By Adam Brady
Director of Publications & New Media
for the Ducks and Honda Center
Email Adam
Follow Adam on Twitter
RSS Feed
Blog Archives

Skating with the Stars

Friday, 10.21.2011 / 11:39 AM PT
X
Share with your Friends


Ducks Off the Ice by Adam Brady
Skating with the Stars

So, I guess we're going to do this whole "the Western Conference is brutally tough" thing all over again this year, huh?

To wit, the Anaheim Ducks have raced out to a 4-1-0 record, the best start through five games since their Cup season of 2006-07. And what has it gotten them so far? Sixth place in the West and third in their own division. Seriously?? That's what 4-1 gets you these days??? That's like climbing Mt. Everest and seeing five guys already there waiting for you at the top, clinking Miller Lite bottles together.

The leader of the Pacific, the Dallas Stars, are owners of an even glossier 5-1-0 start and a four-game winning streak that matches Anaheim's. Meanwhile, Jonas Hiller's 1.71 goals-against average and .938 save percentage are impressive -- but not quite as good as Stars backstop Kari Lehtonen's 1.58 and .953.

The good news is, we're going to get a close look at just how good Lehtonen and his Stars really are, when they're in this building tonight for another intriguing intra-division battle. If this matters to you, Hiller is 4-3-1 with a 2.40 GAA and .933 save percentage in his career against the Stars. Lehtonen is 3-4-2 in vs. the Ducks with a 3.21 and .898.

As much as the Ducks have struggled with their starts the past few seasons, Dallas' 5-1-0 mark is the second straight season they've done that (they just missed the postseason on the final day last year).

That team has a slightly different look this season, with rookie coach Glen Gulutzan (thank you, copy and paste) taking over after coaching the AHL's Texas Stars the last two seasons.  And while the summer loss of Brad Richards to the Rangers was a big blow, if obviously hasn't hurt Dallas much so far. They still have scorers like Mike Ribeiro, Loui Eriksson (both notorious Duck killers), Brenden Morrow and Jamie Benn. And they brought in veteran Sheldon Souray and his booming shot for a one-year deal over the summer.

Souray is an interesting story, as he was placed on waivers by the Oilers last season and cleared (partly because of his big salary cap hit). He was assigned to the Hershey Bears, Washington's AHL affiliate, where he was a teammate of our own Andrew Gordon. The Oilers tried to trade him at the deadline last year and didn't, and Dallas signed him in July. So far it's been a good move, as Souray has a goal and four assists in six games.

Souray, who has battled a number of injuries in his career, missed practice yesterday with a wrist problem. But Gulutzan said he'll be in the lineup tonight after getting a shot in the area.

The Ducks are possibly getting their own banged-up defenseman back tonight, as Kurtis Foster is reportedly available. He's missed the entire regular season after having a wire removed from his thigh, but Randy Carlyle called him "an option for us in these games." The problem is, the Ducks defense has been so solid, there may not be a spot for him among the D corps of Visnovsky-Lydman, Fowler-Beauchemin and Sbisa-Brookbank.

"When you have healthy bodies and you have people that have played to a high level, these decisions become more difficult,” Carlyle said.

The Stars, by the way, were outshot 40-18 in their win Tuesday night in Columbus and have been outshot 134-100 during their four-game roll.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - ANA 82 51 24 7 228 221 109
2 y - STL 82 51 24 7 239 197 109
3 x - NSH 82 47 25 10 226 202 104
4 x - CHI 82 48 28 6 220 186 102
5 x - VAN 82 48 29 5 236 220 101
6 x - MIN 82 46 28 8 227 198 100
7 x - WPG 82 43 26 13 223 204 99
8 x - CGY 82 45 30 7 237 213 97
9 LAK 82 40 27 15 218 197 95
10 DAL 82 41 31 10 257 257 92
11 COL 82 39 31 12 209 223 90
12 SJS 82 40 33 9 224 226 89
13 EDM 82 24 44 14 193 276 62
14 ARI 82 24 50 8 165 267 56

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
R. Getzlaf 77 25 45 15 70
C. Perry 67 33 22 13 55
R. Kesler 81 20 27 -5 47
J. Silfverberg 81 13 26 15 39
S. Vatanen 67 12 25 5 37
P. Maroon 71 9 25 -5 34
C. Fowler 80 7 27 4 34
H. Lindholm 78 7 27 25 34
M. Beleskey 65 22 10 13 32
R. Rakell 71 9 22 6 31
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
F. Andersen 35 12 5 .914 2.38
J. Gibson 13 8 0 .914 2.60

AnaheimDucks.com is the official Web site of the Anaheim Ducks. Anaheim Ducks and AnaheimDucks.com are trademarks of Anaheim Ducks Hockey Club, LLC. NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2015 Anaheim Ducks Hockey Club, LLC and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.

Privacy Policy     Contact Us    Jobs     Honda Center    Corporate Partnerships   Terms of Use   NHL TicketExchange  Site Map AdChoices