2006 Anaheim Mighty Ducks Rookies

Duck—It’s Anaheim’s High Flying Rookies!

The Mighty Ducks of Anaheim are on their way to the third round after four short games against the Colorado Avalanche. The Ducks’ goaltending has been the hottest of any playoff team this season. Ilya Bryzgalov, a rookie, sports a 6-1 record with a 0.87 GAA and a .967 SV%. But he’s not the only new guy making a big difference on the sixth seed Ducks.

Four of the top eight rookies in the playoffs are on Anaheim, and they are on every part of the ice—center, wing and defense. Ducks’ rookie point leaders are Francois Beauchemin (defense), Chris Kunitz (left wing), Dustin Penner (center) and Ryan Getzlaf (center). Together, they are responsible for seven goals and 17 assists in 11 games.

On the power play, Beauchemin has been taking it to opponents, scoring two goals and three assists in 11 games. The first-year defenseman, who came to the Ducks from the Blue Jackets this season, tops all rookies in shots on goal with 27. The hard working Beauchemin also leads all first-year players and is third amongst all playoff skaters in average time on ice (ATOI) with 27:04 minutes.

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Like Beauchemin, winger Chris Kunitz has played in all 11 playoff games. In the overtime win against Calgary, Kunitz assisted on Sean O’Donnel’s game-winning goal at 1:36. Of his seven points, four were in the four-game series against the Avalanche. Center Ryan Getzlaf, who has also appeared in every playoff game this season, is third amongst rookies in ATOI with 15:20 minutes and second in shots on goal with 23. Getzlaf, like the other three Anaheim rookies, has been a dependable presence on the ice.

If there’s ever a surprise for Anaheim, it has to be rookie center Dustin Penner, who has notched six points in eight playoff games. Penner, who prior to the playoffs only played in 19 NHL games, turned it on against the Avalanche in game three with a three-assist performance in his team’s 4-3 overtime win. This included the game-winning assist at 16:30 of the OT period. His plus/minus is nine, ranking him first among all rookies, fourth among all players in the playoffs and second on the team.

The Ducks have a cadre of first-time players, from goalie to center to wing to defenseman, all of whom are stepping up to help solidify one of the most surprising teams in the playoffs. Next stop for these guys is either San Jose or Edmonton. Right now they can watch, wait and rest as their third round opponent is chosen.

For more great articles on the 2006 hockey playoffs click here. Maddux Sports is the number 1 hockey handicapping team offering picks and hockey betting advice on hockey all season long to visitors of americas number 1 sports portal, madduxsports.com.


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