This will be a new weekly series on Anaheim Calling to take a look at how various players on the team have fared. I will arbitrarily rank a random topic on a scale of 1 to 5 stars and place different Ducks within the categories based on their performance over the past week. My reasoning for Ducks ratings will be based on stats, results, and probably some of my bias. I will elaborate more on some players than others. I expect everyone to disagree with me on both topics and all of my takes will be outed. If there is something you would like me to rank please feel free to leave it in the comments! The games included in the ratings for this week are Nov 3rd against the Predators, Nov 4th against the Sharks, Nov 7th against the Kings, and Nov 9th against the Canucks. I was not able to watch the game against the Sharks so my opinions will mainly be based on what I saw in the other three games, and stats from all 4 games. On to the fun:
Due to Travis Yost setting hockey twitter on fire with some awful fast food takes, I figured I would use my power to force more fast food opinions on the masses here. The following is my ranking of Drive Thru Fast Food chains and it is 100% correct and no one can tell me other wise.
5 Stars: Del Taco
Del Taco is amazing plain and simple. What place can you go to and order an amazing grilled chicken burrito along with bomb French Fries and why not throw in a burger also. I don’t think I have ever had a bad meal from Del Taco. Not much else to say.
Jakob Silfverberg - Silfverberg had a really solid 4-game stretch. He put up 3 goals, along with 30 individual shot attempts, and 17 shots on goal in all situations. On top of this he led all Ducks forwards in CF% and SCF% at nearly 70% in both. Even though the point production wasn’t other worldly, his performance was very solid and deserves a 5-star rating.
Rickard Rakell – Rakell put up 7 points over the past week in all situations with 5 of those being primary points (Goals and first assists). Now he was under 50% in all the major metrics at 5v5 and was on the ice for 4 goals against and 3 for. This is concerning but his production at 5v5 and on the PP cannot be overlooked and push him into the 5-star rating. I would like to see him and his line mates start controlling play more or he could slip a bit next week. PS- I 100% agree with Justin, put Rakell at center.
Ryan Miller - Miller is exactly what the Ducks needed to get this off season. A serviceable back up that can step up when called upon, and he was called upon this week. Miller started in two games and had to come into the Kings game to relieve an injured Gibson. Miller stopped 67 of 69 (nice) shots over the past week for a 971 sv%. Without Miller performing the way he did this week, the Ducks could have easily only picked up 2 points instead of 4.
Lindholm/Manson Pairing – I figured I would just combine these two into one rating because both of them were so good together. They lead the team in ice time at 5v5 all while suppressing the most shots. It is such a treat to watch both of them gather the puck in the D-zone, make a smart pass and then exit the zone. Both of them also pitched in on the scoreboard picking up 2 points each
4 Stars: In N Out
Now you might be thinking, Jake is a typical Southern Californian so he must love In n Out. Why would that not be the 5 star fast food place? (Ok you might not be thinking that because not a lot of you actually know me). Well you would be right on the fact that I love In N Out, but it is not 5 stars simply because of variety. If you go to In N Out you will get a fantastic burger, fries, and a drink or preferably a shake at a really good price. The food is also really fresh and not that terrible for you. The issue is the only thing you can get there is a burger and fries. If there was more variety it would easily be 5 stars. I just want to add that anyone who doesn’t like In N Out is not doing it right.
Brandon Montour – Montour had a slower start to the week, but eventually picked it up in the last two games. He had an assist in the Kings game and the go ahead goal in the Canucks game. We are starting to see him blossom into a really good offensive D-man. He was above 50% in all major shot metrics.
Andrew Cogliano – Yes, Cogliano missed some golden opportunities during the week, like the one in the first few minutes of the Canucks game, but he put himself in those positions and deserves a lot of credit for that. On top of that he was above 60% in all major shot metrics, which is really impressive. Silfverberg and Cogliano are doing pretty well without Kesler. Makes you wonder who are the play drivers on that line.
Derek Grant – Grant was slightly on the positive side of the shot metrics this week. On top of that he had 3 assists over the week. He bumps up into the 4-star rating due to the point streak he was on. This is my acknowledgment that Grant is better than I expected, but I do miss being able to make Derek Grant jokes.
3 Stars: McDonalds
McDonalds is the old reliable. The food will never blow your socks off, but it is exactly what you expect. No matter where you are in the US or even what time of day it is, you can find a McDonalds and expect a similar meal to one you would get in your hometown. (Side note: Do not expect McDonalds to be the same in a foreign country. I remember being mesmerized by a McDonalds in Israel having burgers called the Big New York and the Big Chicago).
