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 Nov 25th against the Kings, Nov 27th against the Blackhawks, Nov 29th against the Blues, and Dec 1st against the Blue Jackets.
With the new Pixar movie, Coco, coming out last week, it got me thinking that everyone who loves these weekly rankings are probably yearning to know my thoughts on Pixar movies. Ok fine, that probably isn’t really what you all are thinking, but too bad. I want the world to know my opinions on this! There are a lot of great Pixar movies so I will undoubtedly be leaving your favorite Pixar movie off the list. Like past weeks, these rankings are 100% correct and no one can tell me otherwise.
5 Stars: Toy Story
Toy Story is by far the best Pixar movie ever made and will always be that. It was the very first Pixar movie and even though the company has followed this up with many other great films, nothing has lived up to the footprints left by the story told by toys. It is a movie that can pull on your heartstrings and really key in on a lot of emotions we all feel as humans. On top of that, the performances by Tim Allen and Tom Hanks are amazing and the soundtrack that accompanies the movie is legendary. It is without a doubt the 5 star Pixar movie.
Ryan Miller – I am ignoring Miller’s outing against the Blackhawks because he was thrown to the wolves and basing this rating off his game against the Kings. The Ducks did not help out Miller too much in this game and if you take out an awful defensive play by Holzer in the final minutes, he would have gotten a shutout and the win. Even with that goal, he recorded a 1.22 GSAA, which means a league average goalie would have allowed over a goal more than Miller did. He had a 5 star performance in this game and was as good as Toy Story on the week.
Sami Vatanen – Sami had an alright week but this ranking is more for his career as a Duck. I always lovingly called him the honeybadger because he didn’t give a f*** (Please check out the honeybadger youtube video if you don’t get this reference). He was always a joy to watch and you knew something could happen when he was on the ice. He was the first prospect I can remember tracking before he came over to North America and I was super excited when he got his first chance with the Ducks. I wish him the best with the Devils! Thank you Sami!
Francois Beauchemin – Beauchemin was the only Duck this week to post positive CF% and xGF% and should be commended for it. I would like to add the caveat though that he did not play against the Kings or the Blackhawks, leaving his sample size smaller than some of his teammates. But still, Beauch has been a pleasant surprise to me this season and I would not mind if he is the 6th D man moving forward.
Kevin Roy – “This is the captain of the Kevin Roy Fan Club train speaking. The train is getting ready to leave the station! All members must get ready to board.” Kevin Roy put up 2 goals and had a primary assist in his 4 games played this week. Carlyle has started to trust him with more minutes and special teams time and Roy is taking advantage of that. I am really excited to see what he can do moving forward.
4 Stars: Inside Out
Inside Out is the deepest story that Pixar has ever put out and it is a huge success in my book. It does a wonderful job of personifying all the different emotions we feel and how each can play a part in our lives. This movie is a story about growing up and how that affects us on the inside and out. It is a wonderful flick for both kids and adults to watch and take life lessons out of. Also Bing Bong is da best! On top of that what kind of hockey blog would this be if I didn’t rank the only Pixar movie with hockey in it.
John Gibson – I knew Gibson would eventually slightly slip up and coming off two 5 star weeks in a row, this was the week he had a slight dip in performance. Gibson had a negative GSAA in the Blackhawks and Blue Jackets game this week, but made up for it with a real strong performance against the Blues posting a 1.51 GSAA. On top of that, in the Hawks game he was not given any help and most of the goals he had no chance on. For that, I give him a bit of leeway and rate him on par with Inside Out this week.
Antoine Vermette – Vermette had a solid week, and that is coming from me, who is one of his biggest critics. He was below 50% in CF% and posted a 50.50 xGF%, but what really put him in the 4 star range was his performance against the Blues. Vermette scored two goals in this pivotal game for the team.
Jakob Silfverberg – Silfverberg was slightly below 50% in CF% and xGF%, but he produced 3 points on the week with a goal, a primary assist, and a secondary assist. This point production gets him in the 4 star performance range.
Chris Wagner – Wagner was pretty bad this week in terms of shot metrics, being around 40% in both CF% and xGF%, but did post 2 goals and a primary assist along with the highest individual expected goals. He was as good as Inside Out this week.
