So after 11 points in 13 games, and being one month into the season, it's time to bust out our metaphorical microscope and check out the players.
For the purpose of effectiveness, we will have the five worst performances, one performance that breaks even, and the five best performances.
Without further ado, here we go!
Poor Sheldon Brookbank, he has had quite a disappointing start to the season. After appearing in all 13 of Anaheim's games played, Brookbank has remained at zero points, with a -6 rating, and tied for the most penalty minutes on the team with 31.
The main reason that Sheldon Brookbank is the -5 on the list is because of his penalty minutes and the number of inopportune penalties he has taken. It's a major problem for Anaheim when their defenders are taking unnecessary penalties.
Brookbank has had several shaky games, and struggled to move the puck and get it out of Anaheim's defensive zone, and with all of these factors, Sheldon Brookbank starts off the list at our -5 seat.
Aaron Voros is on this list, despite having only played in five games in an Anaheim jersey this season, he has had a very lackluster performance thus far.
Voros has a -2 rating and is the only left wing held at zero points this season, but has tallied 17 penalty minutes, ranking him 6th on the team, while all five players ahead of him have played at least 12 games.
The 6'4 forward has the undisciplined tendency to take penalties simply because he is getting angry or emotional toward some part of the game. With Anaheim notoriously one of the teams with the highest number of penalties, including them leading the league with an average of 20.8 penalty minutes per game, discipline needs to be established and Voros is not demonstrating he understands that concept yet.
For that, Aaron Voros is comfortably seated in our -4 spot.
Backup goaltender, Curtis McElhinney is holding up our -3 spot, which might leave some people angry, but allow me to explain.
McElhinney has started three games, and relieved Hiller in one prior to his three starts. In those four games, he has allowed 13 goals on 143 shots faced, leaving him with a disappointing .909 save percentage, and 3.86 goals against average. He started off the season on almost the right foot, allowing only one goal in the game he relieved Hiller in, and getting his only win when allowing two goals against the Flyers.
Since then, Curtis McElhinney took a few wrong steps and started to stumble, and has since had two losses, in each contests he allowed five goals, first against Detroit, then against San Jose.
I understand that a backup goalie is not expected to have the shining numbers that first string goalies should, but at the same time they need to backstop their team, when they are called upon, in a way that McElhinney has not done lately.
Ryan Carter is a dedicated player, after playing in only eight games with Anaheim this season, he has tallied one goal, however he too has taken several unnecessary penalties with 11 penalty minutes under his belt.
Carter is another player who has had a dull season this far, and that's what has landed him in the negatives on our list. It may be a surprise that so many of our negatives have been forwards when the biggest question mark of the team has been the defense, but the offense has not been producing, and Carter is a piece of that puzzle.
Ryan Carter is also another player who has had trouble clearing Anaheim's zone, and has been losing many battles for the puck both in deep and in the neutral zone causing turnovers. Carter also has been struggling in the face off circle, his best percentage in a game so far is just 60% successful. When you're looking to contribute offensively, the first thing that needs to happen is the center needs to win the face off and take possession, something Carter has, unfortunately, not done very well this season.
Anaheim's number one goaltender, Jonas Hiller finishes off the negatives at the best of the worst at -1. Hiller has clearly struggled to find his rhythm between the pipes this season, allowing four goals in each of the first three games, which turned them into fat losses, before his first win of the 2010 season.
After Hiller allowed three or more goals in each of the first five games he played in, he has since allowed a steady two goals per game since.
Hiller is currently sporting a depressing 4-5-1 record, a .918 save percentage and 2.99 goals against average. Despite turning his game around and helping to give Anaheim some hope for wins, Hiller is not lower on this list for one key reason: he has been facing an average of over 35 shots a game, mainly because of the problems with the defense in front of him.
So between the lousy start and the lack of defense, Hiller has done surprisingly well considering all the obstacles that are thrown his way.
Yes, call me a cheater, call me what you will, but I'm combining three players for the price of one, with Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry, and Bobby Ryan joining together as a unit to be our "breaking even" spot.
The top line struggled at the start of the season, and most games left fans disappointed and many times even scratching their heads wondering what happened to their three young stars. However, after three disappointing games, each of the top line would connect for a goal each on October 13th's game against the Canucks. Since then, the top trio has really changed their style and has found the back of the net an impressive 14 times total.
Let's start with the youngest, Bobby Ryan, who until recently looked like a fish out of water. After a few disappointing games, he broke the curse and has sense tallied up 10 points and 29 penalty minutes. Had the penalty minute total been lower he might be a plus-rating on this list, however the number of extraneous penalties has plagued Anaheim, including Bobby Ryan.
Corey Perry also has blossomed since snapping the cold streak and is now ranked third on the team in points with 13. He, also, has seen way too many minutes in the penalty box, a total of 31 penalty minutes, a statistic that is uncommon for most high-scoring forwards, and a number that needs to taper off if Anaheim expects to rake in some more wins.
