Best: Rakell’s Triumphant Return
I have to admit, I thought the newly minted 23-year-old millionaire would need a game or two to get back up to an NHL-level pace of play. I was very happy to be proven wrong, however, as Rakell put up 3 points (1g, 2a) in his season debut. Only one Swede left and Timon and Pumba will finally make this Ducks team complete.
Worst: Tempers Go Wild
I’m glad to admit that I have to nitpick for the worsts in this edition. The Ducks looked like a different team in more ways than one against the Kings, notably in the discipline department. Up until late in the third period, the Ducks did not give up a single PP chance to LA. However, tempers flared when Jordan Nolan took exception to Getzlaf holding his stick. This probably wouldn’t have amounted to much had the altercation not been right in front of the Ducks bench and if it was anyone but the captain. But, the swarm of six Ducks on the ice that soon followed may have been a bit much. Luckily the end result was a Ducks power play, but one of these games those tempers will come back to bite them.
Best: Cramarossa Nets His First
It’s always great to see a rookie net his first NHL goal. The 24 year old potted his first goal in his 5th career NHL game on a great feed from Rakell. The rookie wrapped around the net and put it into a wide open cage as Budaj was down and out. While Cramarossa doesn’t project out to be much more than a solid 3rd or 4th liner, the Ducks have needed scoring from their bottom six early in the season, and seeing him deliver is a very welcome sign.
Worst: Ritchie Head Injury
I, for one, am sick of Ducks players getting head-shot. Ritchie took a hit to the head from Tom Gilbert in the second period and didn’t return for the rest of the game. Carlyle had no updates on his status after the game. Hopefully this is just a day-to-day precautionary situation, but him not returning is cause for concern. Ritchie has been having a very good start to the season and was looking like he could fill the ever-rotating role of Getzlaf and Perry’s left winger. With Simon Depres’ concussion issues over the last couple of years, the Ducks can ill-afford to lose another player to head injuries, especially one as young and talented as Ritchie.
3) Joseph Cramarossa
2) Ryan Kesler
1) Rickard Rakell