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Ducks’ bobblehead shows evolution of Ryan Getzlaf’s hair

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The Anaheim Ducks are celebrating their 25th anniversary this season and have spent much of the year looking back at their past. Overall, it has been a pretty successful past.

They have two Stanley Cup final appearances, a championship, have been home to a handful of Hall of Fame and future Hall of Fame players, and while this season has quickly gone south they have been a fairly consistent contender throughout much of their existence.

The celebration continues on March 20 with a Ryan Getzlaf draft bobblehead doll that looks at the, uh, let’s just say evolution of their captain’s hair from his draft year in 2003 to the present day.

It is something.

What do you even say in response to that? From the spiked hair of an 18-year-old to … that.

Getzlaf has spent his entire career with the Ducks and been one of the greatest players in franchise history, recording 258 goals, 657 assists, 915 points, earned a Stanley Cup ring, and now is the owner of one pretty incredible bobblehead doll.

PHT Time Machine: The Mighty Ducks and the most insane pre-game introduction ever

Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.

NHL on NBCSN: Anaheim looking to build off recent success vs. Kings

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NBCSN’s coverage of the 2018-19 NHL season continues with Sunday night’s matchup between the Los Angeles Kings and the Anaheim Ducks. Coverage begins at 10 p.m. ET on NBCSN. You can watch the game online and on the NBC Sports app by clicking here.

The Battle of the Bottom Feeders will feature the Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks on Sunday night.

The Kings sit dead last in the Western Conference while the Ducks come in at the 14th spot, one better than their Sunday night foes. Both teams have struggled mightily to score this year, too, with Anaheim dead last with 156 goals for and Los Angeles only three tallies better at 159.

Still, the Ducks haven’t packed it in yet. They’ve won three of their past four outings after losing five straight and came off a monster 8-2 win against the Montreal Canadiens on Friday for their highest single-game goal count of the season.

The Canadiens started Carey Price in that game and the Ducks saw that as bulletin board material.

“They saved [Price] for tonight, so we took that as a challenge,” Adam Henrique said after the game. “You never want to be the team that somebody thinks they can come into your building and win.”

Ryan Getzlaf will be featured on Star Sunday for the Ducks. His team’s struggles have been mirrored in his own play this season, with no goals in his past 10 games and just two in his past 29.

[WATCH LIVE – COVERAGE BEGINS AT 10 P.M. ET – NBCSN]

For the Kings, any win will be a welcomed change as they come into Sunday losers of 13 of their past 14 (1-9-4), including six straight.

This will be the first season since 2003-04 that neither of these teams has made the playoffs and the Kings haven’t won a playoff series since winning the Stanley Cup in 2014. Los Angeles has missed the playoffs in two of the past four seasons.

The addition of 35-year-old Ilya Kovalchuk, who signed a 3-year, $18.75M contract in July ($6.25M AAV), hasn’t panned out as intended. The Russian has just 30 points in 57 games this season (14 goals, 16 assists). He has just one goal in his past eight games.

Drew Doughty will be the Kings’ representative on Star Sunday. He’s second in the NHL averaging 26:50 time on ice per game this season. His plus/minus rating has seen a whopping 53 point swing this season, going from plus-23 last year to minus-30 this season.

Alex Faust (play-by-play) and Brian Hayward (‘Inside-the-Glass’ analyst) will have the call from Anaheim.


Scott Billeck is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @scottbilleck

WATCH LIVE: Ducks host Blues on Wednesday Night Hockey

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NBCSN’s coverage of the 2018-19 NHL season continues with the Wednesday Night Hockey matchup between the St. Louis Blues and Anaheim Ducks. Coverage begins at 10 p.m. ET on NBCSN. You can watch the game online and on the NBC Sports app by clicking here.

The Blues remarkable turnaround since mid-January has them positioned to make the playoffs despite finding themselves in last place in the league on the morning of Jan. 3. St. Louis has struggled more recently, however, coming off back-to-back regulation losses to Carolina and Dallas.

Since the NHL’s Expansion Era (1967-68), only six teams have made the playoffs after ranking last in the entire League at any point after Jan. 1 (min. 20 GP). The only teams to accomplish the feat in that era: the 1976-77 North Stars, 1979-80 Oilers, 1982-83 Maple Leafs, 1987-88 Kings, 1987-88 Maple Leafs and 1996-97 Senators.

The Blues have one of the easiest upcoming schedules in the league in terms of lowest cumulative points percentage for remaining opponents and only have two remaining divisional games on the schedule (April 1 against COL and April 3 in Chicago).

It is highly unlikely that Anaheim will make the playoffs, thus ending their streak of six consecutive years in the postseason.

Cam Fowler (57G-206A—263 points in 605 GP) needs one point and three goals to tie Hall of Famer Scott Niedermayer (60G-204A—264 points in 371 GP) for the most ever by a Ducks defenseman. Earlier this season Ryan Miller became the all-time leader in wins by a U.S.- born goaltender, passing John Vanbiesbrouck (374).

