It's been all chalk so far in the Mighty Ducks era bracket after Dominic Roussel upended Guy Hebert's 1995-96 alternate design to win the Play In match. Both the higher seeds advanced, as Jean-Sebastien Giguere's 2002-03 Conn Smythe mask handled Mikhail Shtalenkov's 95-96 Indiana Jones, and Hebert's 99-00 take on his traditional look skated by Giguere's darker 05-06 mask. This leaves just the top two seeds still to face first round competition, as Ilya Bryzgalov's 05-06 record setting playoff mask tangles with Steve Shields' terminator ducks after a quick look at the bracket:
#2 Ilya Bryzgalov 2005-06
Sometimes, it's better to go right to the source to get the explanation about the mask design from a Fox Sports segment early in the 06-07 season:
"(The) mask is very much from Walt Disney because I haven't had a chance to change (my) mask this year, new mask is coming, that's the old mask. Here's Scrooge McDuck, y'know that's a rich guy, a rich duck, I want to be (rich). That's the goalie duck holding (the) Stanley Cup, I would like to do that you know, that's me, we have to win. Other way it's Darkwing Duck, Darkwing Duck is a hero, that's what I am too. It's Daffy Duck, he's funny, it's like my character, you know the goofy attitude. I like jokes, I like to be funny. Here is the palms, it's California, here's my nickname 'Bryz'... I don't know what this [pointing at Wild Wing on crown of mask] is, I (didn't) order this, just Duck."
On the back "It's my nickname and Russian flag, because I want to show I'm proud I'm born in Russia, I'm a Russian citizen."
We've written extensively about the legacy Bryzgalov left with his hot performance in the 05-06 playoffs, be sure to give it a read over.
#7 Steve Shields 2001-02
A four year starter at the University of Michigan from 90-91 through 93-94, helping the team win their league twice and make the Frozen Four twice, Shields was a fifth round selection by the Buffalo Sabres in 1991. He was with the Sabres for three seasons from 95-96 through 97-98, appearing in 31 regular season games as Dominik Hasek's backup spotting a 7-14-6 record with a .910 save percentage and 2.91 goals against average. When Hasek went down with an injury in the first round in the 96-97 playoffs he backstop the Sabres to a seven game series win over Ottawa before bowing out second round to the eventual Eastern Conference champion Flyers in five games. Shields moved to San Jose for the 98-99 season as part of a draft day trade, and appeared in 125 games over three seasons in the Bay Area including a career-high 67 appearances in 99-00.
The circumstances that brought Shields to Anaheim still cause many long time Ducks fans to bristle, as he came packaged with Jeff Friesen and a second round draft pick in the deal that sent Teemu Selanne to San Jose in March of 2001. The following season (his only in Anaheim) Shields backed up Giguere, appearing in 33 games with a 9-20-2 record, .907 SV% and 2.67 GAA. Shields had four 40+ save games with the Mighty Ducks, going 2-1-1 in those contests including perhaps his best performance in eggplant and jade on March 8, 2002 when he stopped 44 of 45 New Jersey Devils shots to help Anaheim snatch a 2-1 win at the Pond despite being outshot by 26. The Mighty Ducks finished the season tied with the Nashville and Pittsburgh at 69 points, better only than Columbus and Atlanta.
It's Voting Time
Which mask design is better? Vote in the poll below, share your thoughts in the comments, and remember if you comment about it on Twitter with #ACmaskTOG your chosen mask will get another point added to the total. The poll is open until 3 PM on August 25, so be sure to cast your vote and share with as many Ducks fans as you know!
Historical game information and stats in this article taken from www.hockey-reference.com