Kids Of The Black Hole – The Anaheim Ducks’ Forwards

In the post Niedermayer and Pronger Era of the Anaheim Ducks, the strength and success of the franchise has hinged on the depth of their forward corps. And make no mistake about it, this can be a large, nasty, unpleasant lot to play against that is not short on skill either.

Top Line

Ryan Getzlaf – 3G, 9A, 56.05% CF
Corey Perry – 7G, 8A, 54.25% CF
Patrick Maroon – 4G, 3A, 55.36% CF

It all starts here with this repugnant trio of dog vomit, if the dog had been snacking out of the cat’s litter box. Getzlaf and Perry have formed the most consistent scoring duo in the Western Conference over the past half decade, and do so through size and snarl. While Getzlaf is a gifted playmaker and Perry can pick his corners even from in tight, these two have made their millions by using their size to get to prime scoring areas of the ice. Patrick Maroon is another large and ill-tempered body that will be crashing creaseward on their wing, and all three have a propensity to run their mouths and participate in bullshit after the whistle. Perry is particularly loathsome.

To this point in the playoffs the totals they have accrued have been nothing short of dominant while facing the top defensive pairings the opposition can muster. Unfortunately for the Jets and Flames, that meant the likes of Tyler Myers, Tobias Enstrom, and TJ Brodie without the benefit of Mark Giordano. This is of course operates under the assumption that Bruce Boudreau line matches, which he does not do for the most part. Sure, he’ll get these three C.H.U.D.s out in the offensive zone as much as possible, but for the most part, he just rolls his lines without concern of a matchup and lets the chips fall where they may. A quick look at both the Duck’s Game 5 against the Flames and even their last game against the Hawks at the end of January show no discernible trends and fairly balanced ice times even with the option of doing so at home. In one case it worked out for the Ducks, the other, not so much.

This could be done for one of two reasons. The first is that the line is good enough to take on any assignment and probably make the opposition play more defense than it likes, which is probably right the vast majority of the time. The other, is that Bruce Boudreau is a blithering, Hagen-Dazs devouring, barbecue sauce wearing, Baby Huey looking idiot, which is evidenced by Getzlaf’s 46% share against the Hawks in three games this year, two of which were at home and Boudreau had the option. During the November Circus Trip, the Hawks held Getzlaf to being on the ice for a mere 6 shot attempts for. Who he saw the most time against that game? Marcus Kruger.

This line has a distinct size and snarl advantage over particularly the second line of the Hawks, the only one with a unidirectional center in Brad Richards. But the question is will Boudreau have enough sense to chase it when at home. Because when this group gets frustrated, they tend to need their diapers changed. Frequently. And if they aren’t focused, they aren’t scoring, because the team they’re looking across at isn’t the Jets or the Flames.

Second Line

Ryan Kesler – 4G, 5A, 56.10% CF
Jakob Silvferberg – 3G, 8A, 57.14 CF
Matt Beleskey – 5G, 0A, 56.76% CF

The old nemesis. This series should, in theory, be the exact reason ol’ Red Ass Uncle Bob Murray brought Ryan Kesler in over the summer, and in the unlikely even that the Ducks end up winning this series, it will surely result in a referendum on Stan Bowman’s choice of Vermette and Richards over Kesler. But any trade for Kesler would have undoubtedly cost the Hawks Teuvo, which simply wasn’t going to happen. So in a three for one deal with an eye still on the future, it’s not really an applicable argument any non-meatball would have. But they will take place this series undoubtedly.

Kesler is healthy in the postseason for the first time in ages, and his numbers reflect that. And again, playing against bum ass second and third lines and pairs in the first two series will certainly help it. But again, going back to the regular season, Kesler was on the ice for a mere 31 shot attempts for against the Hawks, surrendering 39 against, good for a clip of 44%. And two of those games were at home. Kesler’s degree of usefulness will come into sharper relief once the Ducks get on the road, and Joel Quenneville decides who he can skate against. If Marcus Kruger can hold his own as he has in the past against Getzlaf, Toews and Kesler might be staring each other down all series for a fourth time.

On his wings he has Jakob Silvferberg who came over in the Bobby Ryan trade, who is a swift skater and has a good shot, but is probably the least rough and tumble of the Ducks’ top six, and will flip back and forth with Kyle Palmeri from the third line. Matt Beleskey scored in all five games against the Flames, and is in a contract drive. He’s basically a combination of Bryan Bickell and Andrew Shaw, with more of the Shaw caliber brain. Again, the one matchup the Hawks do not want against this line is Kane and Richards given the size advantage, but most others should be able to keep this unit from running as wild as they did the first two rounds.

