There is no doubt about it - the Ducks have caught fire. And like all things Anaheim this season, it couldn't come at worse time. Following tonight's game, the Ducks will begin their nearly week long break while Corey Perry and others gather in Ottawa for the 59th All-Star Game. If the Ducks have any hope of making a run at the playoffs, they must quickly regain their winning form as soon as the puck drops a week from now in Phoenix.
Let's see how the Ducks have fared post-All Star/Olympic break in the past two seasons:
|Season||Record Before ASG/OLY||Record After ASG/OLY||Playoffs?|
|2011-12||18-22-7 (43 pts)||?||?|
|2010-11||28-20-4 (60 pts)||19-10-1 (39 pts)||YES|
|2009-10||30-25-7 (67 pts)||9-7-4 (22 pts)||NO|
Well, while that's not exactly encouraging. Although, the one interesting thing is that the 2009-10 season saw the Ducks ahead in points and they didn't make the playoffs. Granted they had played a compact schedule due to the Olympic break, but the key is momentum. Either the Ducks pick up where they left off or they spiral downward.
One thing that is new to the Ducks is this thing called "rest". Since taking over, Coach Bruce Boudreau has insisted on the guys taking their time away from the ice to refresh their bodies and minds. Heck, he even surprised them with a bowling trip yesterday instead of practice. (Fun! He wants fun!) In the past 10 games, we've seen the fruits of that change in behaviors. They are a re-energized team that plays nearly a completely game almost every night. Look, it's going to take a Herculean-effort to get the Ducks into the playoffs, so maybe the rest will continue to do some good. They're going to need all the help they can get.