After winning 18 games in a 19 game stretch, it was clear that the Ducks were going to have a bit of a drop off in play. In today's NHL it is almost impossible to keep a streak like that going for long, and the fact that the Ducks have been able to have lengthy winning streaks this season is a testament to how well they have played this season. Over the last 10 games the Ducks had a record of 5-5 for 10 points, a record of exactly .500. The Ducks still lead the NHL in points, but their lead is much more precarious, especially since the St. Louis Blues do have games in hand on the Ducks. Also, the Ducks were shut out twice in the last 10 games, the 1st 2 times this season that the Ducks have failed to score a goal. This has been only the 2nd 10 game stretch this season where the Ducks have struggled, which shows just how good this team is. When a team loses 3 games in a row and is only .500 over a 10 game stretch, and it's considered struggling, that just shows how good the Ducks really are this season.
As usual, I'll start with the individual stat leaders over the last 10 games.
The leading goal scorer for the Ducks over the last 10 games was Ryan Getzlaf, he scored 5 goals and increased his totals to 29 goals on the season, a new career high for him. If he keeps his play up after the Olympic break he should wind up with over 35 goals this season. Mathieu Perrault and Corey Perry were tied for 2nd with 3 goals, and Matt Beleskey, Cam Fowler, Patrick Maroon, and Dustin Penner all had 2 goals for the Ducks. These goal totals are much lower than previous 10 game segments, which isn't surprising considering the Ducks were shutout twice in the last 10 games. The goal scorers are going need to find the back of the net more often when play resumes in late February.
The leading assist man for the Ducks was Getzlaf with 6 assists. Nick Bonino and Hampus Lindholm both had 4 assists to tie for 2nd, and Teemu Selanne and Perry both had 3 assists.
The leading point getter for the Ducks was Getzlaf with 11 points, Perry was 2nd with 6 points and Bonino was 3rd with 5 points (despite missing the last several games with an injury). As with the goals and assists, the points were well down for the Ducks. This team is going to need to find its offensive again in the near future. Perry especially needs to step his game up, he has been at about a point per game pace all season, but 6 points over a 10 game stretch is way too low for him.
The +/- leader for the Ducks was Bryan Allen with a +4 rating (much improved over his -1 rating in the previous 10 game stretch). Mark Fistric was 2nd with a +3 rating and Bonino, Getzlaf, Selanne, Dustin Penner, and Daniel Winnik were tied for 3rd with a +2 rating. Several players had a – rating but Saku Koivu and Jakob Silfverberg were tied for last with a -4 rating.
The Ducks scored 5 powerplay goals over the last 10 games. Fowler led the way with 2 powerplay goals, and Penner, Perrault, and Perry all scored once for the Ducks with the man advantage. Winnik scored the only shorthanded goal for the Ducks over the last 10 games (and just his 2nd goal of the season).
The Ducks 5 gamewinning goals were scored by 5 different players: Emerson Etem (who played in only 2 games after being recalled), Fowler, Perry, Winnik, and Maroon. None of the goals were scored in overtime.
Getzlaf led the team with 29 shots on goal, Perry was 2nd with 26 shots, and Andrew Cogliano was 3rd with 19 shots on goal. These totals are certainly lower than the Ducks top players (especially Perry) put up, it's clear that the Ducks need to put the puck on net more often in the next 10 games.
The Ducks had decent success in the faceoff circle, but some players (Getzlaf especially) struggled when taking draws. Among centers who took at least 80 faceoffs, Bonino led the way winning 53.41% of his draws, Koivu was next winning 50.63% of his draws, and Perreault was just after him winning 50.6% of his draws. David Steckel was recalled from Norfolk and played in only a couple of games and won over 70% of his draws, but he only entered the faceoff circle 32 times.
