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Anaheim Season Review Written by quackquack - June 25th, 2009


Anaheim put together another impressive season, struggling to score goals this year they relied heavily on their Vezina Candidate. We take a look at their top players, biggest dissapointments, surprises and what the future holds for this top franchise.

Anaheim was one of three teams to break the CMHL season record for most points this year finishing 5 points back of the league leading Vancouver Canucks .  In the first two rounds the Ducks faced Dallas and Phoenix and disposed of their divisional opponents in five and four games respectively.     

Making their third straight Western Conference Finals appearance The Ducks finally seemed ready to beat the their rivals from Columbus.

With Marian Hossa leading the playoffs in PPG coming into this series, Niklas Backstrom looking godly between the pipes and the solid play from veteran newcomers Forsberg, Stillman and Blake it seemed as if this could be the year the Ducks would finally advance to the Stanley Cup finals.

NOT A CHANCE, Hossa didn’t score another point and Backstrom was chased from a couple games; add in an injury to Ryan Getzlaf and it spelt a 6 game exit for the Pacific Divison champs.

Although the Ducks were the only team to beat the eventual cup winners this post season, the end result was once again viewed as a disappointment and Anaheim will go back to the drawing board this offseason with a number of important decisions to make.




Shawn Horcoff

After posting a career high in goals last year with 9, Horcoff took a huge leap forward potting 34 and adding 55 assists leading the Ducks in points this season , nine ahead of Cory Stillman(25-55-80 ). Seven game winners and eight powerplay  goals  as well as his work on the number one penalty kill  helped make this his best season by a wide margin. He continued his excellent play in the post season where he lead all scorers with 24 points, and more amazingly 14 goals in 15 games.

With no reason to think that Horcoff will return to his former self he is one of the best bargins in the league at 1.8 million per.

Niklas Backstrom

In only his second full year Niklas Backstrom once again took the league by storm posting a league best .914 save percentage as well as posting the league’s lowest GAA with 2.17.  He also recorded one more shutout then last year with 5. All these stats combined helped Niklas Backstrom earn a Vezina nomination and split the Williams Jennings with Cristobal Huet. Given the reins at the start of the year, Backstrom stumbled out of the gate and once again split time with Huet, by the trade deadline though it was  made obvious that he was the number one  goalie , playing the majority of the games (57). 

The Ducks have made his signing a top priority this off season.


Brian Campbell

After coming over as an RFA in a trade and signing a very friendly four year contract, the former ICHF defenseman of the year has looked right at home on both the PP and PK. Finishing sixth in points for defenseman, Campbell also finished a plus twenty while only spending 24 minutes in the box.

 Might end up being the perfect partner for Shea Weber next season.


Marian Hossa

After a season which saw Marian finish second in the CMHL for goals as well as earning a Hart Trophy  nomination , the Slovakian winger seemed to regress this year finishing with 74 points.  Many  thought Hossa would return to 100 point form but had trouble finding chemistry with rookie center Ryan Getzlaf early on although they were excellent together to close out the year.

 Next year the team will rely heavily on him to score as Yashin and Forsberg both gone.

Brent Burns

Had his worst offensive season to date posting only 34 points after  53 and 58 point campaigns in Toronto . Started off the year playing as a top 4 dman but was moved to forward about halfway through the season where he ended up the right wing for Horcoff and Forsberg for a while eventually rounding out the year  playing 10-15 minutes a game with Hecht and Yashin. Coming into the year he carried a 13% shot percentage, this year he managed only 5%.

Burns could possibly be returned to the minors taking over Shea Weber’s spot as Sparta’s number one defenseman.

Peter Forsberg

Although the price paid for Peter wasn’t huge, the expectations were. Starting o ff the year with Marian Hossa and Ryan Getzlaf the line faltered and was quickly split up. Finished the year  more than 20 points and 18 goals less than previous career full season lows.  Picked up his play in the post season  with 18 points. Will retire from this CMHL this season and return to  Sweden.                                




Jochen Hecht

Coming to the Ducks in a trade centered around Mike Knuble , Hecht has looked sensational on Anaheim’s third line as well as getting occasional PK time. Posting career highs in goals(19/  previous best 10)  assists( 32/previous best  13)points(49/previous best 19)  the German forward also posted a team high plus 45.

Ryan Getzlaf  

A  pre season favourite for  the Calder,  the young forward  was granted the first line pivot spot between superstar wingers Marian Hossa and Peter Forsberg but had problems adjusting to the speed of the pro game early on didn’t look good. It took about 30 games for him to find his game and finished the year on fire ending up with 77 points, good for third on the club and second amongst all rookies.

Alexei Yashin

Its very hard to find a third line winger who can put up over 60 points , even harder to find one that can score 30 goals. Try finding one that potted 10 game winners this year, good for second in the league. Alexei Yashin did that all this year playing third line minutes and second line PP. Yashin disappeared in the playoffs though and will return to Russia for the following season.

CMHL CAREER STATS- 410GP 202G 194A 394P 178+/-



Shea Weber

Although he played his rookie year as a top 4 dman, and started this year as the same management wasn’t happy with their future franchise defenseman and Weber was sent back to the minors after only 8 games . Putting up a solid season this year in Prague, posting 42 points in 62 games , the 23 year old was selected to the All Star game and was also a late season callup. He also dressed for 9 playoff games but was rarely used. Look for him to take on the role of number one defenseman as early as next season.

Kris Versteeg

After being signed as a free agent 2 seasons ago, Versteeg finally looks poised to make the big club after leading the ICHF in scoring with 87 points. Leading Sparta Prague to their first ICHF regular season title, Versteeg excelled on both sides of the ice. Although he might not end up being a huge scorer in the CMHL, Versteeg should be a creative, quality top 6 forward who can play special teams as well as all 3 forward positions.

 TJ Oshie                                                                              

The Ducks have been very high on Oshie since acquiring him from Boston. Finishing only one point behind Versteeg, Oshie made his mark in the minors and should find a role somewhere in Anaheims top 9 next season. TJ brings intensity and skill, sound 2 way play and has a knack for laying the big hit. Although he came into this league as 170 pounder, Oshie has now filled out and is closer to 200 and should have no problem playing his game against the bigger competition in the C.



1.       TJ Oshie

2.       Jonas Enroth

3.       Lars Eller

4.       Kris Versteeg

5.       Artem Anisimov

6.       Kyle Beach

7.       Mattias Tedenby

8.       Andrei Loktionov

9.       Nikolai Kulemin

10.    Nick Petrecki


Honourable Mentions



Submit A Comment -

Great write-up quackquack, to cap off a great season! I'm looking forward to many future battles with the Ducks!!

Written By: habsfan93 (2009-06-26 05:31:42)

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