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Ducks Gameday -- Worst start ever, plus a Russian request

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Anaheim Ducks (0-2-0, suicidal) at St. Louis Blues (1-0-0, not suicidal), 11 am
Anaheim Calling and St. Louis Game Time -- at least one of them covers a professional hockey team.

This is the Anaheim Ducks' 17th season, and so far it's going down as one of the worst.  Now the Ducks are notoriously bad starters -- they've won 4 of 17 openers and 5 of 17 second games, and in more than half their seasons they've been winless through two.  Still, this year's team now has the worst goal differential in franchise history through two games.  Here's how this year's team stacks up to previous shitty Ducks starts.

Standings Points Earned after two regular season games

4 points - once: 2006-07
3 points - once: 2005-06
2 points - six times: 1994-95, 1997-98, 2000-01, 2001-02, 2002-03, 2007-08
1 point - twice: 1996-97, 2009-10
0 points -seven times: 1993-94, 1995-96, 1998-99, 1999-00, 2003-04, 2008-09, 2010-11

Goals Scored after two regular season games

7 goals - twice: 1996-97, 2005-06
6 goals - three times: 2001-02, 2002-03, 2006-07
5 goals - five times: 1993-94, 1994-95, 1995-96, 1997-98, 2007-08
4 goals - twice: 2000-01, 2009-10
3 goals - once: 2008-09
2 goals - once: 2003-04
1 goal - twice: 1998-99, 2010-11
0 goals - once: 1999-00

Goals Allowed after two regular season games

4 goals - once: 2006-07
5 goals - five times: 1994-95, 1997-98, 1998-99, 2005-06, 2007-08
6 goals - three times: 1999-00, 2000-01, 2001-02
7 goals - three times: 1995-96, 2002-03, 2003-04
8 goals - three times: 2008-09, 2009-10, 2010-11
10 goals - once:1996-97
11 goals - once:1993-94

Goal Differential after two regular season games

+2 - twice: 2005-06, 2006-07
0 - four times: 1994-95, 1997-98, 2001-02, 2007-08
-1 - once: 2002-03
-2 - twice: 1995-96, 2000-01
-3 - once: 1996-97
-4 - twice: 1998-99, 2009-10
-5 - twice: 2003-04, 2008-09
-6 - twice: 1993-94, 1999-00
-7: once: 2010-11

It's completely bizarre -- I totally remember attending a day of this year's Ducks training camp, yet there's no evidence I can see that it ever happened.

In other news, can we help a Russian brother out?

I'm a die-hard Ducks fan since 1995, living in Moscow, Russia. In 2003 my friend (another die-hard fan) would get up at 3 am on work nights to go watch the Ducks play at the only place in Moscow with live NHL coverage. Cheer for the Ducks in their playoff run, and then head to work at 7 am, tired but happy :)

Teemu is my all-time favorite (I actually have some ties with Finland), and I wear my Selanne jersey when I play.  I am going to the Oct. 15th game to see them live at home for the first time (I went to their game in London 3 years ago, but that doesn't count), and I was hoping to get his autograph, or maybe have a picture taken with him, if that's possible.  Not sure if that can be arranged, but it would be great.

I've helped a couple of people related to the NHL - Risto Pakarinen stays in touch and even wrote a story for mentioning me; I helped a Toronto Star journalist Rick Westhead when he was in Moscow for a week; Eric McErlain and Jay Grossman got in touch with me a couple of times about various issues related to Russia/KHL.  I'm happy to help always - if there's anything I can do.

If you think it's possible to get Teemu's autograph for a devoted fan, I'd really appreciate your help.  I reached out to the Ducks organization a couple of weeks ago via the feedback form on their site and through Twitter, but I didn't get a response, unfortunately.



Full disclosure: by myself, I'm probably the absolute worst person to answer this question.  I've never met Teemu Selanne or got his autograph, nor have I done so for any current or former Ducks player.  Pretty much at all times there is a pane of glass between me and the NHL team I cover, and it's been that way forever.  And besides -- I'll be up at Staples Center that night -- a buddy of mine is playing a rec hockey game after the Kings-Canucks game ends.

But I know there are more player-meetup-savvy fans than me out there, and maybe some of them read this blog.  Anybody know when and where is a good place to run into players on a game day, or have Teemu's e-mail address? 

If anyone has any suggestions, leave them in the comments or shoot me an e-mail (earlsleek at gmail) -- I'll pass it along to Alexey.  Also, if anybody has any ideas of how we could utilize Alexey's KHL knowledge he offers in the third paragraph, I'm all ears there, too.  Maybe Sharks fans have questions about Nabby?

* * *

I'll cover this better later, but the Ducks have signed defenseman Andreas Lilja (1 year, $600k) for a boost in overall blueline competence, plus to deal with the immediate injuries to Toni Lydman and Andy Sutton.  I've already decided that his nickname will be "San Andreas", not only for his salvation-type signing, but also so when he makes mistakes I've already set up for the "San Andreas' Fault" follow-up punchline.

It's unclear when Lilja will make is debut -- not today, certainly -- he's got visa issues.  He must have the same immigration lawyer as Vesa Toskala.

Prediction: The Ducks have started 0-3 three times in franchise history -- 1998-99, 2003-04, and 2008-09.  Positivity, though!  Two of those three times the Ducks did make the playoffs.  Today they try to make it three times out of four.  Goal by Vayoo.

Go Ducks.