5 years ago today, the Anaheim Ducks played Game 5 of the 2006-2007 Stanley Cup Finals against the Ottawa Senators. It was an incredible day for Ducks fans. The franchise had finally reached the pinnacle of the sport. They became the first team from California and the first team from the West Coast to win the Stanley Cup. The Ducks had a magical sort of playoff as they just seemed to be unstoppable. Rolling over the Minnesota Wild in the first round in five games. In the second round the Ducks handled the Vancouver Canucks with ease and eliminate them in five as well. Then, in the Western Conference Finals, the Ducks met the Detroit Red Wings. The top two seeds battled out a six game series that saw the Ducks advance to their second Stanley Cup Finals appearance.
They met a team that actually had a better record than them in the Finals, the Ottawa Senators. The Senators also steamrolled through their conference during the playoffs, winning every series in five games. The Senators were making their first Stanley Cup Finals appearance after their rebirth. They rolled over the Pittsburgh Penguins, New Jersey Devils and Buffalo Sabres to make the Finals. The Senators were boasting an incredible offensive force in the trio of Daniel Alfredsson (hisssssss), Dany Heatley and Jason Spezza. All three of them would eventually be the top three players in scoring during those playoffs.
In Game 1 of the Finals, the Ducks dominated much of the game and it showed in the shot totals, 20 for Ottawa and 32 for the Ducks, but the Ducks won 3-2 with a GWG by Travis Moen late in the third. Game 2 was a very defensive affair. The Ducks once again outshot the Senators by a large margin but Senators goalie Ray Emery played specatacularly. The Ducks got the game winner by Sami Pahlsson late in the third once again to win 1-0. The series then shifted to Ottawa and the Sens took advantage of home ice and outplayed the Ducks to win Game 3 by a final of 5-3. Game 4 was a very strange game. The Sens dominated the Ducks in the first period outshooting them 13-2. Things changed dramatically in the second period as the Ducks dominated and outshot the Sens 13-4. The third period was an even period with both teams only registering 6 shots. However, the Ducks Dustin Penner scored the game winner shortly into that third period. This game of the series will always be remembered for Daniel Alfredsson shooting a slap shot at Scott Niedermayer at the end of the second period. Alfredsson was not given a penalty, but he did earn the name of one of the Ducks fans’ least favorite players. Game 5 was the deciding game, obviously. The Ducks outshot the Sens 18-13.
Game 5 started out with an Andy McDonald power play goal that ricocheted off of Senators defenseman Chris Phillips. Later in the first period, Rob Niedermayer scored on a 2-1 shortly after a successful penalty kill by the Ducks. The second period scoring was led off by the Ducks fans’ number one target, Daniel Alfredsson. It was a nice shot by Alfredsson, but of course Ducks fans booed the s*^t out of him. Which the did when ever he touched the puck that game. At that point, everyone knew that the next goal could be the biggest of the series. With the score 2-1, the Ducks got a very lucky break from, guess who? Sens defenseman Chris Phillips got his second goal of the game when he tried to skate out from behind the net, the puck came off of his stick and got trapped in the skates of Emery who had stopped the puck behind the net and the puck went in. However, the Senators scored later in the second on a brilliant short-handed play by, once again, guess who. Daniel Alfredsson fought off pressure and put it top shelf on a very nice play late in the second. The Ducks would answer, though, McDonald dropped the puck back to a wide open Francois Beauchemin who blasted a slapshot off of Senators defenseman Anton Volchenkov and off the post and by Emery. The Ducks would then seal the Cup in the third period with goals from Travis Moen, again, and followed by Corey Perry.
