After going 5-5 into the Olympic break, the Ducks came out strong, winning their 1st 2 games post Olympics, but then stumbled and only won 2 of their next 8 games, going 2-4-2 in the process. Overall, in the Ducks last 10 games the team went 4-4-2, good for 10 points and technically a record of .500, but this was the most difficult 10 game stretch of the season for the Ducks. They equaled their longest losing streak of the season (4 games) and suffered their worst defeat of the season. The Ducks also lost their lead in both the Western Conference and the Pacific Division. There is still time to reclaim both of those spots, but the Ducks are going to have to play much better over the final 12 games of the season if they want a shot at the #1 seed in the Pacific or the West.
As usual, I'll start with the individual stat leaders for the Ducks over the last 10 games.
The leading goal scorer for the Ducks was Corey Perry who found the back of the net 6 times in the last 10 games. Andrew Cogliano and Mathieu Perreault were tied for 2nd with 3 goals each. For the 1st time in his career, Cogliano has reached the 20 goal mark. Several were players had 2 goals. For the 1st time in a 10 game segment this season, Ryan Getzlaf failed to score any goals.
The leading assist man for the Ducks in the last 10 games was Ryan Getzlaf with 9 assists. Cam Fowler and Hampus Lindholm were tied for 2nd with 5 assists each, and several players had 3 assists for next on the list.
The leading point getter for the Ducks was a tie between Perry and Getzlaf, both had 9 points, and this despite Getzlaf scoring any goals. Kyle Palmieri, Fowler, and Lindholm all had 5 points to tie for 2nd place. Several players had 4 points.
The +/- leader for the Ducks was Ben Lovejoy with a +5 rating. Luca Sbisa and Fowler were tied for 2nd with a +4 rating, and Palmieri was next with a +3 rating. Francois Beauchemin and Daniel Winnik were last on the team, both with a -3 rating.
The Ducks scored 2 powerplay goals in their last 10 games. The powerplay goals were scored by Beauchemin and Perreault (it was thought he had a powerplay goal against Washington, but upon further review it was revealed that he scored just as the powerplay expired). Cogliano scored the Ducks only shorthanded goal in the last 10 games.
The Ducks 4 gamewinning goals were scored by 3 different players. Cogliano led the way with 2 gamewinning goals, and the other 2 were scored by Patrick Maroon and Lovejoy. None of the goals were scored in overtime.
Perry led the team with 33 shots on goal in the last 10 games. Despite not scoring a goal (although he did hit at least 1 post and several shots that just missed) Getzlaf was 2nd with 28 shots on goal. Jakob Silfverberg and Beauchemin were tied for 3rd with 23 shots on goal.
The Ducks were decent in the faceoff circle in the last 10 games, losing only 6 more than they won. If Perreault had played in all 10 games, the Ducks probably would have finished above 50% as a team in the last 10 games. Perreault led the way, winning 55.26% of his draws. Gezlaf was next, winning 53.81% of his draws. And finally Saku Koivu was 3rd, winning 49.14% of his draws.
In games 51-60, Jonas Hiller won only twice but actually played well, he just got no goal support. This time around, he won only twice again, but the fault was much more on him. Hiller started 6 games (but was pulled in 1) and had a 2-2-2 record. He faced 139 shots and only saved 124 of them for a save percentage of .892, pretty bad numbers. Hiller recorded 1 shutout and picked up an assist as well. Frederick Andersen (now the full time backup with Fasth gone) started in 4 games and relieved Hiller in 1 game and had a record of 2-2. He faced a total of 161 shots and made 147 saves for a save percentage of .913. Both goalies played well below their abilities in the last 10 games, something that they are going to have to turn around in the final dozen games of the regular season.