Finally, Captain Ryan Getzlaf centers the other two youngsters on the number one line, and he personifies the "breaking even" the best. Getzlaf struggled to control his temper in the first few games, exemplifying how captains should not act, however since then he has turned his rage into producing big numbers, and leads the team with 16 points.
As long as Anaheim's number one line doesn't backtrack into the disappointing and undisciplined style of play they started the season with, this line will quickly propel itself up onto the positive side of this list.
Now that we get to move into the brighter side of things, let's start off what may be an unexpected top five with veteran forward, Todd Marchant.
The beauty and caliber of Todd Marchant often goes unnoticed considering he is on a roster with many players that outshine him on the statistics side of the game. Marchant has played in all 13 of Anaheim's contests and only has one point, a single assist, to his name, however he still made our top five players, why you ask?
Marchant is a center who, no matter who you put on his wings, can adapt to their playing style, as demonstrated perfectly last night, when he was flanked by two youngsters, Nick Bonino and Kyle Palmieri, despite the fact he normally plays on the fourth line with hard-nosed wingers like George Parros, Ryan Carter, or Troy Bodie. Marchant is also sporting and unsightly -6 rating, however this is mainly because he is a key component on the Duck penalty killing unit.
A defensive offense man, Marchant is fabulous in the face off circle, and has been really playing at the top of his game at the ripe age of 37.
A second unlikely player has made the top five list is local enforcer, George Parros. The consistent fourth-line right wing is not known for his big numbers, though he did score his first goal of the season, his 14th career goal, and first career game-winning goal in the game against the Dallas Stars on October 26th.
George Parros, the well-known enforcer, is a player that has clearly been working on his skills during the off season, and has started to really understand how to manipulate the pace and momentum of the game, knowing when a fight is needed to revamp the energy of his team, and when to really lead a rush to get the crowd and his teammates energized again.
Parros is also an undeniable philanthropist, most recently leading a group of his teammates in a mustache-growing contest for the month known as "Movember" a movement that is encouraged to bring awareness to male illnesses, specifically cancer.
The notorious fighter has been playing some very impressive hockey, winning a lot of battles for the puck down low, and keeping Anaheim in control of the game's momentum by keeping the puck deep in their opponents' zone. At this rate, Parros could have the season of his career.
Here is the third of the three unexpected top five players on the Anaheim roster right now: Troy Bodie.
Last season, many people believed that the decision to bring Bodie back onto the NHL team was merely to show off the talent of the right wing and hope for a solid trade offer, but at least to me, Bodie is too valuable to let go.
Bodie is best known for his ability on the penalty kill and his willingness to sacrifice his body to block some shots and help out the goalie between the pipes behind him. Troy Bodie has just one point so far in nine games played, however if he continues to play at the level he has been, expect his numbers to jump, possibly to career highs.
The main reason Troy Bodie is this high on the list is obviously not because of the numbers he is posting, but more just because of how much he has stepped up his game and how important he is on the penalty killing unit, a special team that has seen ice quite a bit this season.
Our second best player of the season this far is the 35-year-old center on the second line: Saku Koivu. Koivu is an alternate captain, and a strong veteran presence on the young Anaheim roster, not to mention one of the best play makers of the game.
Koivu has tallied up four points in the 13 games he has played with Anaheim, and one power play goal, however again, it is not the point totals that have landed Koivu in the number 2 seed. Koivu is a solid piece of both Anaheim's power play and penalty killing units. Saku Koivu has played at least 17 minutes on ten separate occasions, seven of which he saw at least 19 minutes of ice time.
Saku Koivu has also been a powerful force in the play off circle, a key component that Anaheim needs to improve on. In short, Koivu personifies several different styles that more Anaheim players need to exemplify, including his skills on face offs, and the discipline he portrays in every game he plays in.
The undisputed best player on the Anaheim roster thus far is also the oldest player, Teemu Selanne. Selanne, at 40 years of age, has been playing with a vengeance, hunger, and determination that rekindles hope for the Ducks.
Teemu Selanne is ranked second on the team with 14 points, trailing only the captain, Ryan Getzlaf. Selanne is also leading the team, and tied for leading the league, in power play goals with an impressive four, in the standard, 13 games played.
The veteran Finnish Flash has proved that age cannot slow him down, and by sporting the A for alternate captain, he is taking all the young players under his wing and really trying to coach them on and off the ice. On the ice he is mostly teamed with two other veteran forwards in Saku Koivu and Jason Blake.
Teemu Selanne deserves this spot more than anyone else simply because he is the only Anaheim Duck who has yet to have a weak or disappointing game.
There you have it, there are the five best, and five worst on the Ducks roster so far through this season.