So, shortly into the new Samueli era, the Ducks won their first Stanley Cup. In this second trip to the Finals, goalie Jean Sebastien Giguere was not as unbeatable as he was back in 2003, but he was good enough. “The Kid Line” of Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry and Dustin Penner was a spark for the entire team. The checking line of Sami Pahlsson, Rob Niedermayer and Travis Moen shut down the most potent line in the playoffs, but also contributed some timely goal scoring. The defensive pairing of Scott Niedermayer and Chris Pronger were as good as a shutdown defensive pairing can be. Francois Beauchemin and Chris Kunitz were their usual selves, delivering punishing hit after punishing hit with some goals split in between. Andy McDonald and Teemu Selanne were offensive machines throughout the entire playoffs and McDonald was especially good in the Finals. Who can forget in Chris Pronger’s absence in Game 4 of the WCF when Ric Jackman even contributed a goal in a dominant first period. The heavy hits never stopped. Pronger, of course, Beauchemin, Kunitz and even Rob Niedermayer laid out a heavy hit just seconds before the Ducks scored an overtime goal in Game 5 of the WCSF to elminate the Vancouver Canucks. Even back up goalie Ilya Bryzgalov had his contributions, well, mainly in the series against the Wild, but he posted numbers that were pretty close to Giguere’s. The contributions were nearly endless.
I remember watching some of the games. The day after Game 5, I remember asking my parents to by me two Anaheim Ducks Stanley Cup Championship shirts, being only 15 at the time meant I had no money of my own. Of course, I got the white locker room edition and I get a black shirt that said on the front in big white lettering, “One Goal.” When I show my love for the Ducks around my friends today, they give a little chuckle and make fun of me for being a Ducks fan. “The Ducks don’t have fans. California sports teams don’t have fans,” they would say. I just shrugged it off and would go open my dresser and take out the shirt and relive one of the best days of my life. I don’t know about you guys, but I will always remember the moment where Perry and Getzlaf jumped into Giguere’s arms as he tried to get his blocker and trapper off. I will also always remember the touching moment when Scott handed the cup over to his brother Rob, who had just won the Cup for the first time in his career. I will always remember when Teemu Selanne first got his hands on the Cup from Chris Pronger as they both celebrated their first Cups as well. I will always remember the 2007 Stanley Cup Champion Anaheim Ducks.
Here’s a list of the players who got their names etched on the Cup:
- D – Francois Beauchemin
- G – Ilya Bryzgalov
- C – Ryan Carter
- D – Joe DiPenta
- C – Ryan Getzlaf
- G – Jean-Sebastien Giguere
- D – Kent Huskins
- D – Ric Jackman
- LW – Chris Kunitz
- C – Todd Marchant
- LW – Brad May
- C – Andy McDonald
- LW – Drew Miller
- W – Travis Moen
- RW – Joe Motzko
- RW – Rob Niedermayer (A)
- D – Scott Niedermayer (C)
- D – Sean O’Donnell
- C – Samuel Pahlsson
- RW – George Parros
- RW – Corey Perry
- D – Chris Pronger (A)
- RW – Teemu Selanne
- F – Ryan Shannon
- W – Shawn Thornton
Here are some of my favorite Youtube videos to watch regarding the Ducks championship:
Playoff overview video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sgHS5XqqOXA
Stanley Cup Finals Game 5 Highlights: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ilsTF2o4Y-Y
Stanley Cup Finals Game 5 National Anthem: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5P1tml_jtlg
Teemu Selanne’s interview after lifting the Cup for the first time, i regret to inform you that Pierre McGuire is in this video so be warned: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pAXEoypd87Y
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Topics: Anaheim Ducks, Andy McDonald, Brad May, Buffalo Sabres, Chris Kunitz, Chris Phillips, Chris Pronger, Corey Perry, Daniel Alfredsson, Dany Heatley, Detroit Red Wings, Drew Miller, Dustin Penner, Francois Beauchemin, George Parros, Ilya Bryzgalov, Jason Spezza, Jean-Sebastien Giguere, Joe DiPenta, Joe Motzko, Kent Huskins, Minnesota Wild, New Jersey Devils, Ottawa Senators, Pittsburgh Penguins, Ray Emery, Ric Jackman, Rob Niedermayer, Ryan Carter, Ryan Getzlaf, Ryan Shannon, Samuel Pahlsson, Scott Niedermayer, Sean O'Donnell, Shawn Thornton, Teemu Selanne, Todd Marchant, Travis Moen, Vancouver Canucks