and doing the little things we expected of him when the Ducks signed him just over a season ago.
Least Valuable Duck – Teemu Selanne linemates. I feel bad for poor Selanne. It’s evident the guy still has those things that make you say "ohh" and "ahhh" but he’s been forced to play with a mish-mash of guys who aren’t able to play alongside such a talented force effectively. Selanne needs a hard-nosed speedster with talent away from the puck and a playmaker who can find Selanne through a sea of traffic and double-teaming stick work. He hasn’t been as fortunate to have such valuable linemates as one of them in particular, Saku Koivu, is busy making the third line look like geniuses.
Dishonorable mention – Ben Lovejoy. Poor guy. He’s just in the unfortunate position of being the odd man out in my book. I know, you’re probably surprised that I didn't pick Brad Staubitz (for the record…it’s TOTALLY this guy, but I wanted to stray from the obvious) or Bryan Allen (who I’m not hating as much lately since he’s been under the weather).
Biggest Surprise – Third line. Again, the obvious answers here might be Ryan Getzlaf, Viktor Fasth or Daniel Winnik, but when you’re able to talk about a GROUP of players as a pleasant surprise, you’ve got to go with it. When Bruce Boudreau first unveiled this crazy third line group, I was completely boggled. One, I feared what might happen to Selanne (a fear I feel might be coming to light) and two, how the heck Koivu would respond to what seemed like a demotion. HAHAHA. That’s funny. It brings me to my next point.
Honorable mention – Depth. This team is showing that the depth is key. It’s heartwarming, really. But upon seeing what players, even those on the fourth line, can bring to every element of the game, has been truly refreshing. I’m certain at this point, Koivu wouldn’t consider PP, PK and centering the third line as any sort of demotion…not on a team with so much talent and depth.
and... – The defense. I can't begin to tell you how shocked I am to see the defense look as decent as it does.
Biggest Disappointment – Half NHL season. Maybe the shortened season is why these Ducks are playing with such fire and gusto, but not having a full season to play this brand of hockey they are giving to their fans right now is a damn shame.
140 character prediction – Ducks continue trend, cuz winning = fun. 1st in Pac. PP continues to boggle mind. Getz w/75pts. Cogs leads in goals. Perry breaks hearts.