Jake is away doing that weird straight-person custom of forever tying themselves to a female, then going somewhere after said event, so I helpfully stepped forward to cover one of the weeks he is away. This is a weekly series on Anaheim Calling to take a look at how various players on the team have fared. Jake normally ranks a random topic along a scale of 1 to 5 stars and places different Ducks within the categories based on their performance over the past week, so I guess I am doing that too.
His reasoning for the rating of the Ducks is usually based on stats, results, and probably some of his bias, mine will try to follow but will ultimately fail in this regard. My reasoning for the rating of the random topic will be completely factual and true #themoreyouknow. I will elaborate more on some of the topics than others. I expect everyone to be overwhelmingly enlightened by the end of this piece. If there is something you would like us at AC or Jake to rank, please feel free to leave it in the comments.
Jake is off getting married and then going on his honeymoon. He asked myself (John) and JC to cover this while he was away (I think for my part because I keep suggesting massively niche and convoluted topics in the Slack chat), but then I came up with a new one this week off the back of the fact that he chose to go to Australia for his honeymoon instead of my very close and much more beautiful home of New Zealand (sorry not sorry Benny).
Benny and I have had fun in the Slack chat with enlightening Jake about the various creatures that are trying to kill you in Australia, so I decided to take it a step further and expand that to not only creatures, but also things, because why not.
5 Stars: Snakes
Let me preface this with the fact that I am so terrified of snakes that I had to scroll past any pictures when looking up the facts for this - also when I was in Australia recently with my partner and we went to the Australia Zoo, I almost had a panic attack when we went through the bit with all the snakes. Seriously. Fuck snakes.
Okay, on with the facts. 21 of the 25 most venomous snakes in the world live in Australia including the most poisonous snake in the world - the Inland Taipan; whose venom is so powerful that a single bite could kill 100 grown men. Its venom immobilizes prey by blocking signals sent by nerves to muscles and pumping a procoagulant into the body that keeps blood from clotting and increases the rate at which toxins are absorbed. This snake is so cold that while most snakes wait for their venom to kill their prey before consuming. This one just starts chowing down while its victim is still alive and paralyzed. Other fun species that can be found in Australia are: The Eastern Brown Snake (responsible for approximately 60% of fatal snake bites in Australia), The Western Brown Snake (bites can cause Nausea, headaches and paralysis in dogs), Tiger Snake (has a highly neuro-toxic venom that has a mortality rate between 40 and 60%), Coastal Taipan... and okay that’s enough talk about snakes.
Ryan Getzlaf - Over a period of two losses and a win, Getzlaf maintained a high CF% throughout and was second on the team in CF% in the win over Calgary. He is shooting more than he normally does which can only be a good thing. His game-winner over the Flames was vintage Captain Dad.
Rickard Rakell - Once again ranked high in Corsi over all three games- particularly against Calgary where he lead the team with 46.88%, rescued the game for the Ducks with that zone entry and net drive, which lead to Getzlaf getting the rebound for the game winner.
Patrick Eaves - Ranked CF% 61.54 and 42.86 for the Kings and Flames games, and although he has yet to score since his return to the line-up, one has to feel it is coming and very soon. He has been ... how should we say... snake bit?
4 Stars: Water Dwelling Creatures
Crocodiles: I will just cover the Salt Water Crocs here since they are the bigger and more dangerous. “Salties” can live more than 65 years and can travel as far as 900km by sea. They kill their prey by drowning it and then rolling it rapidly to remove its limbs. They can grow as large as 7m long and can weigh as much as 1000kg. They are most dangerous when nesting, which occurs between November and March.
Jellyfish: The Box Jellyfish, found in the warmer waters of Australia - such as those around the Great Barrier Reef; is known worldwide as the most venomous marine animal. Potentially 20 to 40 people die from Box Jellyfish stings every year worldwide but it could be higher. Its stings attack the skin, nerves and your heart, and victims have reported having suicidal thoughts during an attack.
Sharks: Australia averages two fatal Shark attacks per year. Last year there were 14 total incidents and one fatality. In September of this year they had two attacks within a 24 hour period in the same harbour of a popular tourist area (hmmm sounds like there could be a movie in that one)
Stonefish: Evil fish that disguise themselves as rocks, so you step on them and then make you feel like every part of your body is being hit with a sledgehammer.
Pontus Aberg - The holy one was above 50% CF in both of the losses and was essentially the only forward not named Getzlaf or Rakell driving play. He also appears to be the only forward unwilling to dump and chase, stubbornly electing to carry.
Marcus Pettersson - Hampus Lindholm- Second on the team in Corsi with 64.52 against the Kings, responsible for 3 high danger chances against the Flames as well as 6 against the Kings- then mysteriously scratched in favor of Schenn against the Wild whereby the Ducks played one of their more embarrassing games of the year- and that's just Pettersson. I dont think I need to tell you how consistently great Hampus has been or need to back that up with any stats.
Ryan Miller - Broke the 8 game losing streak with a win against the Flames and made some inhuman saves en route to a greater than average goal-tending performance. He has seen 122 shots through 5 games and has a 96.72 SV%.
