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 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!
Most of the time there is a reason for my non-Ducks ranking, whether that is the topic of the day with a movie coming out soon, or it has to do with the season we are in, or it was just requested. Well this week’s rankings are different; this week I just wanted to rank something I love, and that is Jonas Hiller masks. Hiller is by the far the Ducks’ goalie with the most swag in the history of the franchise. We can quibble about where he ranks on the Ducks list of best goalies, but there is no arguing that his masks and pads are some of the best we have seen in a Ducks or Mighty Ducks jersey. So I present to you a ranking of something very narrow and focused: Jonas Hiller Masks. As always, these rankings are 100% correct, and no one can tell me otherwise.
Iconic. There is not a better way to describe this mask than that. A simple matte black finish, with a gold cage, and a small gold webbed D on the forehead. I am usually a fan of bright and loud masks, as seen in the 4-star ranking, but there is something so amazing in the simplicity of this mask, especially when combined with the Ducks jerseys at that time. With this mask on, Hiller became Darth Hiller, and even the Duck’s organization got into the spirit, and the Honda Center would play the Imperial March after any big save. I may have more of a personal affection for the 4-star mask on this list, but this mask from Hiller is the one that everyone will remember when his name is mentioned. And for that it deserves the 5-star ranking. (Editor’s Note DK: All of these masks deserve 5-stars because Hiller is a legend.)
Daniel Sprong - Carter Rowney - Brian Gibbons - It is very rare for me to just ignore the 5v5 shot and chance metrics, but for this line and this week only I will. The Ducks’ 4th line came through with some big performances on the score sheet this past week (I know Sprong isn’t truly a 4th liner, but he played with Rowney and Gibbons at times this past week). Sprong had 1 goal, 2 primary assists, and 1 secondary assist, Rowney had 3 secondary assists, and Brian Gibbons had 2 goals. Bravo to this line for that production this week, but don’t worry... I will be critical again next week.
Oh man this mask just gets me all happy on the inside. It is just pure perfection. It utilizes the matte finish that a lot of Hiller’s masks would have, but instead of having a dark look to it to match the Ducks’ color scheme, this mask was super bright and colorful to match the 90s-born Mighty Ducks jerseys on throwback night. The sharp lines of bright color really pop with the matte white. Hiller brought back two of the primary logos used by the Mighty Ducks on this mask, with the Mighty Duck logo on one side and Wild Wing crashing through the ice on the other. In addition to the pure beauty of the mask, Hiller’s pad setup was absolutely amazing also for this game. Just the sight of it in our AC writer’s room almost brings myself and Daniel to tears.
John Gibson - This was an interesting week for Gibson. He had two below-average starts, posting a -0.31 GSAA against the Jets and a -1.49 GSAA against the Red Wings, but he bounced back really strong against the Wild and Devils, posting a 3.96 GSAA against the Wild and a 0.75 GSAA against the Devils. He finished the week with a 2,91 GSAA.
So now we move down from two of the best masks Hiller wore as a Duck and hit on what would be considered average (I do want to mention Hiller’s average is still better than a lot of goalies out there). So, this mask came after the Darth Hiller mask and tried to build upon it. The issue with doing that is you cannot really build upon perfection. This mask has cool elements to it, like Wild Wing on the chin and the Mighty Ducks logo, but it will always make you wish you were seeing the Darth Hiller mask instead.
Nick Ritchie - Adam Henrique - Ondrej Kase - This line may not have won the shot attempt battle, 44% CF%, but they did do a good job of controlling the chances, 59% SCF% and 50% HDCF%. On top of that Nick Ritchie had 3 primary assists and Adam Henrique had 1 goal and 1 secondary assist.
This mask from Jonas was not completely terrible, but it was definitely odd, yeah let’s go with odd. First off, I have never been a fan of the masks that Hiller had with the wordmark logo along the cheek. It really created an odd aesthetic that made the mask look really long. On top of that the orange lines on top make it look like Hiller is wearing an old school Jofa lid, similar to the one Gretzky used to rock. All things considered, there was just too much going on here.
Cam Fowler - Josh Manson - This pairing was not so great this week after having a stellar week previously. They posted a 41 CF%, a 41% SCF%, and a 55% HDCF%. They were pretty poor at controlling the shot share and scoring chance share, but were better at least at controlling the high danger chances, and were on the ice for four goals for and only two against. Without the positive HDCF% and GF% this pairing would be in the 1-star range.
Jacob Larsson - If I was feeling really harsh, I would have given Larsson a 1-star rating, but I am feeling kind due to the fact that he had a rotating cast of partners for the week. Larsson put up the following numbers for the week: 45% CF%, 42% SCF%, and a 41% HDCF%.
Rickard Rakell - Ryan Getzlaf - Devin Shore - This line put up for the most part sub par numbers at 5v5 (47% CF%, 40% SCF%, 67% HDCF%, 50% GF%). This line did have some offensive production (Rakell had three goals, Getzlaf had one secondary assist, and Shore had one primary assist), but four total points in four games from two of the top point producers isn’t going to cut it.
Jonas Hiller wore a lot of masks during his tenure with the Ducks, and plenty of them were amazing, a few were alright, but this was the only straight up bad mask. I really have no idea what is going on here. Thankfully, I do not remember him wearing it for that long.
Hampus Lindholm - Brandon Montour - If you take my explanation for the Fowler Manson ranking, you could basically duplicate it here. The only difference is the Lindholm Montour pairing did not control the high danger chances for. They ended the week with a 43% CF%, 45% SCF%, and a 37% HDCF%. That is just not good enough for one of your top two pairings. Yes Montour produced three points on the week, but they have got to be better at controlling the play.
I really struggled on where this mask should go within the rankings, so as a complete and total cop out, I will leave this mask as unranked. This mask was designed with pictures of various Ducks from the 2011-2012 roster with essentially sharpie mustaches on to honor the Movember movement. Hiller wore the mask for all of November. In theory it was a really really cool idea, but here is the issue: this mask will forever be tainted by the horrible stretch Hiller had while wearing this mask. In November, Hiller posted a .895 sv% in 12 games played, although this horrible streak did get Carlyle fired from his first stint with the team...
Andy Welinski (2 Games Played), Jake Dotchin (2 Games Played), Jakob Silfverberg (2 Games Played), Troy Terry (2 Games Played), Derek Grant (2 Games Played), Max Jones (2 Games Played), Ryan Kesler (2 Games Played), Kiefer Sherwood (2 Games Played), Andrew Cogliano (1 Game Played), Justin Kloos (1 Game Played)