Tha Sports Junkies 101

Remembering the 2006-07 Anaheim Ducks

Remembering the 2006-07 Anaheim Ducks mark6mauno/via Flickr


Yesterday was June 6th. For most people, it was just another day in 2017. However, for me and many other Anaheim Ducks fans, it was a day of great nostalgia and some fond memories.

June 6, 2017 marked the 10-year anniversary of the Ducks winning the Stanley Cup. That team became the first West Coast NHL team to win the Stanley Cup. For many, that team holds a special place in our hearts. Today, we look back and remember the 2006-07 Anaheim Ducks.


Before we go head-first into that 2006-07 season, we have to take it back to where the foundation was laid before the 2005-06 campaign.

The then-Mighty Ducks were just two NHL seasons removed from reaching the Stanley Cup Final for the first time in franchise history. While they fell in seven games, they left the fan base energized and feeling like a championship was coming in the near future.

Unfortunately, the magic didn’t carry over into the 2003-04 season. Quite a bit of personnel turnover, injuries, and lack of scoring kept Anaheim from returning to the postseason in 2004.

Following the lockout season of 2004-05, the NHL returned in 2005-06. In the summer of 2005, the Mighty Ducks made changes.

The first was hiring Brian Burke as general manager. They followed that up by hiring former Norris Trophy winner Randy Carlyle as head coach. Then, they made one of their biggest moves in franchise history.

Anaheim signed free agent and former Norris Trophy winner Scott Niedermayer. At the time, Niedermayer was one of the game’s best defensemen and a three-time Stanley Cup winner with the New Jersey Devils.

The Mighty Ducks also brought back fan favorite Teemu Selanne that summer. Selanne had originally been acquired by Anaheim in 1996, but was traded to San Jose in 2001.

With a rejuvenated and healthy Selanne leading the attack, a solid defense led by Niedermayer, and some depth in the lineup, Anaheim would once again make a long playoff run.

The Ducks would reach the conference final for the second time in three postseasons. However, their run was cut short by the Edmonton Oilers in five games, who had their own historic run going.

The summer of 2006 was another one where big changes were made.


After buying the team from Disney in 2005, new owners Henry and Susan Samueli re-branded the team during the summer of 2006. The “Mighty” was dropped from the name, leaving the Anaheim Ducks as the new team name. Apart from the name being changed, team colors and logos changed, as well.

The franchise left the iconic Duck mask logo and jerseys to go to a sleeker, more modern logo and jersey design and color scheme. The arena name was also changed from the Arrowhead Pond to the Honda Center. The biggest change, though, happened on the ice.

On July 3, 2006, the Ducks made probably the second-biggest trade in franchise history when they acquired another former Norris Trophy winning defenseman in Chris Pronger from the Oilers. With the depth the team already had in the lineup, the addition of Pronger made the Ducks early Stanley Cup favorites heading into the 2006-07 season.

And Anaheim showed really quickly that they would be a force to be reckoned with.


The Ducks started the 2006-07 campaign with a 12-0-4 record. That was good enough to set a then-NHL record for most consecutive games with a point to start the season. Their historic start set the tone for the rest of the season.

Although they hit a rut around the middle of December, Anaheim finished the 2006-07 regular season with a then-franchise record 48 wins and 110 points to claim their first ever Pacific Division title. The Ducks would end the season as the second seed in the Western Conference and faced the Minnesota Wild in the first round of the playoffs.

However, before the postseason started, Anaheim had to deal with some uncertainty.

Starting goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere missed the final three games of the regular season. The hero of the Ducks’ Cinderella run in 2003 took time off to spend it with his newborn son, who had been born with a serious, but non-life threatening, condition. Backup Ilja Brzgalov played those final three games and would start against Minnesota.


It would be the second time Anaheim faced the Wild in the postseason. The Ducks swept Minnesota in the 2003 Western Conference Final.

After three games in their 2007 series, it looked like history would repeat itself. Anaheim won the first three games of the series 2-1, 3-2, and 2-1, respectively. Minnesota staved off elimination in Game 4 with a 4-1 win.

While it was a tough loss for the Ducks, there was a silver lining. Giguere came into the game late in the third period to replace Bryzgalov and played well. He would take back the net in Game 5.

In Game 5, Anaheim would finish off the Wild with a convincing 4-1 win of their own. It was the third straight postseason where the Ducks would reach the second round.


In the second round, they faced the Vancouver Canucks. Even though Anaheim was favored, the Canucks were not be taken lightly due to their All-Star goalie, Roberto Luongo. Luongo had just come off a stellar seven-game performance against the Dallas Stars in his first ever playoff appearance.

Anaheim would set the tone early, though. Led by a hat trick from center Andy McDonald, the Ducks stormed out to a 5-1 win in Game 1 to take the series lead. Vancouver, however, rebounded in Game 2 with a 2-1 win in double overtime to even the series.

As the series shifted to the Canadian west coast, Anaheim would regain control. A pair of 3-2 wins in Games 3 and 4, the second coming in overtime, put the Ducks one win away from a second straight trip to the Western Conference Final.

That would come in Game 5. It didn’t come easy, though.

Anaheim pounded the Vancouver net with 63 shots in a game that ended up going to double overtime with the score level at 1-1. 4:30 into the second extra period, though, Niedermayer would end the game and series with a wrist shot from the point that caught Luongo off guard.

That sent the sell-out crowd at the Honda Center into frenzy and the Ducks to the Western Conference Final. There waiting was a familiar rival, led by a familiar coach.


The 2007 postseason was the fifth time Anaheim had reached the playoffs. In the conference final, the Ducks would meet the Detroit Red Wings for the fourth time in their postseason history. It was a dream match up.

