Anaheim Ducks: The Twelve Days of Christmas


From the staff here at Pucks of a Feather, we wish you a Merry Christmas, a Happy New Year, and Happy Holidays! It is our pleasure to cover the Anaheim Ducks, and we hope that the rest of the season is as enjoyable as these first 36 games have been.

As we all partake in holiday festivities, we at Pucks of a Feather were inspired by two of our fellow FanSided sites. It started when our friends at Predlines, the site covering the Nashville Predators, made a Predators’ rendition of the Christmas classic, “The Twelve Days of Christmas”. In response to that, another set of our friends at Pucks and Pitchforks, the New Jersey Devils site on the FanSided network, took their own spin of the same tune.

We were so impressed with both sites’ creativity that we decided to give our own spin of “The Twelve Days of Christmas”, but in an Anaheim Ducks style. So, starting from twelve, all the way down to one, here are the Anaheim Ducks’ Twelve Days of Christmas, brought to you by Pucks of a Feather!

Twelve home-grown players:

Including the players on Injured Reserve, the Ducks have 12 players on the NHL roster who were originally drafted by the Ducks: Matt Beleskey, Emerson Etem, Devante Smith-Pelly, Rickard Rakell, Kyle Palmieri, Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry, Cam Fowler, Hampus Lindholm, Sami Vatanen, Frederik Andersen, and Ilya Bryzgalov. Part of what has made the Ducks’ so strong as an organization is their ability to draft and develop their own talent, and this shows just how successful the Ducks have been in that end.

Eleven Opening Day players on Injured Reserve:

The Ducks have had to call on their organizational depth because of a variety of ailments. Excluding Sheldon Souray, who was expected to miss the whole season, 11 Ducks have served time on the Injured Reserve (among players who were either on the opening 23-man roster or on Injured Reserve already when the season opened in Pittsburgh). The Ducks have lost Perry, Smith-Pelly, Palmieri, William Karlsson, Dany Heatley, Patrick Maroon, Francois Beauchemin, Clayton Stoner, Ben Lovejoy, Mark Fistric, and John Gibson to a variety of conditions. Despite all the injuries, the “next man up” has filled in admirably.

Ten double-digit point scorers:

Typically, Bruce Boudreau has enjoyed the ability to roll four lines out and get production throughout the lineup. That has been the case for the Ducks, who have 10 players with at least 10 points on the season (Getzlaf, Ryan Kesler, Vatanen, Perry, Beleskey, Fowler, Jakob Silfverberg, Lindholm, Maroon, and Smith-Pelly). The Ducks have a terrific one-two punch with Getzlaf and Perry, but the depth has shined for the team, which is tied for second in the Western Conference and tied for sixth in the NHL in goals scored (104).

Nine power-play goal scorers:

The Ducks have scored 20 power-play goals on the season, and all of them have come from nine specific players: Vatanen (five), Beleskey (four), Perry (four), Kesler (two), Getzlaf, Palmieri, Silfverberg, Maroon, and Rene Bourque (one apiece). For a team with so many scoring options, the power-play has been somewhat of a disappointment, as the Ducks are tied for 19th in the NHL with a 16.7% conversion rate with the man-advantage. As the season continues and the team continues to get players back into the lineup, that conversion percentage hopefully goes up.

Eight point Pacific Division lead:

Despite all the adversity that the Ducks have faced this season, they have an eight-point lead over the San Jose Sharks in the Pacific Division at the holiday break. The other three division leads are by zero, three, and two points, so the fact that the Ducks have a considerable cushion is impressive. It also gives the Ducks a bit of leeway, as each team inevitably faces the ebbs and flows of a long, 82 game season. It’s not like the Pacific Division has been a pushover either: four of the seven teams have over 40 points, and the Calgary Flames have 39.

Seven games until Teemu Night:

In one of the most anticipated regular season games in the Ducks’ history, the team will retire the number of beloved winger Teemu Selanne on January 11th against the Winnipeg Jets. That contest will be the seventh game from the conclusion of the holiday break, and Honda Center should be rocking on the second Sunday of 2015, when the Ducks honor “The Finnish Flash” for a terrific career.

Six new defensemen:

The Ducks have dressed a whopping 13 defensemen this season. Of those 13, six did not dress in a game for the Ducks last season (Stoner, Eric Brewer, Colby Robak, Josh Manson, Mat Clark, and Jesse Blacker). It is incredible that the Ducks have managed to overcome the lack of healthy bodies on the blue-line: only one defenseman has played in all 36 games this season (Vatanen).

Five NHL debuts:

Five players made their NHL debuts with the Ducks this season: Karlsson, Manson, Clark, Blacker, and Chris Wagner. While the last three players had very little impact on the Ducks (and Blacker was actually dealt to the Florida Panthers in the Robak deal), making it all the way to the NHL is an impressive accomplishment. In the case of Karlsson and Manson, those two were mostly impressive in their limited time with the Ducks, and they make up a part of the Ducks’ exciting young core for the future.

Four cases of mumps:

One of the biggest stories of the NHL this season has been the widespread outbreak of the mumps virus throughout the league. The Ducks were one of the first teams to be victimized by the disease, losing four players to the disease (Perry, Beauchemin, Stoner, and Etem). The first cases of the mumps virus were diagnosed in early November, yet there continues to be news about players and even referees getting the virus. Teams that have been infected include the Minnesota Wild, Pittsburgh Penguins, New York Rangers, and New Jersey Devils. Most players, coaches, front office executives, and fans are over this epidemic and could live happily without hearing another mention of the mumps.

Three prospects in the 2015 World Junior Championships:

There has been a lot to talk about regarding the Ducks’ NHL club, but the team has some talent in its pipeline. Three Ducks prospects have been named to participate in the 2015 World Junior Championships: forward Nick Ritchie (2014 1st round draft pick), defenseman Shea Theodore (2013 1st round draft pick), and forward Ondrej Kase (2014 7th round draft pick). Ritchie and Theodore made the Canadian roster, while Kase will play for the Czech Republic. When the Ducks aren’t playing, keep up with the prospects at the World Juniors, which kicks off on Friday, December 26th.

Two Perry hat tricks:

The Ducks are blessed to have one of the NHL’s purest scoring threats on the roster in Corey Perry. He made waves when he scored a hat trick to open the season in a 6-4 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins. Perry then recorded his second hat trick of the season in the Ducks’ seventh game of the season, a 4-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres. Perry has dealt with the mumps and a knee injury, missing 13 games. Before disease and injury got him, many wondered if he could shatter his career highs of 50 goals and 98 points, set in the 2010-2011 season when he won the Hart Trophy as league MVP.

One stellar record:

Through all the ups-and-downs of the season, the Ducks have a terrific 23-8-5 record and 51 points on the season. Their 51 points lead the league: the Ducks are the only team to reach the 50 point mark by the holiday break. Part of the Ducks’ success is because of their stellar record in one-goal games, where they are 17-0-5. Through injury, mumps, and youngsters, the Ducks have overcome and currently sit atop the NHL standings. This has been a great start to the season, and we can only hope that this great start continues.

This was something we enjoyed tremendously. Again, have a Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday season, and we hope you stay with us as we continue towards the long, difficult path that, hopefully, leads to a Stanley Cup. But whether it does or not, we hope you continue to come to Pucks of a Feather!

Jason Byun is the editor for Pucks of a Feather. He can be found on Twitter. For more Anaheim Ducks coverage, follow Pucks of a Feather on Twitter or like us on Facebook.

Next: A Healthy Corey Perry Would Be Perfect Christmas Present for Anaheim Ducks