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 Feb 17th against the Wild, Feb 19th against the Golden Knights, and Feb 21st against the Stars.
If you have been living under a rock for the past week, the Winter Olympics have been going on with the closing ceremonies having concluded early on Sunday morning. As someone who prefers the winter games to the summer ones, I knew I was the right person to step up and rank the various sports on the winter games. Like past weeks, these rankings are 100% correct and no one can tell me otherwise.
5 Stars: Curling, Slopestyle Skiing and Snowboarding, Snowboard/Ski Cross
I know there is a lot listed here, but all of them are great. If you disagree with the curling placement then you have either not watched it before or not taken the 5 minutes to try and understand what is going on! The gold medal game between the US and Sweden was absolutely thrilling. The other two on here are due to my love of snowboarding. Slopestyle and boarder cross are so much fun to watch and more similar to something you would find yourself on the hill than halfpipe.
Ryan Miller - Miller stepped up big time with John Gibson going out. In the 1.33 games this week he accumulated a 6.29 GSAA and did not allow a single goal over that span. He is easily one of the best backups in the league this season, but as we have seen in the past, he has struggled when he has to take on a bigger workload due to a Gibson injury. This next stretch could be a real important one from Miller.
Rickard Rakell - Ryan Getzlaf - Corey Perry - “He’s the capppptain, loves his teammates, Loves Assisting and Wild Wing too, He’s the caappptain, who’s definitely bald, Loves Perry and Rakell too. And it’s a long game playin’ in the Pond, There’s a rival coming at you full speed, And he is a bad boy, cause he will go out and hit ya, He’s a bad boy for breakin’ their hearts. Now he’s free, free scorin’”(To the tune of Free Fallin’ by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, RIP) This was by far the best line for the Ducks this week. They were the only line above 50% in CF% and SCF%. On top of that Getzlaf had a goal and 2 primary assists for 3 points on the week, Rakell had 2 secondary assists for 2 points, and Perry had a goal for a point.
Derek Grant - Staff writer Adam Hutchinson will rejoice at his Lord and Savior receiving a 5 star rating this week and he deserves it. He was the only Duck this week to be above 50% in CF%, SCF%, and HDCF%. He also had one secondary assist for one point on the week.
4 Stars: Figure Skating and Short Track Skating
Figure skating is the marquee event of the inter games for a lot of casual Olympics fans. While I find them amazing and fun (This year I got really into ice dancing), they also can be a bit repetitive and do not bring the joy and excitement of the 5 star sports. Short track speed skating is a bit underrated in the grand scheme of things. It is not the best of the best, but it is pretty close. It is a chaotic race done at high speeds and, as you might have guessed, done on a short track.
John Gibson - Gibson accumulated a 1.73 GSAA this week in the 1.67 games he played in this past week. This was good enough to get the Ducks a win and set them up for a second win in Vegas. The injury he acquired in the Vegas game is very concerning though.
Cam Fowler - Brandon Montour - This pairing was put together in the Chicago game last week and they were actually solid together. They were the best Ducks pair overall on the week at 50% CF% and well above 50% in SCF%. If this pairing can keep up this pace it provides the Ducks a good option going into the playoffs.
Hampus Lindholm - Realistically I should put Lindholm a lot lower, but like with Fowler earlier in the season, I am cutting him some slack for having been stuck with Beachemin and Bieksa for most of the week. Lindholm was below 50% in CF% and above 50% in SCF%. It without a doubt was a subpar week from his high standards. I really think Lindholm and Manson need to be reunited. On a positive note for Lindholm, his point production was way up on the week, with one goal, one primary assist, and one secondary assist for 3 points in the three games.
Nick Ritchie - Adam Henrique - Ondrej Kase - This line for the Ducks was not the best but certainly not the worst. They were below 50% in CF%, but the shot quality metrics tell a different story with all 3 being above 50%. The line only combined for 1 goal and 2 assists on the week, but have become a big key for the teams offensive production and depth. This has become the second line in terms of scoring.
3 Stars: Halfpipe Snowboarding, Sliding sports (Bobsled, Luge, Skeleton), and Biathlon
These sports are the middle ground of the Olympics. They are not amazing but not bad. Halfpipe snowboarding is definitely fun but it is way overrated in my opinion. Other skiing and snowboarding events are much better due to added difficulty in a rails section and due to the fact you could see yourself doing something like slopestyle on a much smaller scale on the mountain. The sliding sports are also entertaining, but let me ask you this: Have they ever left a memorable impact on you after the games? For me that answer is no. The Biathlon takes what is kind of boring in cross country skiing and adds in target shooting after the skiers just raced a lap. It is kind of insane but fun to watch.
Kevin Bieksa - Bieksa was not actually terrible in the two games he played this week. He was at 50% in CF%, above 50% in SCF%, and below 50% in HDCF%. The thing that is concerning is he was the second worst player on the team behind Manson in terms of CA/60, which means he was very poor at limiting shot attempts against. This happened while he was paired with Lindholm.
2 Stars: Downhill Skiing, Cross Country Skiing, Speed Skating
This might be where I lose some people, but downhill skiing really dropped down my list this year. It just becomes so repetitive to watch so many skiers go down the same path and take very similar lines. It is not like freestyle skiing, where you can easily pick out the differences in each skiers run. Cross country skiing and speed skating are just really boring. There is no way around it really.
Andrew Cogliano - Ryan Kesler - Jakob Silfverberg - The “2nd line” did not have a great week. They were below 50% in shot quantity and shot quality metrics. It is becoming more and more clear that this lines usage will need to go down for the team to be successful.
J.T. Brown & Chris Wagner - these two did not have that great of a week being below 50% in all the shot quantity and quality metrics but they were not the worst relative to their teammates.
1 Star: Ski Jumping
What used to be really cool is now a relic of the past in comparison to all the different freestyle skiing and snowboarding competitions in the winter games. Why would I watch a skier only try to jump far when I could see them launch and throw triple corks 1440s while in the air!
Marcus Pettersson - Josh Manson - This pairing was really really good in their first appearance against the Blackhawks, but have tailed off since. This D pair was the worst on the team at CF% and SCF%, and they were the worst at suppressing shots. One of Josh Manson’s best assets is his ability to stop shot attempts against from happening and he was the worst on the team in CA/60. I like Pettersson’s game a lot but I think it is time to go back to the drawing board and try out some different pairings.
Antoine Vermette - Vermette was bad. Yep that is it.
Seeing as we are a hockey blog, I am a bit too biased to actually rank hockey.
Francois Beauchemin (1 Game Played)