The Red Wings were the top-seeded team in the Western Conference. Their head coach was Mike Babcock. Babcock had been the head coach of the Mighty Ducks during their incredible run to the Final in 2003. His team started that run by sweeping Detroit, the defending champions at the time, in the first round.

While the Ducks were a stacked team, I, along with surely many other Ducks fans, was nervous about this series. The Red Wings had a stacked team themselves and looked destined to reach the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 2002.

The tone for the series was set in Game 1. Detroit pulled out a hard fought 2-1 win to grab a 1-0 series lead. Anaheim responded in Game 2 when Niedermayer scored another overtime winner to help the Ducks claim a 4-3 win and send the series back to Orange County tied at 1-1.

Game 3 was Anaheim’s worst game of the 2007 postseason. The Red Wings smoked the Ducks 5-0, needing just 28 shots to get their five goals. The score was not the worst thing that happened to Anaheim, however, in that game.

Chris Pronger would end up getting kicked out of the game, and eventually suspended, for checking Detroit forward Tomas Holmstrom into the boards head first late in Game 3.

Without probably their top defenseman for Game 4, the Ducks seemed to be in trouble. However, the team rallied and took Game 4 5-3 to even the series at 2-2.

That set up a pivotal Game 5.


In Game 5, it was all Detroit. The Red Wings out shot Anaheim 26-11 through two periods. They grabbed a 1-0 lead 6:13 into the second and looked like they would break the game open at any moment. Giguere, however, stood on his head and kept the game at 1-0 going into the third.

The score remained the same as the final period carried on. Then, with 1:47 left in the game, the Ducks had some hope.

Detroit center Pavel Datsyuk was called for interference, giving Anaheim a late power-play. With less than a minute to go in the game and the goaltender pulled, the Ducks tied the game when Niedermayer scored his third goal of the postseason. Niedermayer’s tally would send the game to overtime.

In overtime, Selanne would be the star.

With just over eight minutes left in the first extra period, Red Wings defender Andreas Lilja collected the puck behind his own goal. While trying to carry it up ice out of his zone, he was pressured by Andy McDonald in the slot.

McDonald’s pressure forced Lilja to whiff on an attempted pass and over-skate the puck. Selanne, who had been trailing the play, picked up the loose puck, went forehand-backhand, and fired the puck past a sprawling Dominik Hasek to help Anaheim steal Game 5 2-1.

Many fans and people within the organization have called that Selanne goal the biggest goal in franchise history.


It was a pretty big goal as it set up a series-clinching Game 6 at home for the Ducks. And the team looked determined to end it at home.

Anaheim out-shot Detroit 26-13 and was up 3-0 through two periods. With 14:06 left in the third, the Ducks were up 4-1 and surely looked to be heading to the Stanley Cup Final. The Red Wings, though, made things very interesting.

Two goals by Datsyuk past the halfway point of the third got Detroit to within one. The Red Wings made a late push to tie the game, but Giguere and company held on to win the game 4-3 and take the series in six games. The series win sent the Ducks to the Stanley Cup Final for the second time in four postseasons.

I will be honest, once the Ducks beat Detroit, I felt they would win the Cup, no questions asked. In fact, I was more worried about Detroit than I was of their Final opponent. But the series still needed to be played.


In the Final, Anaheim would face the high-flying Ottawa Senators. The Senators headed into the Final led by the three-headed attack of Daniel Alfredsson, Dany Heatley, and Jason Spezza. The trio helped Ottawa romp through the playoffs, defeating Pittsburgh, New Jersey, and Buffalo in five games each.

The biggest question heading into the series was would the Ducks be able to contain Alfredsson, Heatley, and Spezza. If they could, they would have a good chance of winning the Cup.


Anaheim did a good job in Game 1, holding the trio to just two points, both assists. They also won the game 3-2 to take a 1-0 series lead. In Game 2, the Ducks did an even better job defensively, shutting out the Senators en route to a 1-0 win to head to Ottawa up 2-0 in the series.

When the series started, the checking line of Rob Niedermayer, Samuel Pahlsson, and Travis Moen were put in charge of trying to stop Ottawa’s top line. They did that in the first two games. Not only that, Moen and Pahlsson scored the game winning goals in Games 1 and 2, respectively.

While Anaheim held the Alfredsson-Heatley-Spezza trio to just one point in Game 3, the Senators offense exploded, scoring five times, to win the game 5-3 and cut the Ducks’ series lead in half.

With a chance to even the series, Ottawa came out flying in Game 4. They out-shot Anaheim 13-2 in the first period and went up 1-0 right at the end of the first on a goal from Alfredsson.

Two goals from McDonald in the second period gave the Ducks a 2-1 lead. However, Heatley scored his first of the series late in the second to send the game to the third tied at 2-2.

4:07 into the third period, Dustin Penner scored what turned out to be the game-winning goal to give Anaheim a 3-2 win. The victory put the Ducks one win away from their first Stanley Cup.

In Game 5, Anaheim made sure to put the Senators away for good. Two goals in each period propelled the Ducks to a 6-2 win to claim the franchise’s first Stanley Cup championship.


The win was not only Anaheim’s first Stanley Cup championship, but also the first by a West Coast NHL team. It signified the first championship for everyone, except Scott Niedermayer, on the Ducks’ roster, as well.

This past March, the franchise recognized that 2006-07 team prior to a game against the Washington Capitals. Even after 10 years, that team is beloved by Ducks fans everywhere. And while there hasn’t been a championship since, the hope is we will see another one in the near future.