[Ed. Note: Throughout the All-Star Break, the Anaheim Calling team will be giving their mid-season reports. Batting cleanup, the one person that can put it off to the last moment, me!]
First Half Most Valuable Player:
Jason Blake Saku Koivu
Shocker, I know. I do not hide my all out adoration of the feisty Finn. Saku is the steady force that the Ducks need. He doesn't have the same calming effect as a Scott Neidermayer, but he does have the flexibility of a Todd Marchant. Well, a Todd Marchant that can score more than once a vernal equinox. Koivu has shown that he can any line combination work. Think about his left wing. He's had Jason Blake, Bobby Ryan, Niklas Hagman, and Andrew Cogliano on there at one time and he and Teemu have made it work - even when the team was at its absolute worst. Bruce Boudreau has realized that Ryan Getzlaf is not the top face-off guy on the Ducks, and hesitates to put him out on the ice - especially in the offensive zone - to take an important draw. Instead Boudreau has put out Getzlaf as a backup to Saku, who will usually come off the ice right after the win. He's far more important than most might realize.
(And I crossed out Jason Blake because if one guy can miss that much time and have a team fall apart until he comes back, he must be good or something...I'm going with "or something".)
Least Valuable Player: The Anaheim Ducks
Ah yes, the team that is constantly it's own worst enemy. I am still mystified by the fact that the Ducks sucked soooo bad during the first half (save the first five games and the last nine). They were soooo bad that they had to fire their coach and put pretty much everyone on the trading block. Their first half is almost the perfect example of an "epic fail" but they were saved by the point streak before the ASG. Seriously, for a while, I was borderline embarrassed to be such a big fan of the team. The Ducks have put themselves in the worst possible position for the post season and/or the 2012 draft. Which leads me to my bold prediction...
The Ducks put together a second half that is only seen in movies, but fall one point short of making the playoffs. Hey, it's been that kind of season.