John Gibson – This is purely looking at the games listed and not an indictment of the season. Gibson has been by far the MVP of the team this year, but he did not have the best week. He stopped 55 of 62 shots on the week for an .887 sv%. Not all of the goals he could be blamed on, but that is not what you want to see. Hopefully the injury he sustained isn’t that bad and he can bounce back in the upcoming week
Francois Beauchemin – Beauch had a pretty quiet week in a good way. He was above 50% in most major categories but had a few turnovers that led to scoring chances against. He was steady which is exactly what this team needs. He is the best example of a 3-star performance. Beauchemin is 100% McDonalds
Ondrej Kase – Poor, poor Kase. He was having a pretty solid week up until the hit he took against the Kings. He was around 50% in most categories but barely played over two games so it’s hard to give a developed opinion. Hopefully he can get well soon.
Chris Wagner – Wagner surprised me a bit with his performance this week. He did not really produce a whole lot of points, with only 1 assist, but was solid at 5v5. This could be a byproduct of playing with solid players like Cogliano and Silfverberg, but some credit should be given to him.
Sami Vatanen – I want to rank Vatanen higher simply because Sami is awesome but his play at 5v5 was not the best this week. He was the second worst defenseman. I actually should probably have him at 2 stars due to this, but he is stuck lugging around “Old Hips” Bieksa and that bumps him up a ranking. In addition to this he had a goal and an assist. Only the assist was on the PP technically but the goal came right after a PP expired so I am counting it. Hopefully he can be freed of the Bieksa shackles soon.
Corey Perry – Perry had a pretty ho-hum week. Just scored a goal and had two assists. The main issue Perry had is similar to Rakell. Both had fairly poor performances at 5v5. If it weren’t for his production, he probably would have fallen into the 2 star rating.
2 Stars: Random Hole In the Wall Drive Thru Mexican Food
We all know these types of place are common throughout Southern California and some, I will admit, are definitely amazing. The issue is you never no what to expect when going to a new one. It could be a life changing experience in both the good way and the way that will make your toilet hate you.
Antoine Vermette – Vermette was below 50% in almost every major shot metric and was on the ice for 1 goal for and 3 goals against at 5v5. On top of that, his main reason for being on the team is to win faceoffs. Well against Nashville, at the end of the game with the goalie pulled, he could not figure out a way to not get tossed from the dot. I get if it happens once, but it seemed to happen 2-3 times in a row. That is the one situation I will concede that faceoffs matter and Vermette got tossed from the dot. Es no bueno.
Nick Ritchie - Ritchie was pretty neutral in terms of shot metrics at 5v5, but my main issue with him this week is discipline. He took a bunch of undisciplined penalties throughout the week and quite frankly cost the Ducks the Nashville game with his penalties. He only produced one assist during the week and it was a secondary one. His production did not outweigh the disciplinary issues he had.
Dennis Rasmussen – Rasmussen is the only forward on this list who did not produce a point this week. I am considering that the only reason I need to give him two stars.
1 Star: Taco Bell
Taco bell is bad. The food is way overrated and will leave you longing for amazing Drive Thru Americanized Mexican food in Del Taco. I end up going to Taco Bell maybe once a year just to remind myself how much I hate it.
Kevin Bieksa- Bieksa was the worst player on the Ducks by far. It is kind of insane that on this injury plagued team he still had the worst CF%, FF%, SOG%, GF%, and HDCF% at 5v5 on the entire team. He was on the ice for 0 goals for and 3 goals against at 5v5 and the Ducks only allowed 7 5v5 goals during this stretch. On top of this he made a boneheaded turnover that directly lead to the Canucks goal and took 3 penalties in these four games. Bieksa was the worst Duck of the week and is the only 1 star performance. He was as bad as Taco Bell this week
(My cut off to be ranked is having played in over half the games that week for skaters and started a game for Goalies):
Jaycob Megna (1 Game Played), Kevin Roy (1 Game Played), Jared Boll (2 Games Played), and Kalle Kossila (2 Games Played)
Sorry to all the Boll fanatics out there celebrating his goal, I have to stick to my games played cut off or else the editors will get real real mad at me. That cut off is definitely not something I randomly chose so I wouldn’t have to rank every single player. So definitely don’t blame me, blame the bosses!