No question, games 21-30 was the worst 10 game stretch for Anaheim so far this season. After going 15-4-1 through the 1st 20 games, the Ducks went 3-3-4 for 10 points in their last 10 games. The Ducks did improve their special teams play, but their overall play suffered, and injuries continue to be a huge concern for the team.
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As always, I'll 1st start with individual stats through the last 10 games:
The leading goal scorer was Dustin Penner with 6 goals, Corey Perry was 2nd with 5 goals, and Ryan Getzlaf was 3rd with 4 goals. The defense chipped in with 3 goals, 2 of them from Sami Vatanen.
Both Cam Fowler and Ryan Getzlaf led the team with 6 assists each, and Nick Bonino and Corey Perry were tied for 3rd with 5 assists each.
The Ducks had a 3 way tie for 1st in points, Getzlaf, Perry, and Penner all had 10 points in the Ducks last 10 games. The top line was dominant and after them their was a definite drop off in scoring. Bonino was next with 7 points, and Fowler was next with 6 points. So while the offense isn't as spread out as it was earlier this season, the top line has been getting it done. If the top line can continue their great play and the rest of the team can get healthy and contribute how they did through the 1st 20 games of the season, then the Ducks record will be much closer to how they started the season than the last 10 games.
The Ducks 5 on 5 was much worse through the last 10 games, and, as a result, the players +/- stat suffered severely. The Ducks leading +/- player was Ben Lovejoy with a +2 rating, and Penner was a +1, with several players having an even rating. Alex Grant did have a +1 rating, but he only played in 1 game.
Penner led the team with 4 powerplay goals, and Bonino, Getzlaf, Perry, and Vatanen all had 1 powerplay goal. The 8 powerplay goals are the most the Ducks have scored in any 10 game stretch this season.
Getzlaf, Perry, and Penner each had 1 gamewinning goal in the last 10 games, showing how good the top line was, and how much the Ducks secondary scoring dried up in the last 10 games. Getzlaf's gamewinner came in overtime.
Perry led the way with 35 shots on goal. Getzlaf was 2nd with 32 shots, and several players were tied for 3rd with 22 shots on goal: Andrew Cogliano, Hampus Lindholm, Penner, and Perreault. It's great to see that Getzlaf continues to shoot the puck so much. And it's great that a rookie defenseman is firing the puck so much.
The Ducks faceoff numbers took a huge hit over the last 10 games. Among centers who took at least 50 draws, their leading faceoff man was Perreault, winning 53.33% of his draws; Bonino was 2nd, winning 50.86% of his draws; and Getzlaf was 3rd, winning 49.17% of his draws. A major reason why the Ducks numbers were so bad was because Koivu only played in 3 games. If he was healthy through all 10 games, I have no doubt that the Ducks faceoff numbers would have been better.
In goal, Hiller played in 7 games, and won 2 games, lost 2 games, had 1 overtime loss, and 2 shootout losses. He faced 238 shots and allowed 21 goals against, for a 0.912 save percentage. He also recorded a shutout. Viktor Fasth got injured again played in only 2 games, he lost 1 game in regulation and the other in a shootout. In those 2 games he faced 50 shots and allowed 5 goals for a .900 save percentage. Frederik Andersen played in 1 game and collected the win in it. In his only game, Andersen faced 21 shots and only allowed 2 goals, for a .905 save percentage. The goalies weren't great in the last 10 games, but that was partly because of the injuries to the defensive core (with 4 of 6 defenseman out for some of those games and Koivu, the Ducks number 1 defensive centerman, out for 7 games, the goalies didn't have as much help as usual).
