It's almost Christmas again, and when jolly Santa Claus double checks his naughty and nice list, which Duck players are on the naughty list? Which Ducks deserve a big hunk-a-chunk of coal in their stockings?
Bryan Allen: Come on, we have to start this little mini list off with a player who deserves so much coal that he found himself on a flight out of Anaheim. I don't miss him. I don't miss his turnovers, his bad decisions, his horrible and idiotic penalties, and I absolutely do not miss how much of a defensive liability he was. I can't be the only one who held their breath every time he touched the puck. Santa, you have my permission to leave Bryan Allen enough coal to fuel a train from Montreal to the North Pole. Just please, not enough to get back to Anaheim.
Rene Bourque: The net is usually a good target to aim for, however it's genuinely possible that people haven't conveyed that to Rene Bourque who has not been able to hit the net since he put on a Ducks sweater. Granted he doesn't deserve as much coal as Bryan Allen, mainly because Bourque actually understands the concept of defense and attempting to stop the opponents from scoring (a concept that Allen may still be struggling with...) but still, Bourque has a decent shot, he just really needs to start hitting the net if he wants a chance at actually contributing and scoring goals.
Collective Powerplay: This one should go without much explanation. Anaheim is ranked in the bottom third of the NHL, sitting in 20th with an abysmal 16.7% success rate when attacking with an extra skater while allowing four shorthanded goals against. That statistic makes me want to punch a wall, but even moreso it makes me cross my fingers that Santa Claus will leave enough coal in the team's collective stocking that the team can have a cookout, and barbecue away their atrocious powerplay performances from this season. Please. Pretty please.
Dany Heatley: I will admit that it genuinely hurts me to add Heatley to this list, but it's time to face the facts. I fell into the trap of high expectations, lofty hopes, and blind optimism when it came to Dany Heatley. But unfortunately Heater has only appeared in five games this season with the Ducks thanks to the injury horse rearing its ugly head, but still those five games have given way to some lackluster numbers, including zero points, a -2 rating, and just seven shots on goal. After scoring a goal on his first shift ever during his first preseason game with Anaheim, I had some lofty expectations whenever number 51 hit the ice. But that was it. That's where it essentially all ended. Once preseason closed so did Heatley's production, and he has found himself on the list of healthy scratches more than once. Coal is a likely stocking stuffer for newcomer, Dany Heatley this year.
Mumps: If illnesses had stockings, then I'd personally find a way to buy nothing but coal with my life savings and shove it all into the sock with "Mumps" written on it. This stupid illness has run rampant through the NHL and through the Anaheim Ducks roster taking out Corey Perry, Francois Beauchemin, and Clayton Stoner for several games each. Imagine how unstoppable Anaheim could have been this entire season if their roster wasn't restricted by illnesses, like the mumps, that forced youngsters to dress. Now realize that's a dream, not real, and when you cry, collect one piece of coal for each tear that drops to throw into the stocking labelled "Mumps." Thank you, and Happy Holidays.
John Scott: Had to include this goon, even though he's not a Duck, just because he deserves the most coal in the world for his sucker punch that knocked out Tim Jackman. Not even going to go into this further. All I know is that Scott deserves coal in every stocking he has, as well as coal in every gift he unwraps for the rest of his life.
There are plenty of arguments for other players who potentially deserve coal in their stockings, however these are the individuals who deserve nothing more or less than a huge lump of coal from Santa Claus.
So happy holidays and hopefully you don't find coal in your stockings, and hopefully Ole' Saint Nick forgives my discontent and doesn't send any coal my way either.
Merry Christmas to all, to all a good night! Go Ducks!