The weekly rankings are back!!!!! For those who missed this segment last season, this is a weekly series on Anaheim Calling to take a look at how various players on the team have fared. I will j 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.
This season, we have our own DraftKings Fantasy League, therefore we have added to the bottom of the rankings this season the top performers of the week for the Ducks in daily fantasy. On to the fun!
Last season, Paul Kariya was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame alongside his lineman and friend Teemu Selanne. In honor of this achievement both were honored at Honda Center with a Hall of Fame night. In the lead up to all of that, I wrote an article urging the Ducks to Retire The Nine. Well, we can all happily look back on that article now knowing that Kariya’s number 9 will be hoisted into the rafters on Sunday, October 21st. In honor of this momentous occasion, I will be ranking Paul Kariya moments, both good and bad in this weeks ranking. As always, these rankings are 100% correct, and no one can tell me otherwise.
5 Stars: Off the Floor on The Board
This moment is without a doubt the signature Paul Kariya moment. I am not going to lie, after all of the information that has come out about Kariya not remembering anything from this game or game 7 or the two days after game 7 even. I feel kinda gross about making this the 5 star moment, but it needs to be here. This is the signature moment from him, as a Duck or elsewhere. Kariya was knocked out cold by Scott Stevens in Game 6 of the 2003 Stanley Cup Final, with what at the time was considered a “clean” hockey play (Nowadays that is at least a 20-game suspension, see Wilson, Tom). Kariya was taken back into the locker room, but eventually reappeared on the bench and then in the second period flew down the wing and wired a slapshot high glove on Martin Brodeur. This led to the iconic call from Gary Thorne “Off the Floor On the Board, Paul Kariya” and the roof of the then Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim was blown off the building. Many people who attended that game claim that is the loudest moment in Duck history, even greater than when they won the cup. This is a defining moment in franchise history that people who experienced it in person or on tv will tell their kids about.
John Gibson - Gibson posted a 2.39 GSAA and a .927 SV% in the two games started this past week, while being peppered for 83 shots against in essentially 5 periods played. If the Ducks did not have him, the score-sheets would look worse than they have, and that is with him allowing 4 goals against Dallas. He had a 5-star week.
4 Stars: Game 6 OT Winner against the Coyotes
The Mighty Ducks of Anaheim made the playoffs for the first time in Franchise history in the 96-97 season. The Ducks would be matched up against the Phoenix Coyotes in the 4 seed vs 5 seed series in the Western Conference. With the Ducks down 3-2 in the series, the team would have to go to America West Arena in Phoenix and get a win to bring the series back to Anaheim for a game 7. The Ducks got out to a 2-0 lead in this game, with Kariya getting one of the goals and Brian Bellows the other in the first period. But the Ducks let the Coyotes back into the game with two third period goals from Darrin Shannon and Keith Tkachuk, which sent the game to overtime (the first playoff overtime game in franchise history). 7 minutes into the overtime session, Kariya would come down the left wing and snipe a goal past Nikolai Khabibulin to win the game for the Ducks. This goal sent the series back to Anaheim, where the Ducks would close out the series.
Hampus Lindholm - Brandon Montour - I am kind of shocked to be putting a defense pairing at 4 stars after the train wreck that was the Ducks vs Stars on Saturday, but these two actually were all right. They had an average week shot and chance metrics wise (Mid 40s CF% and SCF% along with being well above 50% HDCF%), and Lindholm had 4 Points (1 Primary Assist and 2 Secondary Assists). The point production pushes them from 3-star to 4-star.
Maxime Comtois - Adam Henrique - Jakob Silfverberg - These three produced nicely for the Ducks this week (Henrique 1 goal, Comtois 2 goals and 1 primary assist, and Silfverberg 2 goals), and did a solid job in the shot metrics battle. I want to see them improve that a bit, but in comparison to the rest of the team they were fine. This line has become the de facto scoring line for the team, and as of now they continue to put up the points
3 Stars: The Buzz Around Kariya’s first appearances as a Mighty Duck
I know this is not fully a moment, but bear with me. Kariya was very highly touted coming out of college due to not only his performance at the University of Maine, but also for Canada in the 1994 Olympics. The 4th overall selection by the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim had a lot of buzz surrounding him when he eventually got to Anaheim because of the above reasons. So much so that at his first practice in Anaheim, he garnered an attendance of 9000 people at the Pond. That was then followed up by 16,000 people attending his first exhibition game. This was not an exact moment, so I cannot rank it that high, but it perfectly exemplifies something 3-star.
Isac Lundestrom - Sam Steel - Kiefer Sherwood - Sam Steel did not have a great week, but a large part of that is due to having a poor game with different line mates against the Coyotes. This line was put together starting in the Stars game, and really started to find its groove in the Blues game. I am putting it at 3 stars because I need to consider play from the whole week, but if this line continues to play how they did against the Blues, then they could shoot up the rankings.