And now, the team stats. Over the last 10 games, the Ducks scored 25 goals, for an average of 2.5 goals a game, a full goal a game down from games 11-20. The Ducks allowed 29 goals, for an average of 2.9 goals per game, .9 goals per game against more than games 11-20. Clearly, the Ducks offense and defense both took a huge hit over the last 10 games. The hits to the offense and defense were shown in the teams overall record, with only 10 points in those 10 games. The powerplay saw a huge increase, scoring 8 goals in 34 chances, for a 23.53% success rate. Easily the Ducks best success on the powerplay this season. The Ducks were shorthanded 35 times, and allowed only 5 goals against, for a 86% success rate, also their best penalty killing numbers on the season. The Ducks longest winning streak was 2 games (Nov. 22-Nov. 23rd). Their longest losing streak was 4 games (Nov. 14th-Nov. 20th). The team had 1 shutout in the last 10 games.
The Ducks best forward over the last 10 games (and I can't believe I'm typing this) was Dustin Penner. He led the team with 6 goals (4 of them on the powerplay) and was tied for the team lead with 10 points. He looked great on the ice. He was skating fast and was surprisingly physical. He's a giant of a man but has never played an overly physical game, and he knocked some people around in the last 10 games (he had a nice butt check on Kopitar against LA). He went to the front of the net and was causing havoc for opposing goalies. And him going to the front of the net is one of the primary reasons why the Ducks powerplay was so successful over the last 10 games.
I really hate to say it, but the Ducks worst forward over the last 10 games was Teemu Selanne. He played in 8 games and recorded no points, with only 9 shots on goal. He did hit the post (against SJ I believe), but overall, he was not a factor on the ice for the Ducks. Teemu has never been an overly physical player and his defensive game isn't the best in the game. When he's not scoring, he sometimes turns into a nonfactor, such as these last 10 games. Hopefully, he can get his legs moving again and find his scoring touch and be the Finnish Flash that he's always been for this team.
The biggest surprise at forward for the Ducks was Penner. For the same reasons that he was the best Ducks forward, are the reasons why he was the biggest surprise at forward for the Ducks over the last 10 games. He's been good this season, but over the last 10 games he has been superb.
The best defenseman for the Ducks over the last 10 games was Cam Fowler again. He was one of 3 Ducks defenseman to play in all 10 games. So far, he has stayed healthy all season (knock on wood) and really improved his defensive game. And on the offensive side, he was tied for the team with Getzlaf with 6 assists. And, because of injuries, he played some huge minutes over the last 10 games. In his last 5 games, he played over 32 minutes once, and over 29 minutes 2 other times. While he looked tired in some of those games, he is clearly being pushed into the #1 role because of the Ducks injury situation. And he and Lovejoy have formed a nice shutdown pairing with some offense ability.
Because of injuries, it's hard to pick the weakest defenseman on the team over the last 10 games because of the small sample size of 10 different players. And the 3 that did play in all 10 games (Lindholm, Fowler, and Lovejoy) played beyond what is expected of them. But, if I had to pick one, it would be Luca Sbsia. Although he only played in 4 games, he was scoreless with a -4 rating (the 2nd worst rating on the team in that stretch, and in far fewer games). His best game was probably the one where he got injured in a fight. He has been making poor decisions with the puck and turning it over too much. Hopefully he can turn his game around once he gets healthy.
The most surprising defenseman for the Ducks in the last 10 games was Mark Fistric. Through the 1st 20 games of the season he played in only 3 games, but played in 7 games over the Ducks last 10 games. While he wasn't playing lights out defense, he stepped in and played well. He's a physical player who keeps his focus on defense.
Over the last 10 games, the Ducks struggled. There is no other way to put it. Part of it can be blamed on the injuries finally catching up with the team. Their offensive core isn't as beat up as it was (Koivu is finally back), but their defensive core is worse off than it has been all season (and that's saying something). Like I said after games 11-20, there will be stretches for the Ducks where they will struggle, and I was right. These last 10 games the Ducks have struggled. As the next 10 games gets underway and December begins, the Ducks need to get back to how they were for the 1st 20 games. And once they get healthy, I know they can do it. But it's going to take some time for this team to get healthy, and they can't wait for that. They need to start playing better before their lineup is completely healthy.
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