Jonas Hiller started in 6 games (and was pulled once) and only won 2 games, he lost the other 4 in regulation. Despite his poor record, his save percentage was actually good during that time. Overall he faced 169 shots and only allowed 12 goals for a saver percentage of .929, quite a bit higher than his season average. 1 of his 2 wins was a shutout. Frederik Andersen started 4 games and relieved Hiller in one game for a total of 5 games played. He had 3 wins and 1 loss in his 4 starts. He faced 140 shots and allowed 10 goals for a save percentage of .929. Based on these numbers, it's clear that the goalies were doing their job during the last 10 games, not the forwards.
And now onto the team stats. The Ducks scored only 24 goals for an average of 2.4 goals per game in their last 10 (almost 20 goals less than their previous 10 game stretch). If there is one stat that could sum up the Ducks struggles over the last 10 games it's the fact that they only scored 24 goals. The Ducks allowed 23 goals, actually 1 less than their previous 10 game stretch, so defensively this team actually improved. The Ducks powerplay saw a big dip (especially after Bonino went on IR) and only scored 5 times on 32 chances for a 15.63% success rate. The Ducks were shorthanded 36 times and allowed 6 powerplay goals, stopping 83.33% of the powerplays they faced. Not stellar numbers, but certainly not terrible numbers while the team was down a man. The Ducks longest winning streak during the last 10 games was 2 games and their longest losing streak was 3 games (their 1st 3 game losing streak in regulation at home this season).
The best forward for the Ducks over the last 10 games was Ryan Getzlaf. While the team struggled to score goals, he still had 11 points in the last 10 games and played well more often than not. While he did have some off nights in the last 10 games (everyone did at some point), he was still a force to be reckoned with and one of the primary reasons why the Ducks ended their 3 game losing streak.
The Ducks worst forward over the last 10 games was Jakob Silfverberg. He started the season on fire, but ever since he returned from his injury he just hasn't been the same. I've been giving him a pass since I figured it was taking him a while to get back into the swing of things, but that time has passed. In 7 games he did not score a goal and recorded only 1 assist, to go along with a -4 rating. As the centerpiece in the Bobby Ryan deal, Silfverberg needs to be better than he has been. There have been some games where he has just been brutal. His 1 on 1 skills aren't the best, but he's got a great shot, but it has not been used effectively recently. Hopefully he'll get some confidence back while he's in Russia and come back to the Ducks ready to contribute for the stretch run.
The biggest surprise at forward for the Ducks wasn't one player, it was the entire group of them and their inability to score. Some games they just didn't play well, and some games they just ran into a hot goalie (Chicago, Winnipeg). But after putting up a phenomenal amount of goals through 50 games, the offense suddenly dried up. The forwards did score 22 of the 24 goals for the Ducks, but the entire group needs to step their game up when play resumes.
The best defenseman for the Ducks was a tie between Cam Fowler and Hampus Lindholm. Offensively both of them had 4 points and defensively both played very well. Both of them continue to excel and get better almost every night. While each has had bad nights, they are turning into some amazing young players, and I'm really excited to see what Fowler can do during the Olympics. I think the break will be good for Lindholm, he's a young player who missed a lot of time to injury last season, so getting a bit of a breather will probably be good for him.
As I've done previously, I'm not going to pick a poor Ducks defenseman over the last 10 games. The 2 weakest players were Luca Sbisa (still coming back from injury) and Sami Vatanen (who played in only 2 games), and, overall, the defense played well and helped the goalies allow only 23 goals. So over the last 10 games the defense as an entire unit played well.
The biggest surprise on defense was how little they contributed to the offense. Outside of Fowler and Lindholm, the only 2 other players to put any points up were Mark Fistric (2 assists) and Francois Beauchemin (1 assist), the rest of the defense failed to register any points. If the offense is going to turn itself around, the defense is going to have to chip in more.
No question, the Ducks struggled in the last 10 games, and still maintained a record of .500, I'd call that a pretty damn good team. Hopefully the Ducks going to Russia can stay healthy and come back and get the Ducks back to a winning record.