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Ducks March Review; Terry Out
By Thomas Harrington
Anaheim’s 80th game coincided with the end of March, so the 10 game and monthly reviews will be combined into one. Also, given how negatively this season has gone, instead of going over the best and worst of the month and last 10 games, I’m going to instead focus on just the positives to finish off the season. The Ducks weren’t great in March, but they were significantly better than they were in the previous months, going 9-6-1, with six of those wins coming in the last 10 games.
Ducks Win Big Against Montreal
Anaheim’s best game in March was their 8-2 win over Montreal. The eight goals represented a season-high for Anaheim, as seven different players scored a goal, with Adam Henrique leading the way with two. Troy Terry led the Ducks with three points, his second straight three-point night. Daniel Sprong got the scoring started in this one, and Henrique made it 2-0. Montreal did fight back, making it 2-1 before the first was over. In the second, Devin Shore restored the two-goal lead early in the period with a powerplay goal. Montreal again scored to make it a one-goal game, but Terry and Corey Perry scored to make it 5-2. In the final period, Rickard Rakell and Henrique made it 7-2, and then with 11 seconds left in the game, Max Jones scored his first career goal. Nick Ritchie and Jacob Larsson both finished the game with two assists.
Anaheim’s Best Forward
The Ducks’ best forward over the last 10 games was Rickard Rakell. Rakell has had a pretty miserable season, but he’s looked more like his old self in recent games. He led the Ducks with seven goals and 11 points, while his four assists were tied for second on the team. He scored a natural hat trick against Edmonton in Anaheim’s most recent victory. While this has largely been a forgettable season for Rakell, his recent scoring streak shows that his talent hasn’t left him. Hopefully, this is a sign of things to come and that he will rebound next season.
Anaheim’s Best Defenseman
Anaheim’s best defenseman over the last 10 games was Cam Fowler. He was one of three Anaheim defensemen to score a goal and his four assists and five points led the backend. While he’s still not playing his best hockey, this has been the best that he has looked since recovering from his facial injury this season.
Between The Pipes
In net, Anaheim used only two goaltenders over the last 10 games: John Gibson and Ryan Miller. The Ducks’ two best goaltenders were both finally healthy and were one of the main reasons Anaheim’s record improved over the last 10 games. Gibson, in particular, looked like he was back in early season form, going 6-1 and stopped over 92% of the shots that he faced. Miller struggled, but it was just good to see him back in the crease on a much more consistent basis. He went 0-2-0-1. If he does return next season, hopefully, he’ll bounce back to how he was playing earlier this season.
Power Play Improves
Anaheim’s power play really came alive in March, scoring on over 26% of its chances. Rakell led the team with four powerplay goals and six points. Jakob Silfverberg and Terry were tied for the team lead with four assists. Henrique and Shore both scored two powerplay goals, while Anaheim’s other power play goals were scored by Perry, Terry, and Fowler. While the powerplay was great, the Ducks’ penalty kill suffered, allowing 15 goals on 57 opportunities. Gibson allowed 11 of those, while Miller allowed four. Carter Rowney scored Anaheim’s lone shorthanded goal in March, with Derek Grant picking up the assist. Miller allowed Anaheim’s lone shorthanded goal against.
Rookies Continue To Get Ice Time
Anaheim used eight rookies over the last 10 games: Sam Steel, Max Jones, Kiefer Sherwood, Terry, Jacob Larsson, Jaycob Megna, Andy Welinski, and Chase De Leo. Steel became the youngest Anaheim rookie to record a hat trick when he did so against Vancouver. His third goal was a spectacular penalty shot goal. In a season of disappointment in Anaheim, Steel’s hat trick was one of the biggest highlights of the year. Overall, he played in four games and recorded three goals and five points.
Sherwood played in four games and had a goal and an assist. Terry played in nine games and recorded three assists, all on the powerplay. Larsson played in six games and recorded one assist. Megna played in nine games and recorded one assist. Welinski played in six games and scored his first career NHL goal, while also picking up an assist. De Leo was just called up and made his Anaheim debut against Edmonton. He recorded no points, but he did have four shots in the victory. Jones played in all 10 games but did not record any points. He’s looked incredibly dangerous and has had numerous chances, but the ketchup hasn’t started to flow for him yet.
Injury Bug Continues
Even with the season winding down, Anaheim is still fighting the injury bug. Ondrej Kase, Chad Johnson, and Patrick Eaves missed all 16 games in March. Ryan Kesler hasn’t played in the last 12 games for the Ducks. Meanwhile, Ryan Getzlaf, Josh Manson, Ritchie, Larsson, and Terry all missed time. With only a couple games left in the season, I don’t expect to see Eaves, Getzlaf, Kesler, or Manson back on the ice either.
Troy Terry blocked a slap shot by Mark Giordano in the Ducks lose to Calgary. It appears he suffered a broken tibia on the play and will likely be out for the rest of the season. Terry will probably end up missing San Diego’s Calder Cup chase as well. General Manager Bob Murray is supposed to provide an injury update on Terry and a few other players on Tuesday.
A few more things that caught my eye over the last 10 games. Sam Carrick was called up for the game against Edmonton, and he recorded his first assist as a Duck in that game. Silfverberg continues to be Anaheim’s most reliable and consistent player, scoring four goals and nine points, both second only to Rakell, while his five assists were tied for the team lead. Despite appearing in only six games, Getzlaf still scored two goals and seven points. Perry and Steel tied for the third on the team in goals with three. Every defenseman who played in at least one game over the last 10 recorded at least one assist, with three of them picking up a goal as well.
With two games left in the season, Anaheim’s summer is about to arrive much earlier than fans had hoped for. This ends Anaheim’s run of six straight trips to the playoffs. While that’s disappointing, it was bound to happen sooner or later. And in a season filled with injuries and bad games, it isn’t all that surprising in retrospect. Hopefully, Bob Murray will iron things out this summer and the Ducks will come back with a vengeance next season. For now, if you still want to see some meaningful Anaheim hockey, I recommend checking out the Gulls down in San Diego. They’re in a fight for the Calder Cup Playoffs, and they could have a very deep run this year.
Sam Carrick has been reassigned to San Diego.
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April 1st, 2019