I Have How Many Players? Making Sense of D3: The Mighty Ducks

Being of sound mind and body (arguably), I decided to put my hockey knowledge to good use and tackle the hard-hitting, important issues. Yes, that’s right: I’m going to investigate what the hell was up with the Eden Hall Junior Varsity roster in D3:The Mighty Ducks.

If you aren’t a fan of these movies, or of people taking silly things and looking at them in depth for fun, I suggest you bail now. But this is my kind of party, man.

I’ve seen this movie approximately a million times, including rewatching it recently in an attempt to glean some kind of meaning from the sparse roster, and decided the best way to present my findings was to look at it like I was Coach Orion and was trying to build some sort of depth chart from this mess.

Spoiler: the results weren’t great.

(Author’s note: This article is going to require you to suspend a lot of disbelief, and to take things with enough grains of salt to rim the glass of the margarita I’m undoubtedly going to need when I’m done.)

First, let’s refresh our memory on the roster itself as it stands at the beginning of the movie:

Lester Averman
Adam Banks
Charlie Conway
Julie Gaffney
Guy Germaine
Greg Goldberg
Luis Mendoza
Connie Moreau
Dean Portman
Fulton Reed
Dwayne Robertson
Russ Tyler
Ken Wu

What do you mean, you haven’t seen the movie and you have no idea who these people are? Stop reading and go watch it! I’ll wait.

Did you watch? Excellent. Back to work.

We’re told very few things, explicitly, when it comes to what position each person plays, so my analysis is based on a lot of assumption and deduction when it comes to things like who plays center vs. wing, or who plays defense at all. The only players whose positions we know officially are Julie Gaffney and Greg Goldberg, the goaltenders, and Adam Banks, who is stated as making 3rd line center on the varsity team. Fulton Reed and Dean Portman playing defense seems like a given, considering their style of play and that they always go over the boards together. We can reasonably assume that Guy Germaine is a center, because in the first movie he’s seen playing between Jesse and Terry Hall on what the other characters call “the Oreo line”.

(Sidebar: Terry disappeared before D2 with no explanation, and hey – maybe he just didn’t wanna play hockey anymore, get down with your bad self, Terry. But where the hell is Jesse when the Ducks head off to Eden Hall? You’d think they’d beg him to stick around considering that without him they roll 9 forwards. Also, he was pretty good.)

I think it’s also pretty safe to assume Charlie Conway is a center, given the way that he plays. We’re going with that for my purposes, at least. Any decisions on the positions of the other characters are extrapolation based on what I’ve seen in the movies and what makes the most sense in this bizarre world Disney has created where somehow, a JV prep school team only has 13 players.

Looking at forward lines got a little tricky. If Banks is good enough to make varsity (and we’ll come back to this), if I’m Coach Orion I’m going to assume he’s my JV team’s first line center. The way Charlie gets screamed at the entire movie about his inability to play defense, there’s no way I’m letting him center my third line, which puts him as 2C. Germaine reminds me of Jordan Staal in the way he likes to play physically and take the puck for himself, so he’s my third line guy, which makes the center depth look like this:

Adam Banks
Charlie Conway
Guy Germaine

Not bad, if we’re basing our opinions on the world of the movie, and we are, because suspension of disbelief is a beautiful thing. So now the question is – who goes on each wing?

These are a little more tricky, and a lot more based entirely on opinion (she says, as if the rest of this post isn’t).

Given how often they have her on the ice and scoring goals in the movies, particularly in high-pressure situations, I’m going to assume that Connie Moreau is Good At Hockey, so I’m putting her on my top line with Banks. Despite his inability to stop even what is ostensibly two years after the problem was introduced, Luis Mendoza also seems pretty good, and very fast, so I’m going with him too, which gives me a top line of Mendoza-Banks-Moreau. I can work with that.

Conway’s line is next. If you look past all the smart-ass remarks and pay attention to the actual game parts of the movies (for a given definition of “game”), Averman’s actually a decent player, so I’m comfortable putting him out with Conway. And let’s be real here, Ken Wu is pretty much Movie Jeff Skinner, minus the temper, so we’ll throw him on Conway’s right side.

Which brings us to Germaine. Sorry, Guy, but there are only two forwards left to be your wingers. Lucky for you, they’re Russ “Knucklepuck” Tyler (who unfortunately thinks the 3rd line is a “major diss”) and Dwayne “Rodeo” Robertson, who stickhandles like the bastard child of Pavel Datsyuk and Patrick Kane, but also occasionally forgets he’s on the ice and decides to lasso the enemy before said enemy can throw a disastrous check. Could be worse.

So here are our current lines:

Mendoza-Banks-Moreau
Averman-Conway-Wu
Tyler-Germaine-Robertson

With our forward lines set, we move our focus to deciding on defensive pairings.

…Wait, what? Pairing, singular? You’re telling me Portman and Reed are my only defensemen? You can’t play two 16 year olds for 60 minutes a game. I wouldn’t even play Ryan Suter and Ryan McDonagh 60 minutes a game.

But apparently Disney disagrees.

So our final team setup, day-in and day-out, 60 minutes a game, is going to look a little something like this:

Mendoza-Banks-Moreau
Averman-Conway-Wu
Tyler-Germaine-Robertson

Portman-Reed

Gaffney
Goldberg

If I’m Ted Orion, I hand in my resignation on the spot.

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