Anaheim Ducks

PHT Morning Skate: Shero on filling Lou’s well-traveled shoes

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PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

The Bergen Record sat down for an exclusive (and lengthy) interview with new New Jersey Devils GM Ray Shero (still kind of weird to see any name other than Lou Lamoriello, right?). The basic theme: he needs more time to really flesh out his plan. (Bergen Record)

Some might not realize just how long Lamoriello’s been in the driver’s seat for the Devils. This NHL.com timeline goes back to 1987, so the answer is “longer than some readers have been alive.” (NHL.com)

Would you pump up Anaheim Ducks forward Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry for their leadership qualities? The Los Angeles Times is doing so. (Los Angeles Times)

Trading Sidney Crosby and/or Evgeni Malkin is just crazy talk. (Sportsnet)

Braden Holtby: money goaltender. (TSN)

Getzlaf, Toews, Ladd are Messier Leadership nominees

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Winnipeg Jets captain Andrew Ladd, Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews, and Anaheim Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf have been selected as the finalists for the Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award.

The trophy, which seeks to award those “who exemplifies great leadership qualities to his team, on and off the ice, during the regular season,” is chosen by Mark Messier. All three of this year’s finalists led their respective clubs to the playoffs.

Toews has played a major part in Chicago’s rise to power since the start of the 2008-09 campaign. Going into this season, Chicago had reached the Western Conference Final in four of its last six years and won the Stanley Cup twice over that span.

Getzlaf, who also won the Cup back in 2007, played a key role in Anaheim winning its division for the third straight year. For Ladd and Winnipeg, making the playoffs was itself an accomplishment after the franchise’s struggles over its first three seasons in Winnipeg. Like the other nominees, Ladd has his name on the Stanley Cup, although he hasn’t accomplished that feat with his current team. He won it all with Carolina in 2006 and then Chicago in 2010.

Since the award was first presented in 2006–07, no player has won the annual version twice and that tradition is now guaranteed to continue this year.

Five team stats you may find interesting

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5 — The number of power-play goals for the Anaheim Ducks in these playoffs. That’s been huge for them, especially after they struggled with the man advantage during the regular season (28th, 15.7%). On paper, the Ducks’ power play should be deadly. Corey Perry is one of the top snipers in hockey, Ryan Getzlaf is one of the top play-making forwards, and Sami Vatanen is the kind of creative blue-liner that can open lanes from up top. Those three have combined for 11 PP points in six games.

45.6% — Minnesota’s Corsi close, the lowest percentage of all 16 playoff teams. The Wild were one of the top possession teams during the regular season, but facing the Blues and Blackhawks in the postseason has been a challenge. The Wild, like the Ducks, have taken advantage of their power-play opportunities, scoring six times on just 17 opportunities. But they’ll likely need to control a bit more of the five-on-five play if they hope to get back in the series.

.922 — Montreal’s team save percentage, No. 8 out of 16. The Habs had the highest team save percentage (.926) out of 30 during the regular season. And while you can’t say Carey Price has been bad in the playoffs, because he definitely hasn’t been, the Canadiens simply don’t score enough for him to be anything but great.

6 — Times out of nine that the Washington Capitals have surrendered the first goal. They’re 2-4 in that situation and 3-0 when they score first. As a whole, the team that’s scored first in these playoffs has gone 35-20. So yeah, for the most part, it’s been pretty important to get that 1-0 lead.

6.3% — Five-on-five shooting percentage for the New York Rangers, 12th out of 16. The Blueshirts finished the regular season at 8.8 percent, fourth out of 30, with some arguing there was bound to be a regression. Rick Nash, in a related story, has just one goal on 25 shots.

PHT Morning Skate: Getzlaf tries hair replacement solutions

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PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Ryan Getzlaf and Ryan Kesler try out hair replacement solutions for the Ducks’ captain. Getzlaf admits he gets chirped on the ice about his baldness – not sure the wigs will help his cause.

The story behind hockey GIF creator “@myregularface” Stephanie Vail. (Toronto Sun)

Keith Jones and Jeremy Roenick look ahead to Game 3 between the Montreal Canadiens and Tampa Bay Lightning. The analysts note the Habs need to keep their composure as the series heads to Tampa with the Bolts leading 2-0.

Gare Joyce writes Connor McDavid’s draft year run is superior to that of Sidney Crosby’s. (Sporsnet)

For those who didn’t see it, here’s another look at Brandon Prust’s post-game comments, which will likely earn him a fine from the league.

Andersen shuts out Flames as Ducks stay perfect in playoffs

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The Anaheim Ducks haven’t advanced past the second round of the playoffs since 2007. There’s no guarantee that they’ll do any better this year, but they’ve put themselves in a very good position with their 3-0 victory over Calgary Sunday night.

Flames goaltender Karri Ramo made his first career playoff start at the age of 28 and at times it looked like he might steal this game for Calgary. The Ducks bombarded him with 20 shots in the first period, but he turned aside all but one of them.

The exception was Matt Beleskey’s one-timer on a 2-on-1 opportunity:

That proved to be all Anaheim needed because at the other end of the ice, Frederik Andersen was also at the top of his game. The Ducks goaltender kicked out all 29 shots he faced to earn his first career postseason shutout. He has a commanding 1.64 GAA and .942 save percentage in six playoff contests this year.

He’s a big part of the reason that Anaheim swept the Winnipeg Jets in the first round and possesses a 2-0 series lead over Calgary, but he’s far from the only reason. Corey Perry has a league-leading 13 points in the playoffs while Ryan Getzlaf reached the 10-point mark with his two assists tonight.

The Ducks have a long road ahead of them, but they couldn’t have asked for a better start.