For those that have missed this segment, this is a 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 along 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 the rating of the Ducks will be based on stats results, and probably some of my bias. My reasoning for the rating of the random topic will be completely biased #dealwithit. I will elaborate more on some players than others. I expect everyone to probably 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. On to the fun!
The games included in the ratings for this week are Dec 2nd against the Predators, Dec 5th against the Golden Knights, Dec 6th against the Senators, and Dec 8th against the Wild.
With Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi coming out next week (GET HYPED!!!!), I figured I could build on my great performance from last week of correctly ranking Pixar movies. Star Wars is a beloved franchise by many, including me, and I have put in a lot of time and effort to really collect my thoughts and rank these movies. Like past weeks, these rankings are 100% correct and no one can tell me otherwise.
5 Stars: Episode VII: The Force Awakens/Episode IV: A New Hope
Like I said in the prelude of this article, my opinions on the topic will be 100% biased and here is the first example. The Force Awakens is my favorite Star Wars movie. This is not because I do not love the other movies in the franchise, it is because it was the first truly enjoyable Star Wars movie that I was able to experience in theaters. Being a child of the 90s, I honestly cannot remember the first time I saw any of the movies in the original trilogy. Their story, along with all of the plot twists, have always been engrained in me. So to experience the Force Awakens in theaters was truly special and a big reason why it holds a special place for me. I am also giving A New Hope 5 stars because I can only imagine it had a very similar effect on people that saw it in theaters. A New Hope is the movie that kicked off this amazing franchise we all love dearly and should be recognized as 5 stars.
Adam Henrique - Uncle Rico had a great first week with the team. He put up 5 points in 4 games to lead the team in point production. On top of that he had the best chances on the team this week, leading the team with 1.15 ixG. The only knock on his week is his sub 50% xGF% and CF%, but his production to me outweighs this. Henrique was as good as the Force Awakens this week.
John Gibson - John Gibson had a bounce back week after a 4 star performance. Gibson somehow had nearly a 2.0 GSAA, even though he allowed 6 goals in two games. This shows you that he was under siege and a large reason the Ducks got 2 points in the 2 games he played.
Ryan Miller - Miller, like Gibson, had a fantastic week. He posted nearly a 3.0 GSAA in his two games this week. I will add the qualifier that he did get the Sens, who are pretty bad, in one of his games. It is really nice to have two very capable goalies on the team this season.
Corey Perry - Perry had a very similar week to Henrique as could be expected. He had slightly below 50% CF%, but he had 4 points in the 4 games of the week. This point production was important for the team and should not be ignored on the week.
Brandon Montour - Montour led the defense in individual shot attempts and points on the week. He also was the only person with an above 50% CF%. Montour has really started to evolve into a great offensive threat for the team along with being solid defensively.
Ondrej Kase - Kase made his return to the Ducks lineup, and after having a mediocre game against Vegas, picked up right where he left off. Kase put up a goal, primary assist, and secondary assist for 3 points in 3 games. He also had the second best individual chances on the team with .93 ixG even though he only played in 3 of the games on the week. Kash money is back y’all.
4 Stars: Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
I have a feeling the Internet is going to hate me for giving The Empire Strikes Back 4 stars, but this should not be seen as a knock on the movie. Empire is an amazing film that built upon the world created in a New Hope. It gave depth to a lot of characters, provided society with one of the most recognizable quotes ever (“No, I am your father”), and gave us a super cringey incest moment.
Francois Beauchemin - Beauchemin, by looking at shot metrics and point production, had a solid week. He posted a 50% CF% along with 3 points on the week. The reason he gets knocked down to 4 stars is there were at least two games where he made the wrong defensive play and it directly lead to a goal against.
Antoine Vermette - Vermette put up a goal and a primary assist in his four games this week, and was the only Duck with an above 50% xGF%. He also was on the ice for 3 goals for and no goals against at even strength. I have been a huge Vermette critic but he is putting together a really solid season right now. If he is the 4th line center, when everyone is healthy, we will be in a really good spot in terms of forward depth.
3.5 Stars: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Rogue One is the first Star Wars movie we have gotten outside of the Skywalker saga, and man did it deliver. It was a gritty and dark war movie that replicated the look of A New Hope perfectly. The only flaw with the movie is character development. We did not get enough time with each of the characters to grow attached and really have the feels when each member of the ragtag group was killed (Editor’s Note: MY GOD MAN SPOILERS - CJ). The only person I found myself caring about at the end was Jyn Erso. Other than that the movie was great and gives us Darth Vader going wild. This was the real Suicide Squad!
