Dynasty Hockey League

Ducks in midst of difficult stretch in schedule

The Anaheim Ducks have been playing above their status, according to general manager Lance Lavelle.

“We’ve been playing well, but not “best-in-the-West” well,” he mused.  “There are probably seven or eight teams that should be ahead of us in the conference standings.”

Indeed, entering the season as a presumed bubble team, Anaheim put together a 18-11-2 run to assume the top spot in the Western Conference.  The continued success of the team would be tested as Anaheim faced a gauntlet of superb teams in Philadelphia, Vancouver, Colorado, St. Louis, and San Jose (twice) in six straight games.  

“A stretch of games like that will test any team,” Corey Perry stated after the third game of that stretch, a 3-1 loss at home to Colorado.

The Ducks started with a 3-0 drubbing at the hands of the Flyers, a game in which starting goaltender Scott Darling went down to injury early in the second period.  The next contest, at Vancouver, Antti Raanta grabbed the reigns and turned aside 30 shots, but Anaheim lost 2-1 to the Canucks.

“It’s hard to find one area of our game that’s fully at fault for our losses,” head coach Bruce Boudreau said at a press conference after the Colorado loss.  “Scott and Antti have numbers that are a little off the mark from last season, but that’s not their fault — our team defense could use some improvement.  Maybe scoring a few more goals on the powerplay might help.”

Anaheim has not scored a powerplay goal since a 4-0 win against Chicago, where the team went 1-for-1 with the man advantage.  That goal, scored by Magnus Paajarvi of all players, was at the 15:04 mark twelve games ago.  The Ducks have gone 0-for-34 since then.

 

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