Cam Fowler – If we are basing this purely on CF%, Fowler was pretty poor this week but when you look at xGF% to see the quality of shots against, his week looks better. His xGF% was slightly below 50%. Also he had a goal, two secondary assists, and led the blue line in individual shot attempts. I would like to see Fowler and Montour paired together moving forward.
3 Stars: Monsters inc
Monsters Inc was a pretty great film when it came out, but in comparison to the rest of the Pixar catalogue is definitely average. It has a fun story that follows Mike and Sulley and their journey to return Boo to her home. The story is fun, but did not have any emotional pull for me, which makes it 3 stars.
Andrew Cogliano – Cogs had a completely average week for the Ducks. He had 1 point and was middle of the pack in both on ice and individual shot metrics. He was as good as Monsters Inc.
Nick Ritchie – Ritchie was slightly below average on the team in terms of shot metrics, but produced a goal and a secondary assist. He was second on the team in individual xG.
Corey Perry – With Perry you could take what I said for Ritchie and reuse it. I would like to add we have started to see the transformation from #ScoreyPerry to #PerrytheCreator. Everyone should embrace it.
Brandon Montour – Montour had a below average week on the team in terms of shot metrics and produced 0 points, but he gets 3 stars on the week due to his individual chance creation. Even though Fowler led the blue line in shot attempts, Montour led the blue line in individual expected goals.
2 Stars: Brave
Brave is a completely alright movie, but is below average for Pixar movies. I have seen it a few times, yet the story never takes hold for me. It does not create any memorable moments like the movies ranked above it does. It is not terrible but it is not great.
Derek Grant – Derek Grant was pretty bad this week and his lack of ability has become apparent in the D zone. He was on the ice for 4 goals against and I would say 2-3 of those if not all came due to some mistake by him in the D zone. He did have 1 primary assist on the week, which kept him from falling into the 1 star range. Also hip hip hooray; with the introduction of Adam Henrique my wish from last week has been granted and Grant has been taken off the top line.
Kalle Kossila – He was definitely below average in both CF% and xGF% on the week, but I am giving him the benefit of the doubt that he played with some pretty bad linemates. Even with this benefit of the doubt he had a 2 star performance.
Logan Shaw – Shaw provided no point production during his week and was below average in shot metrics, which gets him two stars. I don’t have a whole lot more to say.
Lindholm-Manson pairing – Lindholm and Manson had an uncharacteristically bad week. Both were around 40% in both CF% and xGF%. I believe this was more of an anomaly, but they had a poor week that was on par with Brave.
1 Star: Cars 2
Cars 2 is really bad. I am ashamed that I actually paid money and saw it in theaters. I have zero desire to ever see it again. I can’t comment really on the story because all I can remember is it was terribad. It was definitely 1 star.
Mike Liambas – Please check out why I ranked him 1 star last week and the same reasoning still applies. Liambas will be in the 1 star range as long as he is on the roster. Please send him down.
Dennis Rasmussen – I don’t always like to only focus on one stat but Rasmussen had a below 20% xGF%. This by itself gets him 1 star for the week.
Kevin Bieksa – Some might say I am biased by keeping Bieksa in the 1 star ranking for now the fourth week in a row, but he was yet again this bad. He was the worst defenseman on the team in CF% at 20.85% and had an xGF% of 40.04%. On top of all that, he was on the ice for 3 goals against. Bieksa was as bad as Cars 2 this week.
Korbinian Holzer – Holzer was pretty bad this week. He was the main reason the Ducks lost to the Kings by defaulting to his defenseman instincts and covering the front of the net instead of Dustin Brown. Carlyle deserves a lot of blame for putting him out there as a forward late in a game, but Holzer also should be held accountable. This play alone gets him 1 star.
I have not seen it yet but I bet it will be great. My cut off to be ranked is having played in over half the games that week for skaters and started a game for Goalies.
Adam Henrique (1 Game Played), Joe Blandisi (1 Game Played), Ondrej Kase (1 Game Played)
*All stats are from Corsica unless stated otherwise.