Third Line

Nate Thompson – 1G, 0A, 47.87% CF
Andrew Cogliano – 2G, 3A, 58.41% CF
Kyle Palmeri – 0G, 2A – 55.50% CF

Further down the lineup, while the possession numbers remain consistent, the scoring numbers begin to tail off. Nate Thompson returned from an injury to play every game in the Calgary series and managed to be underwater in possession in three home games, which is rather impressive. Cogliano has moved back to wing with Thompson back in the lineup despite being a natural center. Cogliano has amazing wheels and hockey sense, and is a demon on the forecheck with his closing speed, just ask Johnny Gaudreau. But he’s undersized and can be slightly over aggressive in pursuit, which can leave a lot of room to exploit. Thompson is aces at the dot as well.

Fourth Line

Rickard Rakell – 1G, 0A, 53.51% CF
Tomas Fleischmann – 0G, 1A, 38.98% CF
Emerson Etem – 2G, 0A, 45.54% CF
Tim Jackman – 0Pts, 47.62% CF
Chris Wagner – 0Pts, 71.43% CF

For the most part the fourth line has been Rickard Rakell and a melange of roster remnants that seem to turn over on a daily basis. Rakell has done his part driving possession, and likely has a future further up the lineup. Emerson Etem is Anaheim’s answer to Jeremy Morin. He looks impressive every time he’s in the lineup but never seems to stick. Whereas Tomas Flieschmann is their answer to Kris Versteeg. Tim Jackman is an utter turd and any game that Boudreau dresses him is a gift to the Hawks.


  • ZigZags82

    *Starts reading, clicks on links of Getzlaf and Perry being frustrated the. Reads more about depth….Starts salivating

    Oh man is this gonna be so much fun to squeeze all hope out of them.

  • seabsrat

    When I think of the Anaheim Ducks forwards, I think of a bunch of big, dumb apes that learned how to ice skate. Getzlaf is, of course, the ape king with Perry being some sort of ape court jester. Throw in Maroon, Kesler, Beleskey and Jackman as their ape princes, and you’ve got the Anaheim monkey kingdom.

    • Dr. T

      Really? I’m not a fan of either team, but name calling? You sound like a potty mouthed 12 year old. I get it, you don’t like the Ducks, but grow up man. The are a skilled and dangerous team, much like the Hawks are. I just want to see a great series. No doubt here that whoever wins the WCF will raise the cup.

      • seabsrat

        Haha that was more or less a complete joke, although, I do think Maroon and Jackman play like big angry apes. Of course I’m looking forward to the series, and I totally acknowledge they have a lot of talent and firepower (especially on their top two lines). My comment was just a totally ridiculous, stupid, silly comment.

        But I disagree that calling someone an ape makes me a potty mouthed 12 year old.

        Let’s go hawks.

  • Jim

    Sweep. Hawks in 4.

    • ZigZags82

      Agreed, nothing scares me about them, especially their defense and goalie, but in fairness, *knocks on wood.

    • ZigZags82

      And honestly that’s what I’ve most appreciated about this layoff. Gives time for Rundblad to learn more and get his legs under him. Not to mention the vets getting much needed rest, Hawks are vet championship team, never worried about rust with them. They need the rest and understand the sense of urgency.

    • WookRN

      I think we’ll drop one, just because there will be a game where the ducks score first, we get frustrated, take a penalty or two, get behind due to a not stellar PK. I’m gonna say its game two or three.

      Hawks in 5.

  • Bob Lanz

    One goal 8, they get there one win at a time it starts Sunday. Let’s go HAWKS!

  • jordyhawk

    Morin ended up the year with 2 goals and 4 assists in 46 games and a shooting percentage of 2.7%. I thought he’d produce more. So with that out of the way I don’t like the Ducks, never have. I hope our boys don’t either. Time to lace ’em up and take care of business. That’s all.

  • Preacher

    This is an awfully confident bunch in here. Let’s be real–the Ducks are a good and dangerous team. They’re quite capable of winning this series. Do I think they will? No, but I hope the Hawks do. That is, I hope our boys play with the urgency and desperation that they faced Minnesota with, an approach that said, “This is a dangerous team–we can have NO let-up against them.” If the Hawks play with that approach again, this series should end well for us. And I fully expect the Hawks will do just that. Let’s Go Hawks!!!

    • ZigZags82

      Agreed. I expect an urgent Hawks team

    • Bannerman

      It’s hard to imagine the Hawks taking the Ducks lightly. I think what jumps out at me about the Ducks is that they were 32-1 or something crazy like that in 1 goal games. Some people say that record in close games is the sign of a good team but in hockey some of that can be attributed to luck. That many close games over the course of a long season can be draining.

