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!
Being born and raised in Southern California, I have come to realize that I know everything there is to know about the snow. I have never had to do any of the not fun things in the snow (like shovel my driveway, deal with my car being frozen on my drive to work, or any of the other terrible things that people choose to deal with by not living in Southern California) and go do all the fun things in the snow on vacations or day trips. I decided I am the hero this blog needs to rank snow activities. Like past weeks, these rankings are 100% correct and no one can tell me otherwise.
5 Stars: Snowboarding/Skiing
Picture yourself flying down the mountain, with the cold wind on your face, suddenly you feel alive and any wrong move you make could lead to disaster, or you are taking some nice smooth turns through some deep pow pow feeling like you are floating on cloud 9, or you set up your line perfectly to boardslide the jib and 270 off into a 15ft kicker where you can soar above the mountain. Well all of these are things you can do on the mountain. And there is even something for the not-as-thrill-seeking on the bunny slope, I guess. Skiing and snowboarding are without a doubt the best thing you can do in the snow.
John Gibson - Another week and another 5 star performance from Gibson. He posted around a 2.5 GSAA during the week along with a .950 SV%. Also his better performance came in the Hurricanes game, posting a 1.96 GSAA, which was the closer game of the two.
Kevin Roy - As a founding member of the Kevin Roy fan club, we are currently accepting plenty of applications to join the bandwagon. Please make sure to fill out the paperwork and send it to my people. In all seriousness, Roy proved that he belonged in this game against the Blues, after being unfairly sent down earlier in the week. He scored 2 goals and was above 50% in both xGF% and CF%.
Derek Grant - Wow I am kinda shocked that Grant was really good this past week. He led the entire team with a 63 CF% and 85.33 xGF%. Granted he played minimal minutes, being the 4th line center, but he was still good in these minutes and should be commended for it.
Andrew Cogliano - Adam Henrique - Rickard Rakell - These three as a line or separate created a ton of chances for the team this week. All three were in the 1.3-1.45 xGF range while on the ice and limited the quality of chances against resulting in an above 50 xGF% for all of them. Henrique has given the team a lot of options moving forward. One interesting note on Rakell: Every single one of his ten shot attempts was unblocked.
Logan Shaw - Well this is shock number two of the 5 star rankings. Logan Shaw had a really impressive two games. He had a goal, a primary assist, and a secondary assist for 3 points in the two games. On top of that he was above 50 in both CF% and xGF%. Quite impressive from Mr. Shaw. I don’t expect this to continue but he sure helped the team win both games on the week.
4 Stars: Drinking Alcohol
It doesn’t matter if you just got off the slopes or are just chilling outside with some buddies, having booze outside in the snow is amazing. Whether it is beer, or some sort of hard alcohol in a flask, or a warmer drink like an Irish coffee, having some alcohol will warm you right up and make the day better. Now you might be thinking “Doesn’t drinking alcohol make most situations better?” And you wouldn’t be wrong. But drinking in the snow is exponentially better than just being outside in the snow. Heck that alcohol might warm you up enough where you feel like jumping into a freezing cold pool is a good idea and then you are left with a fun story.
Josh Manson - Cam Fowler - Fowler and Manson this week were very solid for the team. Both of these guys were right around 50 in CF%, but did a good job of creating chances for and limiting chances against. These two were each around 52-60 in xGF%.
Andy Welinski - Welinski made his NHL debut this week, and, lucky him, got to play with Kevin Bieksa. As to be expected, he was on the wrong end of the shot attempt and shot quality battle, but I am giving him a four star rating for his point production. Welinski had a primary and secondary assist on the week to continue his hot scoring pace with the San Diego Gulls (17 points in 21 games).
Jakob Silfverberg - Silfverberg had a pretty solid week in terms of both shot metrics and point production. He was at 50 in CF% and at 55 in xGF%, and had a nifty breakaway goal and led the team in individual shot attempts.
3 Stars: Sledding
So remember all that stuff I said about skiing and snowboarding, well sledding is similar except with less control and at slower speeds. And on top of that once you get down the hill you have to hike all the way back up if you want to go again. And who really wants to do that??!!! I mean they invented ski lifts for a reason amiright???
Ryan Getzlaf - Save us Ryan Getzlaf, you’re our only hope! Oh wait, we aren’t talking about Star Wars anymore. Whoops. Well Getzlaf returned this week and as could be expected was a bit rusty. He was at 40 in CF%, but did a better job if you look at shot quality (50 in xGF%). He only produced one secondary assist on the week as well.
Dennis Rasmussen - Having an opinion on a 4th liner who only played in one game is kind of hard. He was pretty bad in CF%, but also really good in xGF%. So lets go with him being as good as sledding.
Brandon Montour - Francois Beauchemin - This pairing did get hemmed in their own zone a bit more (45 CF%), but, like the Manson-Fowler pairing, they fared well if you look at the shot quality battle (around 54% xGF%).
Joseph Blandisi - Blandisi was pretty average on all fronts in his one game this week. He was middle of the road in shot metrics and produced no points.
2 Stars: Snowball Fights
This is a safe space, right, where no one will make fun of my opinions? [Editor’s Note: Nope. We will point and laugh and judge because everyone on this staff has terrible takes about everything - CJ]
Well shit, eh who cares if you people judge me, you don’t know me like dat! Well that got off topic real quick, oh ya snowball fights, they are bad. Getting a perfect snowball never fully happens and throwing it is nearly impossible. They are not fun!
Ondrej Kase - After I sang his praises last week, Kase fell back down to earth. He had a pretty poor week, with a 42 CF% and a 40.25 xGF%. He was not one of the worst Ducks this past week, but was close.
1 Star: Hiking
Why would anyone ever go for a hike in the snow? Most of the time the air is super thin in the mountains and then on top of that snow makes the hike way more difficult. Now I am not a huge fan of a hike to begin with, but add in the snow and I am immediately out. It is miserable and 1 star worthy.
Kevin Bieksa - Bieksa keeps up his strong streak of 1 star performances. It must not be that shocking to all of you that Bieksa was the worst D man on the team in CF% and xGF%. Bieksa was as bad as going on a hike in the snow
Chris Wagner - Wagner was really terrible this week. In only 17 minutes of ES ice time, he was on the ice for the 5th most xGA. He was also the worst Duck on the week in xGF% and CF%. I am really starting to wonder how much he really helps the team by being in the lineup.
Antoine Vermette - Vermette was not as bad as Wagner, but was pretty close. He was the worst Duck on the week in terms of allowing xGA, and was poor in both CF% and xGF%. I am really hoping he can slide down into the 4th line center role once Kesler is healthy.
I am way too biased to put hockey anywhere on the list. Also it really isn’t something to do in the snow, but I wanted to recognize that some people probably enjoy playing some good ole pond hockey in the snow.
Corey Perry (Only played 4 minutes of the Hurricanes game)
*All stats are from Corsica unless stated otherwise.