Kevin Roy - As a founder of the Kevin Roy Fan Club I am definitely a bit biased on this, but Kevin Roy was as good as Rogue One this week. He did not have the best week shot metrics wise, but he did put up a goal and created chances in limited ice time. I will lead the riot when he is sent down!
Rickard Rakell - Rakell made a really nice play to set up Henrique’s first goal as a Duck but other than that he had a pretty mediocre week.
3 Stars: Episode VI: The Return of the Jedi
I almost put this in the 4 or 5 star slot, but I realized that might burn down the internet and put my life at risk. The reason why I almost did this was the Return of the Jedi was my favorite Star Wars movie kid and always holds a special place for me because of that. I loved Ewoks and always loved the final battle on Death Star II. But I am setting aside some of my bias and giving this movie 3 stars. After watching this movie as an adult, I can see the flaws in an Ewok being able to destroy an AT-ST just with rocks, along with some other plot holes. Also if anyone has a copy of the original version of Return of the Jedi and wants to give it to me please let me know! The ending in the remastered version just makes me angry.
Logan Shaw - Shaw had a perfectly average week for the team, which is really good for a 4th liner in my books. He did not produce any points, but created some chances in his limited ice time and did not get completely caved in in the defensive zone.
Cam Fowler - Fowler had a good week production wise, putting up a goal and 2 assists, but had a pretty rough week in his own zone. A big part of this is due to being weighed down by the boat anchor that is Kevin Bieksa for most of the week. Fowler was on the ice for the most xGA on the team at 3.41. His point production along with being paired with Bieksa is what brought his week to being as good as Return of the Jedi.
2 Stars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace/Episode II: The Attack of the Clones/Episode III: The Revenge of the Sith
So I think all of us can agree that the three prequels are all pretty terrible. There are a few fun parts in the movies, like Pod racing and...um...well I don’t have a whole lot else. The plot, acting, CGI, and a whole bunch of other things are pretty bad in these movies. I guess the only positive thing is the story kind of helped you understand the character of Darth Vader better. Now I am going to get into some real talk, is there any way we can just retcon the whole notion of Midichlorians? The force was so much cooler when it was this energy created by all living beings, like Obi Wan says in A New Hope, as compared to the Midichlorian story introduced in The Phantom Menace. #DownwiththeMidiclhlorians
Josh Manson & Jaycob Megna - The two JMs were paired for most of the week and thus had very similar weeks. Both of them did not really produce any offense (1 secondary assist between the two of them) and both were around 40% in CF% and 45% in xGF%.
Dennis Rasmussen - Ras had a below average week. He was around 40% CF% and 35% xGF%. He has not been impressive in any game he has played in so far this season and could be put on waivers once everyone is healthy.
1 Star: The Holiday Special
I had no clue this existed until a few years back and man, do I regret watching it. It is so bad and so disturbing for a bunch of reasons. Please don’t watch it ever if you have not seen it. Somehow it makes the prequels seem watchable.
Nick Ritchie - I am giving Ritchie 1 star not because of the majority of his play on the week, but because of the awful reaction he had to the Fiala goal. We can and have had the argument on the site about whether or not it should have been a penalty on Fiala (it shouldn’t have been), but that has no bearing on this. Ritchie’s reaction was childish, dangerous, and stupid. This is now the second time he has sucker punched a guy and I am really ashamed that the team/coaching staff/league did not reprimand him at all. Thankfully Fiala was not hurt on the play, but Ritchie needs to get this out of his game if he wants to last in the league. This play was as bad as the Star Wars Holiday Special.
Kevin Bieksa - I guess I will give Bieksa some credit. He is very consistent. He has been a 1 star rating for every week I have done this article. He was the second worst defenseman on the team in CF% and the worst defenseman on the team in xGF%. He allowed plenty of quality chances against in being second worst on the team with a 2.77 xGA. Bieksa is terrible and should really be taken out of the lineup ASAP.
Chris Wagner - Wagner was basically tied for being the worst player on the team in xGF% and he is still getting a significant amount of ice time at 5v5. He has filled in nicely, but his flaws are starting to be exposed.
Andrew Cogliano - Similar to Wagner, Cogliano was tied for being the worst player on the team in xGF%. He really seems to miss having Silfverberg on his line.
Derek Grant - Our dreams were Granted this past week, and his minutes were limited. In those minutes he was still really bad and provided zero offense.
Unranked: Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi
AHHHHHHHH I AM SO EXCITED!!!!!! Hopefully all of you have your tickets to go see it because I sure do! Can it be Thursday already??????
Hampus Lindholm (1 Game Played) and Joseph Blandisi (1 Game Played)
*All stats are from Corsica unless stated otherwise.