[WATCH LIVE – COVERAGE BEGINS AT 10 P.M. ET – NBCSN]

What: St. Louis Blues at Anaheim Ducks
Where: Honda Center
When: Wednesday, March 6, 10 p.m. ET
TV: NBCSN
Live stream: You can watch the Blues-Flyers stream on NBC Sports’ live stream page and the NBC Sports app.

PROJECTED LINEUPS

BLUES
Brayden SchennRyan O'ReillyVladimir Tarasenko
Patrick MaroonTyler BozakRobert Thomas
Jaden SchwartzOskar SundqvistAlex Steen
Mackenzie MacEachernIvan Barbashev – Samuel Blais

Joel EdmundsonAlex Pietrangelo
Jay BouwmeesterColton Parayko
Vince DunnMichael Del Zotto

Starting goalie: Jordan Binnington

DUCKS
Kevin Roy – Ryan GetzlafCorey Perry
Rickard Rakell – Sam Steel – Jakob Silfverberg
Nick RitchieAdam HenriqueTroy Terry
Max JonesRyan KeslerCarter Rowney

Hampus LindholmJosh Manson
Jacob Larsson – Cam Fowler
Jaycob Megna – Korbinian Holzer

Starting goalie: John Gibson

Chris Cuthbert (play-by-play) and Brian Hayward (‘Inside-the-Glass’ analyst) will have the call from Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif.

Wednesday Night Hockey: Berube’s Blues finding ways to get to net

NBCSN’s coverage of the 2018-19 NHL season continues with the Wednesday Night Hockey matchup between the St. Louis Blues and Anaheim Ducks. Coverage begins at 10 p.m. ET on NBCSN. You can watch the game online and on the NBC Sports app by clicking here.

One of the many issues that hindered the St. Louis Blues under Mike Yeo was their inability to have possession of the puck and create not just any scoring chances, but high-danger opportunities.

Under Yeo, the Blues ranked near the bottom in categories like Corsi-For (47.43 percent) and high-danger Corsi-For (47.95 percent). They threw a decent amount of shots on net through the first 18 games of the 2018-19 NHL season, but they weren’t really challenging other goaltenders.

Enter Berube, who has transformed the Blues from draft lottery seekers to playoff contenders with a 27-16-3 record since Yeo was turfed in November. 

“We control the puck in the offensive zone a lot,” Berube said in January, not long before St. Louis fired off an 11-game win streak. “We shoot the puck and get to the net. That’s our game.”

[WATCH LIVE – COVERAGE BEGINS AT 10 P.M. ET – NBCSN]

The Blues are now shooting the puck more (32.2 shots/game), allowing fewer on net (27.78 shots allowed/game), and driving possession in a much more impactful way (52.49 percent Corsi). They’re are also getting to the net much more successfully than earlier in the season. Since Berube took over, they’re first in the league in high-danger scoring chances (58.53 percent), as Micah Blake McCurdy showed in a great animated graphic.

The changes came slowly, but soon began to work effectively. Coupled with Jordan Binnington’s rise, the Blues are a different team under the interim head coach. It was only a few months ago that names like Vladimir Tarasenko, Alex Pietrangelo and Colton Parayko were in the trade rumor mill. Now they’re vital pieces as the franchise eyes making noise in the Stanley Cup Playoffs next month.

“He definitely changed the attitude in this dressing room — it was pretty bad and pretty negative,” said defenseman Vince Dunn via the Post-Dispatch. “And he just really wanted us to believe in each other. And to just have a lot of self-accountability, whether it was with confidence or with good and bad things on the ice. He wanted us to realize that we were a good team, but he also wanted us to realize where we were going wrong.”

(Numbers via Natural Stat Trick)

Chris Cuthbert (play-by-play) and Brian Hayward (‘Inside-the-Glass’ analyst) will have the call from Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif.

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

Ducks sign Silfverberg to $26.25 million, five-year extension

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ANAHEIM, Calif. — Jakob Silfverberg didn’t want to test free agency, even as the Anaheim Ducks struggle through one of their worst seasons.

The 28-year old signed a $26.5 million, five-year extension with the Ducks, forgoing the chance to become an unrestricted free agent after this season.

”I like it here a lot and wanted to stay,” Silfverberg said after practice Saturday. ”I feel like I am a hard-working guy and to get rewarded with a five-year deal means a lot. I had a feeling once talks started going that it was going to be pretty fast.”

Silfverberg leads the Ducks with 16 goals and has 24 points in 56 games. The Swedish forward has 99 goals and 115 assists over six seasons with Anaheim.

The Ducks are in danger of missing the playoffs for the first time since 2012. Anaheim is next-to-last in the Western Conference with 57 points and has lost four straight going into Sunday’s game against Colorado.

Silfverberg said he weighed the Ducks’ rebuilding process before making a final decision.

”Over the next five years I think it is going to be a contending team again. They know what it takes,” he said.

General manager and interim coach Bob Murray made a lot of moves near the trade deadline to get younger, but he also said it is important to have a veteran like Silfverberg as a building block.

”You can’t just go with a bunch of 21- and 22-year-olds,” Murray said. ”It’s just like building your minor league team. You can have a bunch of kids, but you need quality veterans. It’s not any different here. He can play the game, but he’s also a role model. He does all the right things.”