Before we start this week, I have to apologize (mostly to myself) for a horrific omission from last week's history. There were several, but one that cannot stand.
On Apr. 16, 2003 the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim SWEPT the defending Stanley Cup Champion Detroit Red Wings from the playoffs with a 3-2 overtime victory. Steve Rucchin scored the overtime winner on a Gretzky-esque pass from Keith Carney, immediately making this the greatest day in franchise history at the time. Even though the Ducks would go on to Game Seven of the Stanley Cup Final that year, this would stand up as probably the number two highlight of the season and Ducks History until 2007.
This Week in Ducks History:
Apr. 22, 1971
D Milos Holan born in Bilovec, Czechoslovakia (Czech Republic)
Apr. 24, 1971
D Ken Klee born in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
Apr. 27, 1979
LW Mike Brown born in Northy, British Columbia, Canada (the most Canadian name a town ever had)
Apr. 23, 1988
LW Patrick Maroon born in St. Louis, Missouri, USA
Apr. 27, 1997
Paul Kariya scores in overtime to beat the Coyotes 3-2 and force a game seven in the Mighty Ducks' first ever playoff series. I still have the image of him flying down the left wing and whipping the puck in the net like Guy F***ing Lafleur burned into my mind, and I hope I always will. If you don't, it's at the 35 second mark of this Finnish highlight reel:
Apr. 23, 2002
Named Douglas Moss senior vice president of business operations.
Apr. 24, 2003
The longest game in Ducks History ends 48 seconds into the FIFTH OVERTIME period on a Petr Sykora goal. This game currently stands as the fourth longest in NHL history at 80:48. Never, ever, ever, ever, ever (times infinity) go to a shootout in the playoffs. EVER!
Side note: I know some of you fancystats people probably don't believe in this, but Sykora is as clutch as clutch gets! Dude, called his shot in triple OT of a Stanley Cup Final game, as a Penguin 2008.
Apr. 26, 2003
Jean-Sebastein Giguere becomes the first goalie ever to win his first six career Stanley Cup Playoff games as the Ducks went up 2-0 on Dallas with a 3-2 overtime win. Mike Leclerc had the game winner in this one.
Apr. 21-27, 1999
Coincidentally, the entire 1999 playoff series between Anaheim and Detroit occurred this week in Ducks history. To this point in Ducks History the Wings were the only team to ever eliminate Anaheim from the playoffs, both by sweep. The Ducks were swept by the Red Wings in much more decisive fashion than the 1997 series by scores of 5-3, 5-1, 4-2 and 3-0 respectively.
Apr. 25, 2007
The Ducks dominated Vancouver 5-1 in game one of their Western Conference Semi Final series, as Andy McDonald recorded his only career playoff hat trick to date.
Apr, 27, 2007
Vancouver beat the Ducks 2-1 in the second overtime, Jeff Cowan scored the game winner. This is still Jiggy's only playoff overtime loss.
Apr. 27, 2009
Ducks eliminate the Presidents' Trophy winning San Jose Sharks in game six of the first round with a 4-1 win. It's often brought up that Joe Thornton fought Ryan Getzlaf right off the opening faceoff in this game, as an example of how Tornton needs to get angry and more physical to fully live up to his potential. What people don't usually mention is how he tried to go at Getzy off the opening faceoff of the previous game in San Jose and the future Ducks' captain refused. "Staged Fights" like that are all about energy and momentum and blah, blah, blah. Because of that, Getzlaf's choice to fight at home rather than on the road, is more impressive to me than Thornton, deciding it's time to facepunch when his team is on the ropes.
Apr. 22, 2011
I think we all remember this one well enough. Anaheim leads 3-2 with thirty seconds to go in game five against Nashville. Saku Koivu loses the draw Shea Weber ties it up and Jarred Smithson gives the Preds a 3-2 series lead. Even more devastating they wasted the Bobby Ryan-est goal of all Bobby Ryan goals:
Apr. 24, 2011
The Preds finished off the Ducks with a 4-2 win in Smashville. Teemu Selanne opened the scoring for the Ducks, bringing his 2011 playoff total to seven goals in six games at age 40. I've said it before and I'll say it again: Heroes get remembered, but Legends never die.