Andrew Cogliano - Ryan Kesler - Rickard Rakell - Cogliano scored 1 goal and had 1 primary assist for 2 points, Kesler had 1 goal and 1 primary assist for 2 points, and Rakell, even though he did not score, took 11 shots on goal and 15 shot attempts on the week. The line was not amazing shot metric wise, Kesler and Cogliano being around 44% and Rakell much lower due to a poor performance with other line mates against the Coyotes, but Kesler and Cogliano were on the ice for more high danger chances for than against. I could probably slot them into the 3-star range, but with 4 points over 3 games for the line I will give them 4.
2 Stars: Leaving the Ducks to Sign with the Avalanche
So this is where we start to get into some muddy waters that might cause some debate. Some people will consider this the worst thing that ever happened to the franchise due to circumstances of him leaving. I hope that as time has gone on many people, just like myself, have not only been able to forgive Kariya for leaving, but also understand why he left. In sports, we are all very quick to side with our favorite franchise, because barring any crazy circumstances, the franchise will always be there. Players on the other hand can come and go, so if they disrespect the team then, in turn, they are disrespecting us, or at least that is how some people feel. Well that is most of the time, not actually the case, and there are two sides to every story. We have only ever heard the story that the Ducks said he would stay with the franchise even though they did not extend him a qualifying offer. Someone correct me if I am wrong, but we have never gotten the full story from Kariya’s side on why it happened. The closest we have come is Selanne mentioning in his book that Paul wanted to move on to a new team. Something happened between Management and Paul to which we have never been privy and probably never will be. But at the end of the day, this does not change the impact he had on the franchise. He still had the moments listed above, and still inspired plenty of kids to go out and play hockey. He definitely did for me.
I am giving this a 2-star ranking because it was a sad moment to see the Captain leave, but it is definitely not the worst Kariya moment.
Josh Manson - Cam Fowler - So remember how I said I was surprised that Lindholm and Montour had decent numbers with how bad the Stars game was. Well this pairing saw the effects of that awful Stars game unlike the Lindholm Montour one. Fowler had a 32.43 CF%, 29.09 SCF%, and a 38.89 HDCF%. Manson was slightly better at 41.67 CF%, but then real bad with chances at 22.22 SCF%, and a 0% HDCF%. The only saving grace for this pairing is Manson had 2 Primary Assists on the week and Fowler had 1 Secondary Assist. Without this production this pairing gets in the 1 star range.
Ben Street - Carter Rowney - Brian Gibbons - Troy Terry - The combination of these players were not amazing this week. Ben Street having two goals keeps them from being in a 1-star range, but the play needs to improve from them. We started to see Terry along with the rest of the 4th line pick up their play in the Blues game. That needs to continue.
1 Star: Gary Suter’s Cross Check
Kariya had sustained concussions prior to this play, but this was by far the most impactful play on Kariya’s career. As you can see in the video, Suter cross checks Kariya flush in the face with extreme force. This play led to Paul missing the rest of the season along with the 98 Olympics in his father’s home nation of Japan. Gary Suter was only suspended 4 games for this Cross Check at the time, which is just unbelievable to be honest. It is such a shame that Paul played in an era that players were allowed to continually cheap shot guys with very little consequence. It not only worsened his quality of life after hockey, but also limited the length of his career. This play- along with the game of hockey not treating him correctly- deserves 1 star.
Andrej Sustr - Marcus Pettersson - Basically copy and paste what I said for Fowler-Manson, but take out the Dallas portion because Sustr did not play that game, and take out the production, because Petersson was the only one with a point (1 Primary Assist). One positive note is this pairing is better than Schenn with Petersson, not a lot better-- but better.
Unranked: Paul Kariya’s Cameo in D3: The Mighty Ducks
Yep Paul Kariya was in D3: The Mighty Ducks. I can remember being a kid and finding this so cool that my favorite player from my favorite team was in the movie! It doesn't warrant a full ranking, but is worth mentioning.
Luke Schenn (1 Game Played, Still awful though with a team worst 92.97 CA/60 on the week), Ryan Miller (1 Game Started)
Draftkings Performers of the Week:
With a lot of my strategy in DraftKings being which players are riding a hot streak, the following are the list of Ducks that are riding that hot streak on DraftKings:
- Ben Street - Street avenged 3.33 Fantasy Points per game this week, with one 5.5 point game. I am not sure I would recommend making him a first choice in your lineup, but he is a decent punt play having a salary under $3000 last night. I am not sure I would pay up to $3500, but anything under that and he might be worth the punt.
- Rickard Rakell - Rakell had no actual points scored this week, but because of his peripheral stats he is playable. He averaged 2.83 points per game on the week topping out with 5 fantasy points last night. If his salary remains under $6000, he is a must play even without the goal scoring, if he gets hot then he is bolted onto my DFS lineup regardless of the cost.
- Hampus Lindholm - Lindholm posted a 4.833 point per game fantasy week and has been riding a hot streak. DraftKings has started to take notice and raised his salary to $5300 on last night’s slate, but even at that cost he is worth a play