And now, the team stats. The Ducks scored 26 goals for an average of 2.6 goals per game, while still down from their season average that is actually more goals than they scored in games 51-60. The Ducks allowed 29 goals against for an average of 2.9 goals per game, a number that needs to drastically shrink and soon. The Ducks powerplay took another turn for the worse, and this time it cost them some games. Earlier in the season when the powerplay struggled the teams even strength play was good enough to make up for it. Not in the last 10 games and the powerplay has to improve if the Ducks want to take a run at winning the Pacific Division this season. The Ducks had 35 total opportunities with the man advantage and only connected on 2 of them, scoring on 5.71% of their chances. Absolutely abysmal. That powerplay number sums up all the problems the Ducks had in the last 10 games. They had some really good looking powerplays and hit some posts, but were unable to connect 33 times, which is simply not good enough. The Ducks were shorthanded 37 times and allowed 9 powerplay goals against, stopping 75.68% of the powerplays the Ducks faced. Special teams for the Ducks have to improve from here on out.
The Ducks best forward in the last 10 games was Corey Perry. He scored 6 times and looked dangerous in almost every game he played in, often having multiple grade A scoring chances every night. While he didn't manage to score any powerplay goals, he was one of the few players who had some really good chances with the man advantage. If he keeps playing like this he should start scoring some powerplay goals. And he should reach 40 goals for the 2nd time in his career.
The worst Ducks forwards over the last 10 forwards were every one not named Getzlaf or Perry. Even though Getzlaf didn't score any goals he still had 9 assists and tied for the team lead in points with Perry. The secondary scoring after them was nonexistant most nights. Some players played well in some games (Cogliano, Bonino, Palmieri), but as a group, the Ducks secondary scoring was not good in the last 10 games and that needs to change. One of the biggest reasons for the Ducks success this season was the secondary scoring, but it was not enough of a factor in the Ducks last 10 games.
The biggest surprise at forward was how well Teemu Selanne fit onto the Ducks top line. That's not to say he looked like his old self or made that line particularly more effective, but he fit nicely onto it, something that I didn't expect. Selanne is a right winger and has been for over 2 decades in the NHL. He plays a speed game and usually prefers to not cycle the puck. Because of those 2 things I didn't think he was ideal for that line and other younger players would work better. But he has fit onto it nicely for a few games now. As I said, he hasn't been the Teemu of old, but he hasn't looked as out of place on it as I would have expected him to.
The Ducks best defenseman over the last 10 games was Hampus Lindholm. With Fowler leaving the game against Colorado with injury and being out for the next several weeks, Lindholm has so far stepped up big time to fill Fowler's roll. He has fit in nicely alongside Lovejoy and has played alright manning the point on the Ducks powerplay. In the 3 games that Fowler has missed, Lindholm has 3 assists, has a +3 rating, and is averaging about 20 minutes a night.
The Ducks worst defenseman over the last 10 games was everyone not named Fowler, Lindholm or Robidas (Robidas gets a pass because he only played in 2 games and is still adjusting to the Ducks). The Ducks goalies struggled over the last 10 games, and part of that is on the defense not doing a good job of clearing rebounds and keeping the opposition from getting good scoring chances. Similar to the forwards, the entire unit struggled in the last 10 games.
The Ducks biggest surprise on in the last 10 games was the play of Luca Sbisa. He had some rough games (and was outright brutal against San Jose), but he has had a very tough season, in and out of the lineup with injury, but has played much better overall of late and was in the lineup in 8 of the last 10 games. Not only that, but he was shooting the puck really well, collected 3 assists and had a +4 rating, easily his best stretch of hockey this season. Like I said he was brutal in San Jose, but for the 1st 2 games after Fowler went out he was one of the better defenders on the Ducks roster.
The Ducks won 18 of 19 games, since then they have played 20 games and only won 9 of them, but still picked up 20 points in the process. This is a very good hockey club, and there were times in the last 10 games they showed it. They shutout St. Louis, and even though they lost to Pittsburgh in the shootout, they absolutely dominated that game. They beat their cross town rivals in a close game and lost to their northern neighbors on 2 unlucky plays (a whistle that was blown for no apparent reason and a goal that bounced off the defense and in). Have the Ducks struggled? Yes, no question, but that doesn't mean there is reason to panic. This is a very good hockey club and will look to turn their record around in the last dozen games before the playoffs begin.