A sort-of Ducks tribute by a Sharks defenseman.

This is the video for the song “Uprising” by Muse:

Recognize the tune? You should. It’s played at Honda Center just before faceoff at every Ducks home game.

You might also recall that the San Jose Sharks were the opening-night opponent this year at Honda Center. Recently, the song was added to the Sharks’ pregame playlist at HP Pavilion. Care to venture a guess why?

Continue reading “A sort-of Ducks tribute by a Sharks defenseman.” »

Niedermayer, Giguere, Pronger on SI’s all-decade team

Sports Illustrated senior hockey writer Michael Farber has chosen three standouts from the Ducks’ 2007 Stanley Cup-winning squad for the magazine’s all-decade team, part of a series of all-decade teams in the major sports that will hit newsstands tomorrow.

Scott Niedermayer was named a first-team defenseman, along with Detroit’s Nicklas Lidstrom. Jean-Sebastien Giguere was chosen the second-team goalie (behind Martin Brodeur), and is joined by defenseman Chris Pronger.

Also, Mike Babcock was named the all-decade head coach. Babcock got his first NHL head coaching job with the Mighty Ducks in 2002, leading the team to the 2003 Stanley Cup Finals, before joining the Detroit Red Wings in 2005-06.

Suddenly, Ducks looking like a fastbreak team.

It could have been a product of the Phoenix Coyotes’ defense. It could have been a product of the Ducks’ team speed. It could have been an aberration, or it could be a turning point.

Whatever the case, the Ducks had not scored four goals in regulation for more than a month — and only six times all season –before Saturday’s 4-2 victory over Phoenix. Two came on the power play which, considering the Ducks were up a man for more than 11 minutes, is to be expected.

The other two came not from the dump-and-grind style that became the Ducks’ trademark under Randy Carlyle, one that had other teams bulking up to push and prod their way to the net after the Ducks won the Stanley Cup in 2007. Both were breakaway plays, dependent upon up-and-down speed by Kyle Chipchura and Matt Brown as much as their persistence.

Coyotes goalie Ilya Bryzgalov did well to turn away many more breakout scoring chances by the Ducks, who scarcely held the territorial advantage.They were outshot 30-15 through two periods before several third-period penalties to Phoenix allowed Anaheim to settle into the offensive zone.
Continue reading “Suddenly, Ducks looking like a fastbreak team.” »

Ducks’ goalie prospect scores a goal.

Timo Pielmeier has been having a good season so far for the Bakersfield Condors, the Ducks’ ECHL affiliate. Saturday night, he added the goaltender’s ultimate exclamation point by scoring a goal in the Condors’ 6-4 win over the Utah Grizzlies.

With Utah goalie Parker Van Buskirk off for an extra attacker,Pielmeier fired the puckthe length of the ice to score with 5 seconds left.Pielmeier made 26 saves for the victory.

The 20-year-old from Germanywasdrafted 83rd overall by San Jose in 2007, then traded to Anaheim lastMarch in the deal that sent Travis Moen and Kent Huskins to the Sharks. In 20 games for Bakersfield, he’s 12-5-2 with a 2.79 goals-against average.

Ducks 4, Phoenix 2.

Mike Brown, Kyle Chipchura, Ryan Getzlaf and Bobby Ryan scored goals, and Jonas Hiller withstood a 41-shot barrage, as the Ducks gained a badly needed two points in regulation.

Even though the Ducks always beat Phoenix at home (the Coyotes extended their streak of futility at The Pond to five wins in their last 20 games here — a span of about five years), they did so in a very un-Duck-like fashion.

Continue reading “Ducks 4, Phoenix 2.” »

San Jose 4, Ducks 1.

Joe Thornton had a jumbo night at HP Pavilion: Two goals andtwo assists, helping the Sharks break a five-game losing streak at the Ducks’ expense.

The final score doesn’t reflect a game that Jean-Sebastien Giguere did well to keep close for 53 minutes. It was 2-1when Thornton scored on a power-play putback at 13:23 of the final period,and Devin Setoguchi made 4-1 at the 16:11 mark following a neutral-zone turnover — one of 20 in the game by the Ducks.

Giguere sprinkled in some beauties among his 33 saves, getting the start after Jonas Hiller won the night before in Vancouver. Ryan Getzlaf scored 34 seconds into the final period, taking a nice passto completea breakaway strike with the Ducks skating 5-on-4.

If you’re close to a radio, go catch me on 830-AM for the postgame “Duck Calls” show with Josh Brewster.

Getzlaf chosen for players’ committee.

Ryan Getzlaf was the youngest of five players chosen Wednesday to sit on an NHLPA search committee to find a new Executive Director. Getzlaf, 24, joins Jamie Langenbrunner, Brian Rafalski, Mathieu Schneider and Brian Rolston on the committee. George Parros is the Ducks’ player representative to the players’ associtation.

Here’s the full release by the NHLPA:

The National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) Executive Board announced today that it has appointed Ryan Getzlaf (Anaheim Ducks), Jamie Langenbrunner (New Jersey Devils), Brian Rafalski (Detroit Red Wings), Brian Rolston (New Jersey Devils) and Mathieu Schneider (Vancouver Canucks) to constitute a committee tasked with conducting a search for the new NHLPA Executive Director.

This committee will develop appropriate criteria for the candidate search and, after consultation with the members of the Executive Board, initiate the search process to identify potential candidates for the position of NHLPA Executive Director.

Statement from Search Committee Members: “We look forward to beginning the process to select a new Executive Director to lead the NHLPA. We appreciate the significance of the responsibility that the Executive Board has entrusted us with. We are determined to recommend a person as the next NHLPA Executive Director who understands the challenges the union will face; is committed to building the unity that the task requires; understands that the job is to represent all players throughout the membership; and who can secure and maintain the trust and confidence of the entire membership.”

The Executive Board previously voted, without objection, to authorize the Search Committee to work with Donald Fehr, the former Executive Director of the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA). Mr. Fehr recently stepped down as MLBPA Executive Director, a position he held since December 1983.

“These players recognize that this is a critical process, the outcome of which will affect all current and future NHLPA members,” said Fehr. “I am confident that they will discharge this responsibility in the thoughtful, careful and deliberate manner that the circumstances require. I very much look forward to working with the members of the committee.”

The Search Committee will begin its work promptly. The committee will not be making further comment on the search at this time.