Fresh off a 5-0 whooping of the Detroit Red Wings, the Philadelphia Flyers will face their toughest test of the season tonight when they visit the Anaheim Ducks. The Ducks that were once “mighty” have made that word look like a serious understatement this season. Leading the NHL in points with 83, Anaheim currently possesses a 21-2-2 home record — good enough for tops in the Western Conference. This team is terrifyingly good.
With goaltender Jonas Hiller playing out of his mind all season long, the Ducks have looked towards their crafty scorers for the offensive support. Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry both rank within the league’s top nine players for scoring with a combined 53 goals. However, much of the concern shouldn’t be directed towards any of those three players. One man has quietly poisoned the Flyers throughout his illustrious career: Teemu Selanne.
Selanne might as well be considered an ancient relic at this point in his career. The 43-year-old has slipped a bit over the past handful of seasons, but don’t think that the Ducks’ all-time leading scorer still can’t sting the fly guys.
Selanne has absolutely trashed Philadelphia over the course of his career, tallying 30 points in 22 career games (17 G, 13 A). You might be thinking, “That’s insignificant. This guy kills every team he faces.” That is true, but consider this: of all the current teams in the NHL, Selanne has only averaged more points per game against one other team — just one. He’s averaged 1.54 points per game against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The Finland native may be riding coach now, but Philly will definitely want to keep its guard up against this first-class forward.