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Anaheim Ducks

Anaheim Ducks…Ducks!

Anaheim DucksOk – I’ll admit it: I had to check the standings twice tonight to make sure my eyes weren’t deceiving me. The Ducks are fourth in the conference behind the KINGS? Ahead of the SHARKS? Second in the division, again behind the KINGS? Again, ahead of the SHARKS??

I should probably print the standings out for posterity since I’m fairly certain that will change soon.

To be fair, the Ducks have played the most in the division and in the conference, only the ‘Hawks have played more games. So, will it change? Yes, it will. Will it change much? Well, now, that all depends…..

The team has been playing so much better than they had at the start of the season. Tonight’s game against the ‘Hawks snapped Anaheim’s 6 game winning streak. (As I recall, last post had me counting the first two wins!) This was the first game on their road trip and it saw the Ducks lose in OT. So, at least a point was earned. As we all know, if you follow the Pacific division, every freaking point counts. And the way the Kings are playing: man oh man the Ducks need all the points they can get.

Right now, the Ducks play just ain’t pretty. But, a win is a win and they had been getting it done. They’ve come together as a team, the top lines are still producing and the goaltending has been outstanding. To all the Jonas Hiller detractors, I say this: Hiller had a puck get through his mask during practice on Saturday. It required a hospital trip and stitches. Yes, he had a black eye and a bandage over his left eyebrow, but he stopped 40 shots tonight and really, kept the Ducks (AGAIN) in the game. He’s proving he’s a number one goalie time after time. It’s time for people to give him the recognition he deserves and to stop comparing him to JS Giguere. (As much as I love Jiggy, the Ducks have moved on.)

The defense is finally coming together as well. It was said Hiller has really gotten on his D men, working with them so they all know how he reacts in the net. It seems to be working, in my humble opinion. The defense has gotten Hiller out of some tight spots and Paul Mara, especially, seems to anticipate his goalies actions and reactions. Lubomir Visnovsky is a joy to watch on the ice; for being one of the little guys on the team, he plays big. Toni Lydman was a shock to me, since I really didn’t know his play. He pairs well with Visnovsky.

There have been times when the Ducks seem asleep at the wheel; they need to figure out a solution to that. Maybe at that point, they will win more games by more than a point or two. While that makes a great game, it’s hard on the blood pressure of this poor blogger…..

Next stop: Dallas. The Ducks are 2-0 against them right now. As the division is tight, they need to make this 3-0. After that: the Wild. Home again on Friday vs the Blue Jackets. Sunday sees the Oilers come into town and it’s the first time the team will see Ryan Whitney again after he tried to go after Randy Carlyle last season. George Parros may have shaved his moustache in honor of Mo’vember, but he’s still a damn good enforcer……. RELEASE THE ‘STACHE(less)!


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