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Eulogy: Remembering the 2015-16 Anaheim Ducks

(Ed. Note: As the Stanley Cup Playoffs continue, we're bound to lose some friends along the journey. We've asked for these losers, gone but not forgotten, to be eulogized by the people who knew the teams best: The bloggers and fans who hated them the most. Here’s J.R. Lind of the Nashville Scene and NashvillePost fondly recalling the 2015-16 Anaheim Ducks.)

(Again, this was not written by us. Also: This is a roast and you will be offended by it, so don't take it so seriously.)


Like most hockey fans of a certain age, I loved The Mighty Ducks when I was a kid. I watched it ... a lot.

What kid wouldn't love a movie about the uplifting Twin Cities high-jinks of a group of under-talented misfits (and a talented but surly star) and their drunk-driving coach?

But enough about the Minnesota Wild.

I am here to put a bow on the season of the Anaheim Ducks, once again the Pacific Division Champions, the NHL version of a beauty pageant’s Miss Congeniality Award, in that it is always awarded to someone who is not going to win the big title. 

Of course, calling the Ducks congenial would be like calling vape-pen-made-flesh Corey Perry an expert in personal hygiene. 

The Ducks, as anyone with a brain and also Kevin Bieksa knows, are the most disliked group of men put on ice since the Discovery mutiny of 1611, an event Shawn Horcoff witnessed.

First there is the aforementioned dollar store hair gel spokesman Perry. In the closing moments of warmups before Game 7 against the Nashville Predators, Perry fired a puck up ice towards the Nashville goal, which, like trying to send your kids to public school or the Ducks locker room without being vaccinated, should be illegal. Perry's shot was gloved away by likable backup goalie Carter Hutton. It was a not unusual situation for Perry, who like itchy dry skin is very irritating during the colder months but disappears come spring. Perry was so averse to the back of the net against Nashville you'd think Pekka Rinne was standing in front of a bar of soap.

Slightly more successful was Ryan Getzlaf, who was able to tear himself away from Blacklist reruns and endless apps at TGI Fridays, the center of Orange County culture, long enough to pot a grand total of two goals against Rinne.  

ANAHEIM, CA - APRIL 27: Ryan Getzlaf #15 of the Anaheim Ducks gets hit by Mike Fisher #12 of the Nashville Predators in Game Seven of the Western Conference First Round during the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Honda Center on April 27, 2016 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Debora Robinson/NHLI via Getty Images)

Getzlaf, the most successful person ever expelled from preschool for bad behavior (he was 14 at the time), managed to keep his composure, throwing only 24 tantrums during the series, far below his career average.

Far and away Anaheim's best forward was Ryan Kesler, the answer to the question "Who can make Martin Shkreli seem sympathetic by comparison?".

Kesler, a potential Trump running mate, scored four goals in the series and outside of the inexplicably successful fourth line, was the main driver that helped the Ducks charge back to a 3-2 series lead after losing the first two games at home.

The Ducks would, of course, lose Game 6, because it was impossible for them to lose Game 7 unless they also lost Game 6.  

Given that it was the fourth consecutive Game 7 loss for the Ducks, it was inevitable, if silly, that Bruce Boudreau be fired and go pursue his true passion as a life size matryoshka doll Ottawa Senators head coach.

All the man did, after all, was drag his team out of the morass in which they were stuck during October and November (which was hard with Perry muttering "There’s no place like home" constantly) to win a fourth consecutive Pacific Division title, which is no easy task what with LA faffing around three quarters of the year before sneaking in the playoffs and, uh, Edmonton is in there, too. 

Which brings us back to The Mighty Ducks, which I've left on the table like Chekov's worn-out VHS tape. 

Having seen the original roughly 28,543 times, I know every line, every nuance (note:  much like Ryan Garbutt's game, there is virtually no nuance in The Mighty Ducks). While it was a dim imitation of the original, I was even into the nationalistic and deeply problematic sequel. But after that, I was done.

I know there was at least a third one, where some of the team went to a fancy prep school. Maybe there is a fourth one, where the team is fired in a rocket to take on a team of rich space kids or something. It is Disney, so I assume there is a Mighty Ducks: Singing Hockey Dance Camp. It stars Zac Efron, the Cheetah Girls and John Gibson, because he has to do something useful at some point. 

Anyway, there was no reason to watch. We knew how all the movies would end. The Mighty Ducks would come back, win the big game. Everybody is joyful. And in Minnesota, that’s not easy to accomplish without putting tater tots on top of stewed meat. 

I have to assume this is what keeps Anaheim fans coming back year after year. In a place built on rodent fueled dreams, eventually fantasy replaces reality. It is hard to blame Orange Countians for this mindset, being the setting of the only soap opera that was more realistic than its copy cat reality show

Surely, just once, the Ducks will be like the Mighty Ducks. Win that Game 7. Have a likable roster. Get a decent logo.

But it seems their spirit rodent isn't smiley, it always ends well Mickey Mouse. It's that damn groundhog. And Sonny & Cher are singing again


Eulogy: Remembering the 2015-16 Detroit Red Wings

Eulogy: Remembering the 2015-16 Los Angeles Kings

Eulogy: Remembering the 2015-16 New York Rangers

Eulogy: Remembering the 2015-16 Philadelphia Flyers

Eulogy: Remembering the 2015-16 Florida Panthers

Eulogy: Remembering the 2015-16 Minnesota Wild

Eulogy: Remembering the 2015-16 Chicago Blackhawks



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