3 Stars: Cute Things and Birds
Koala Bears: Contrary to popular comic book myth spread by shows such as Family Guy, Koalas really are as cute and cuddly as they appear - to an extent; in the wild they can run as fast as 32km/hr. They don’t actively sit in trees waiting for unsuspecting victims to drop on - they actually rest and conserve their energy for the majority of the day so there isn’t really anything too scary about them. They do however have Chlamydia and are dying at a scary and sad rate, so just don’t pick them up.
Dingos: Are a native type of Dog that have been around since the first Australian early settlers. They prey on mammals up to the size of a Kangaroo and hunt in packs. They also famously kidnapped and ate a baby.
Kangaroos: They may look like weird cute dog-bunny hybrids but Kangaroos can quite literally kick the shit out of you. They can also run/bound up to speeds of 40 mph and hop as high as 10 feet.
Cassowarries: The third largest bird in the world, these things are like the pissed off meth’d-out cousin of the Ostrich that has - oh by the way - a Dinosaur-esque horn on its head. Much like meth-heads, they can run up to 50km/hr and jump as high as 2 meters off the ground (they can’t fly thankfully). They have claws like daggers and attack up to 200 people every year.
John Gibson - Hasn’t been his superhuman self of late, but I think we can all understand his reasoning for a potential lack of motivation to do that. It was also inevitable that he would not be able to sustain that kind of magic puck voodoo for the entire season without any help. He has seen 381 shots through 14 games and has a 93.96 SV%.
Adam Henrique, Keifer Sherwood, Josh Manson, Cam Fowler, Jakob Silfverberg, Andrew Cogliano
Much like the Ducks play lately - this grouping is lumped together in the “average but could be better category”. Henrique and Silfverberg have scored over the last three game span, but aren't exactly driving play like Gezlaf, Rakell or Aberg have. Manson has been great since he came back but is trying to do too much. Fowler followed up his hat-trick effort with regressing to sub-optimal play and Kiefer Sherwood is just doing what he does, and I think that's all we can ask of him right now.
2 Stars: The Environment
Due to its size and proximity to the equator, Australia has some of the most extreme temperatures in the world. The outback isn't just a knock-off restaurant, it’s essentially one of the harshest places to live on earth with temperatures regularly reaching 113 degrees Fahrenheit. The biggest danger is running out of gas or your car breaking down between towns. But it’s not just heat or lack of water than can get you - Australia (and NZ because the rest of the world made a hole in the ozone above us, thanks a bunch fellas!) has one of the highest rates in the world for skin cancer. So Jake, I was very deadly serious when I said to wear a lot, a LOT of sun screen when you hit the Great Barrier Reef.
Isac Lundestrom, Brandon Montour, Ryan Kesler - Lundestrom has been a really nice surprise and the kid keeps trying every game; I am still completely and utterly surprised at how mature he is. But I think its time to take him out of this environment and either return him to Sweden or allow him to find success with the Gulls. Montour - like Manson; has been trying to do too much and it feels like he is a little lost in his role right now. He needs clear direction and all evidence points to only a coaching change achieving that. Kesler has slowed down a LOT since his return. It’s pretty noticeable. Here is hoping that once Rowney returns he is given more rest to be back at 100%.
1 Star: Spiders
There are 520 species of spider in Australia and a good proportion of those can kill you slowly and painfully with a single bite. The list is long, but highlights include the Huntsman (known for their speed and hunting prowess as well as venom that can induce nausea and vomiting), the Wolf Spider (named for their wolf-like habit of chasing and pouncing on their prey, and are known for their running speed), the Redback (more than 250 bites treated a year and one death caused in 1956) and the Funnel-Web (known for creating a funnel like web, they are large, brown, aggressive and have resulted in several human deaths recorded in the Sydney area since the 1920s)
Luke Schenn - Not really sure why he was allowed back into the line up. The proof was in the pudding when he left the front of the net completely unguarded to pursue a needless hit in a high danger situation. I don’t really have anything else to say here.
Unranked: Everything Else
Strawberries: Terrorists have moved onto biological warfare in Australia and they are messing with pretty much the best fruit to ever exist. Not cool.
Celebrities: South Park famously did a full episode on him and he has since matured a tad in his later years, keeping his public outbursts to insulting spoilt rappers - but Russell Crowe still lives in Australia so I’d be careful about being anywhere near him. Particularly if he has plates nearby, or a phone.
Snails: The cone snail - particularly the tropical kind - like to hang out on coral reefs and spit out a harpoon-like radula tooth loaded with venom that can be fatal to humans.
League Players: When they aren't getting caught on video engaging in acts of bestiality or group-sexually assaulting women, urinating in their own mouths or again, engaging in bestiality (the poor dogs! Won’t someone please take them away from them) they can often be found beating random members of the public unconscious for accusing them of stealing two cigarettes. Actually there are too many stupid things that League Players have done to list here, so have fun reading this article.
Jacob Larsson - I was going to call Larsson the best Duck on the ice for the game against the Wild, until those two 2nd period goals that he was on the ice for. The second one was not his fault as it wasn't his man that finished the play. Still, he chose the wrong side of the net to attempt to flush him from and just generally doesn’t look good when he is on the ice for back to back goals that are made from the same play.