The 2011-12 season was one the Ducks ultimately looked at with disappointment. Anaheim finished the season with a 34-36-12 record (80 points, 13th in the Western Conference) and missed the Stanley Cup Playoffs for just the second time in the last seven campaigns. But there were some postives along the way. Under the guidance of new head coach Bruce Boudreau, the club had the fifth-best record in the West with 54 points (24-15-6) from Jan. 1 to the end of the season, and there were a number of highlights throughout the year. AnaheimDucks.com has counted down the top 25 moments from past season over the last few weeks. Here is the fifth and final installment: 1-5.
1. February 9-23, 2012
From the moment the 2011-12 schedule was released, one portion stood out - a daunting, massive road trip in February. The eight-game, 15-day trek
marked the longest in franchise history and could have sunk the Ducks. Instead, they aced it by going 5-1-2
and got within four points of a playoff spot in the West.
The five victories during the trip came at Columbus, Minnesota, Pittsburgh, Florida and Carolina. The one against the Penguins stood out in particular because it got the Ducks back to the .500 mark
for the first time in more than three months and provided the first victory for the club in the Steel City since 2001."It is Officially a Fantastic Road Trip" - Brian Hayward2. November 30 - December 1, 2011
The night of November 30, 2011
is one that will not soon be forgotten in the history of the Ducks. Appoximately an hour after Anaheim stopped a season-long seven-game losing streak with a 4-1 win
over the Canadiens, it was announced
that longtime head coach Randy Carlyle would be replaced behind the bench by Bruce Boudreau (formerly of the Washington Capitals, let go by them just two days before getting his new job).
The eighth head coach in Ducks history was introduced the next day
at The Rinks - Anaheim Ice after his first practice with the club. Boudreau's presence helped renew Anaheim's spirits the rest of 2011-12 and gave hope for the future.Welcome to Brucetown: Boudreau Named New Coach3. December 17, 2011
Teemu Selanne's illustrious career in the NHL has roots that began in the city of Winnipeg
. It was there that the Finnish Flash took the league by storm as a rookie with a record 76 goals in 1992-93 and played his first four seasons. Still beloved in the city, Selanne finally got a chance to return with the Ducks when hockey returned to Winnipeg in 2011-12.
Beginning with the moment he first hit the ice, Selanne was met with thunderous cheers
from the crowd at MTS Centre. The 41-year-old totaled two assists (including this magnificent lob to Niklas Hagman
) in a 5-3 Anaheim loss
on the evening. Named the Third Star of the game afteward, he thanked the fans during one last standing ovation
.Selanne Returns to Where it All Began4. March 2, 2012
Thanks to Ryan Getzlaf, the home streak of wins against Calgary still stands. With a 3-2 victory
at Honda Center, Anaheim left the Flames winless in the building since Jan. 19, 2004.
With time ticking down in regulation, Getzlaf unleashed a slap shot
that beat goaltender Leland Irving with 46 seconds left. The tally also provided sweet relief for the center, who snapped a season-long 17-game goal drought, and helped keep the Ducks within seven points of the eighth playoff spot in the Western Conference. One of the best images of the season was Getzlaf bearhugging Francois Beauchemin (see at right) immediately after the the goal went in.Getzlaf Blasts OT-Winner to Stifle Flames Again5. March 12, 2012
On the same night in Colorado, linemates and Finnish hockey legends Teemu Selanne and Saku Koivu hit a pair of big milestones in their careers
The game (a 3-2 overtime loss
) marked the 1,000th career contest
for Koivu. That is a tall task for any player, made even more incredible by Koivu, who battled cancer earlier in his career. As for Selanne, he simply became the greatest scorer in NHL history to come from Finland
. Late in the third period on the power play, he tied the game with a shot from the right circle. The goal gave him 1,399 career points to surpass his boyhood idol and Hall-of-Famer Jari Kurri on the league's scoring list.A Milestone Night for Two Finnish LegendsPrevious Top Moments of 2011-12
Moments 6-10Moments 11-15Moments 16-20Moments 21-25