With less than 30 games left to play as we head into the home stretch of this 2011-12 NHL season, I'm going to walk in the shoes of Broadway Joe and make a bold guarantee. Now, unlike Namath, if I'm wrong I won't be ridiculed for all time as a result of my missteps in the field of foretelling the future but I will take full responsibility for my words if and when the time comes. My prediction, no, my guarantee is that the Anaheim Ducks will prove all the doubts, haters, and general naysayers wrong and come from the bowels of the darkest corners of the NHL nether world and emerge as one of the 8 playoff teams from the Western Conference inthis April's playoffs. Now just as many thought when the underdog New York Jets took on the powerhouse Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III, the Ducks are pegged with the inferior label and quickly dismissed to the "snowball's chance in Hell" file of playoff contenders. While around New Year's when the Ducks were 20 points behind 8thplace, I had a likewise attitude and was looking forward to draft day in the hopes that Anaheim can start rebuilding. However, in this stretch of 15 games, the Ducks have completelysurpassed what I thought they were capable of. They are playing solid offence, often outscoring teams badly, and in closer games helping shut down other team's forwards with better than average defense and great goaltending. This team has completely turned around a season that around Christmas time was thought of as a complete disaster. Now at this point the Ducks are at a crossroads. They are 8 points out of a playoff spot and 14 points behind San Jose for the division lead. They are well within striking distance of anyone in the wild west if they continue to play up at this high level. And part of the reason that I believe they'll make it is that they have focused less of the Big 3 line and Hiller trying to bail them out night after night and instead have relied on a mix of star power offence with big plays made by AHL call ups and second year wonders, along with the ageless magic of the Finnish Flash. Also I believe Boudreau has instilled a work ethic that focuses less of indivdiual prowess and more on going to work every night and coming away with points. Which leads to the biggest reason they'll be playing Spring hockey; the Ducks have been playing a style that is geared at coming away with at least a point every night. They play for overtime. I think the best thing this team can do is play every game to get one rung up the ladder and catch the Av's, Yotes, Wild, and Kings. Because if you are playing for overtime every night, you will head to the locker room one point closer to a playoff spot and even though sometimes it might just be one point, they add up fast.