This morning, Greg Wyshynski Editor at Puck Daddy, tweeted this gem of a fact (and included it in that day's Puck Headlines) from the NHL. I'm not sure what Wysh has against the Ducks. For all I know, he has Anatidaephobia. He rarely seems to think very highly of our team, but alas, he and the NHL are correct in this abysmal stat.
Stat of the day via NHL: The Anaheim Ducks have a .235 winning % in season openers: 17 games, 4-13-0 in franchise history.
I knew the Ducks were slow starters, but I didn't know just how bad. And really, what could be more nauseating to read on the eve of the season opener? To drive home the point of just how badly the Ducks need to get off to a good start, let's take a look at those 17 games. You'll be surprised by the stats.
Ok, maybe it's a little more terrifying than surprising.
|Season||Team||Score||Games Until Win||Playoffs?|
|1996-1997||@ Maple Leafs||1-4||3||Yes (lost to DET in WCSF)|
|1998-1999||@ Capitals||0-1||4||Yes (lost to DET in WCQF)|
|2002-2003||@ Blues||4-3||1||Yes (lost to NJ in SCF)|
|2005-2006||@ Blackhawks||5-3||1||Yes (lost to EDM in WCF)|
|2006-2007||Kings||4-3||1||Yes (won Stanley Cup)|
|2007-2008||@ Kings||1-4||2||Yes (lost to DAL in WCQF)|
|2008-2009||@ Sharks||1-4||5||Yes (lost to DET in WCSF)|
|2010-2011||@ Red Wings||0-4||4||Yes (lost to NSH in WCQF)|
What can we learn from this craptastic data? Not much, but I did notice a couple trends.
-- In their 17 year history, the Ducks have played their first game at home four times. Their record at home is 2-2. Give us another three years on the road to begin and then we'll get another home game.
-- On the road, the Ducks have won their first game twice. For those keeping score, on the road the record is 2-11
-- Oddly enough, when it took the Ducks 4 or 5 games to win their first game, they ended up going to the playoffs that year.
-- It took 8 seasons to get our first first-game win. This win took place at home, 7 seasons after the last first-game home game (the first game in franchise history).
-- It took the Mighty Ducks 4 season to get to the playoffs, and the semi-finals nonetheless.
-- Only once did the Ducks go to playoffs after taking 3 games to get their first win of the season.
--The Ducks have yet to win a first game against an Eastern Conference opponent, and who do we play tomorrow? The Buffalo Sabres from the Eastern Conference. Just sayin'.
Winning the first game of the season is entirely a mental victory for the team - it's the streaking that counts. No matter what happens tomorrow (and before you put on your tinfoil hat), remember there are 82 games in a season. FOWL!