Anaheim calling to the hockey world...
The team that opened the season with three blowout losses and a concerted lack of effort has somehow managed four straight one-goal wins against four teams that didn't lay down for Anaheim's offense and tested the squad's sketchy defense for every 3rd period (and beyond on two nights).
Arthur, now that the Ducks have notched a four game winning streak, has your outlook on the season changed?
No, it doesn't change my outlook, but my outlook was always that this team had the ability to make things interesting if they found their legs. They weren't going to dominate anyone, and whatever scoring their forwards found was going to have to keep up with the goals their defense gave up. BUT, as I noted in a recent gameday, Phoenix secured the fourth place playoff berth last year by going 14-6 in the shootout. So maybe dominance is overrated.
The Ducks have put together a winning streak, but it definitely has that Winston Wolfe feeling. These are close games where they didn't always put together a consistent effort and escaped with two points through Providence more than perseverance. However, this is definitely more effort than they showed to begin the year, and I guess this prevents me from changing my outlook to the inevitable doom and gloom scenario that was creeping up on me as the disappointing losses and disappointing performances mounted.
A few wins hasn't convinced me that we will make the playoffs, but I'm starting to believe that we can make the playoffs. Hiller is improving by the night, we're finding the back of the net a little more consistently, and the D reminds me of why so many pundits talk about how important it is to play as a team. But, the top line is still prone to some wild turnovers. A more cohesive D is nice, but a more talented one would make me happier. Honestly, this team is a bunch of misfits. Let's be real, we have a lot of talent, but no one expects us to do anything. Personally, I tried to come into this season with a football fan approach: Anything can happen, and I just want my team to compete.
I think what I'm enjoying most about this streak is that the guys are competing more and starting to look like a serious hockey team. Obviously, I want us to keep winning and to have a successful season. Still, I have to be as realistic as possible. Hiller is playing great, but can he keep facing 40+ shots a night? Are we going to survive with two scoring lines, an energy line, and an extra line that Carlyle forgets about for all but 5 minutes a game? These are questions that Ducks fans can't wish away and questions that these wins have not really been able to mask. Still, the Ducks are playing good hockey and grinding out wins. That's something Ducks fans should enjoy and appreciate.