    • Jim

      There is just so much evidence stacked in favor of the Hawks. How can you NOT be urgent, this is the WCF, showtime! If Chicago can put 30 plus shots on goal, I like their chances. Anaheim is going to try and board somebody, but St. Louis tries that every year with the same result (golf course), Wakey Wakey!

  • Dangles-a-Plenty

    “The other, is that Bruce Boudreau is a blithering, Hagen-Dazs devouring, barbecue sauce wearing, Baby Huey looking idiot”, absolute fucking gold, McClure. You guys just understand me. Fucking brilliant.

    • Jim

      I thought he was talking about Barry Trotz or Ken Hitchcock for a second there

      • Bannerman

        Trotz took a meh Caps team to within a game of the ECF. He’s no fool. Though he may be a Dr. Who villian

        • Jim

          No trotz hate here, just poking some fun at a former division rival (didn’t like watching that preds trap game against the hawks speed)

  • To Saad be the glory

    We have to wait 10 fucking days for game 1 to be an afternoon game?! To top it off there is a concert the night before which always promotes great ice!! wtf. I guess I should be thankful it’s one less late night start with work the next morning.

    • Jim

      I hear ya. But glad to be watching May hockey…..again!

      • billybee53

        Hopefully June hockey as well !!!

    • WookRN

      Yeah, shitty ice is better for them than us, but I know one night nurse that’s happy to wake up for an afternoon game instead of trying to see snippets at work….

  • CurvedStick

    I’d be nervous about a series against either the kings or blues. Not this team. Despite their impressive regular season, and our mediocre one — we match up well against this team. And we are peaking at the right time.

    If playoff bickell and playoff shaw show up — and by that I mean their dominant net front presence seen in last year’s playoffs — it could be a laugh-er. Otherwise, I think it will be a trench war that the blackhawks win.

  • Patorioto

    Man there is a ton of overconfidence going around on this site all of a sudden. I think the Hawks are the overall better team but this isn’t going to be some cakewalk like the Wild series. Not sure why sweeping a just OK Wild team suddenly means the Hawks are going to just waltz right through them. I’d expect this to go long with Hawks winning in the end/

    • Jim

      True, but opinions on a fan board have no real bearing on the actual game. I’ve read a lot of other team’s sites, and Chicago has some of the best analysis out there. And the analysis is saying Anaheim has a poor blue line, and a good top line that can be contained. Their goalie is a step down from Rinne, who the Hawks exposed. Chicago is skating 4 good lines, and boast the best top 2 defensive pairings maybe in the league. And lots of veterans with killer instincts who are closers on the big stages. Lots to be confident about here.

      • Hags

        well said.

      • Patorioto

        I never really said the analysis has any bearing on the game, I’m just surprised all of a sudden everyone here is so confident considering the sky is falling mentality that went on much of the season.

        Like I said, I agree the Hawks will win but I think talking sweep is a bit of a stretch.

        • SuperHawk27

          The mentality wasn’t a ‘falling sky’ mentality, but a WTF Q. Many people weren’t happy with his handling of the roster, but I don’t think the majority of the fans here thought they wouldn’t make it far in the playoffs.

          Some people know and accept that the Hawks have a playoff switch, and use it often, while others don’t think a switch exists.

          A LOT of people had the Wild finally getting passed the Hawks because they finally got a goalie. Instead the Hawks steamrolled them. There is much to be confident about. Breaking down what the Ducks looks to be very favorable to the Hawks. Should be a good series, but as Hawks fans we have high confidence in the team we watch all the time.

          • Hags

            i don’t know if this:
            counts as sky is falling, but it was pretty negative (not only the wrap but the comments therein)

            Back then, Sam hinted at what would probably happen now that he declared them finished. The Hawks appropriately ripped off 4 straight against the Jets, Kings, Canucks and Sabres before letting up on the gas heading into the playoffs, where they have gone 8-2 and are staring at another golden opportunity for a Stanley Cup.

            With all that being said, i totally agree with you that this current playoff version of the Hawks matches up well against this Ducks team, and we all should feel confident about the Hawks chances of advancing.

          • SuperHawk27

            Yeah, I was at that game. The only game I’ve been able to attend this year. It did not feel good, and frustrated many people. But we can only judge what we see, and that team looked like garbage. I don’t fault anyone for thinking that was the end. Never count this team out until they are actually out.

        • Jim

          I hear ya, there were some sky falling moments during the season. I was ready to throw in the towel after the Kane injury.

          For me, most of it was due to Qs head scratching line constructions, and Qs not developing any young defensemen.

          Now that the lines are constructed so well, and with the new acquistions (from the Kane injury) ALL STARTING (good job stanbo, got to admit), there is plenty to be positive about.