Sign in with your NHL account:
  • Submit
  • Or
  • Sign in with Google
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 / 2:39 PM
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 ANA 34 22 7 5 99 90 49
2 CHI 32 22 9 1 100 64 45
3 STL 32 21 9 2 98 78 44
4 NSH 30 20 8 2 81 59 42
5 SJS 33 18 11 4 94 85 40
6 VAN 31 18 11 2 89 88 38
7 WPG 32 16 10 6 78 75 38
8 LAK 33 16 11 6 90 82 38
9 CGY 33 17 14 2 97 90 36
10 MIN 30 16 12 2 86 78 34
11 DAL 30 12 13 5 87 103 29
12 COL 31 10 13 8 78 99 28
13 ARI 31 11 16 4 72 100 26
14 EDM 33 7 20 6 69 110 20

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
R. Getzlaf 33 10 25 7 35
R. Kesler 34 11 15 0 26
S. Vatanen 34 9 15 2 24
C. Perry 23 14 8 11 22
M. Beleskey 34 15 3 12 18
C. Fowler 33 3 14 1 17
J. Silfverberg 34 4 12 6 16
H. Lindholm 34 4 11 12 15
P. Maroon 26 2 12 -6 14
D. Smith-Pelly 31 4 8 3 12
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Gibson 2 2 0 .927 2.28
F. Andersen 18 5 4 .913 2.41

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 © 1999-2013 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