Best: Hampus Lindholm
It was great to see Anaheim’s Swedish defenseman back in the lineup. Even though it’ll take a few games for Lindholm to shake off the rust, he didn’t look out of place at all. He slot back onto the power play and penalty kill with ease. Hopefully as the season goes on he can match the stellar start of Fowler. However, it may take a new defense partner to get there.. See below.
Worst: Kevin Bieksa
Kevin Bieksa is now arguably Anaheim’s worst top six defensemen. His slow skating and inability to connect on passes make him a liability on the ice. Bieksa played the third most of any Duck defender tonight, which included significant time on the second power play unit. It is no coincidence that since Fowler found a new partner his numbers have increased significantly. Lindholm may have growing pains if he has to stick with the aging veteran.
Best: A new third line?
Ritchie-Vermette-Cramarossa. Third line scoring? Who knew that was possible on a Carlyle team. If the trio can continue to find success in the offensive zone it would free up Rakell to play more minutes on the top line. Cramarossa is the true wildcard on this team but seems to possess the skills to stay for the long haul.
Worst: Fourth line ice time
But seriously, what’s the point of playing someone 2:37 minutes a game? Jared Boll probably didn’t have the homecoming he thought he would. His tribute video was literally half the duration of his ice time. That’s not a good sign. Wagner got 5:23 and Garbutt had 3:39. To offset this, Ryan Kesler led all forwards with 24:26. If the Ducks have to play a “defensive” forward that much then they’re not going to score more goals than the other team.
3. Rickard Rakell- Yet another goal and this time on a nifty deflection. He is now at 4 goals and 7 points in five games.
2. Ryan Getzlaf- The Ducks had 51 shot attempts the entire game. Getzlaf was on the ice for 31 of them and only 10 against. That’s kind of great.
1. Zach Werenski- Wow, this kid is good. The Blue Jackets will be able to rely on him and Seth Jones for a very long time.