A Look Back
An unprecedented regular season unfolded into the Ducks' third straight postseason berth as they defend their Stanley Cup title
By Adam Brady
|The Ducks set a new franchise record for home victories (including 10 in a row) on their way to making the postseason for the third straight time.|
It’s not exactly going out on a limb to declare that the Anaheim Ducks’ 2007-08 season was unlike any in the history of the National Hockey League.
It was a season that began in
|Get recaps and video from every Ducks regular season game this year|
And despite a rollercoaster six-and-a-half months, a slow start that had the words “Stanley Cup hangover” uttered from
The Ducks’ dominance at Honda Center during last year’s run to the Cup (where they won 10 of 12 home games) carried over to this regular season.
|The Ducks opened the NHL season with two games against the Kings in London, England.
The Ducks started the year a very long way from home, opening the NHL season against the rival Kings at the new O2 Arena in
The Ducks also started the season without goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere and center Samuel Pahlsson, both of whom were recovering from abdominal injuries.
|Selanne (foreground) and Niedermayer each returned in mid-season, and each had an immediate effect on the Ducks’ fortunes.|
The Ducks followed up the
Still, unlike the previous season when they set an NHL record with points in their first 16 games, the Ducks looked to suffer the after-effects of their short offseason and got off to a rough start to 2007-08. They were just 15-15-4 through their first 34 games before undergoing a major development in their season. After Niedermayer announced his intention to return to the team, the Ducks were forced to make some moves to fit him under the salary cap. On Dec. 14
|Giguere was among the best goalies in the league in several categories.
Both Niedermayer and Weight made their debuts two days later against
That success helped push the Ducks to a third straight postseason berth, making them just the fifth team among the last 10 Stanley Cup finalists to make the playoffs the following year.
In all, the Ducks had 17 players miss games with injuries this season for almost 160 man-games lost during the year (compared to just 102 last year). Perry missed the final 12 games of the regular season with a right quad tendon laceration suffered when he was cut by a skate at
|Getzlaf (left) led the team in scoring, while Perry was the top goal-scorer despite missing the final 12 regular season games.
Perry’s extended absence didn’t keep him from leading the team in goals with 29 (far surpassing his career high of 17). He and linemate Getzlaf were named to the Western Conference team for the All-Star Game, as were Niedermayer and Pronger, giving the Ducks more representatives in the game than they had ever had.
Getzlaf led the Ducks in scoring nearly the entire season, while recording a career-high 15-game point streak from Dec. 22 through Jan. 23 that tied for the second-longest in franchise history. Selanne became
Ducks fans set a record of their own, as Honda Center was sold out for 74 straight games dating back to last year (a streak that will continue this postseason). The Ducks currently have the third-longest active regular season sellout streak among U.S.-based NHL teams.
Top Ducks Moments in 2007-08
September 29-30, 2007
As part of NHL Premiere,
October 10, 2007
The Ducks return to
December 16, 2007
After flirting with retirement, 2007 Conn Smythe Trophy winner Scott Niedermayer makes his long-awaited return to the Ducks lineup in a 2-1 shootout loss to
February 1, 2008
Although the Ducks lose a hard-fought battle 1-0 in a shootout, Jean-Sebastien Giguere passes Guy Hebert with his 28th career shutout to set a new franchise record.
February 5-8, 2008
During a whirlwind road trip, the Ducks see Teemu Selanne return to their lineup against the New York Islanders, visit the White House in commemorating last year’s championship and become just the second team in NHL history to beat all three New York-area teams (Islanders, Rangers and Devils) in a span of four days.
February 17, 2008
Teemu Selanne and Jean-Sebastien Giguere each break franchise records in a 4-2 victory over
March 3, 2008
In a rematch of the 2007 Stanley Cup Final, the Ducks once again prevail over the
March 26, 2008
The Ducks win a franchise-record 10th straight game at Honda Center while also claiming their third straight playoff appearance in a 2-1 shootout victory over the Kings. Also in the win, the Ducks clinch the inaugural Freeway Face-Off rivalry series.
March 30, 2008
In a 3-2 shootout victory over
April 5, 2008
In a 4-3 victory at the Kings, the Ducks reach 100 standings points for the second straight season (the only two times they've done it in franchise history).