I don't think I'm alone in saying that Friday's effort against the Islanders was more in-line with what many of us expected to see from the team this year. For the first time in 30+ games, RPG dominated a game, combining for five points and three of the team's four goals. It's also encouraging to note that 10 different Ducks picked up a point on Friday night, something else that had not happened all season.
On the flip side, it was the Islanders and the defense still looked awfully suspect at times. We've also seen strong efforts from the Ducks before, only to follow up with three of four lackluster games. While a healthy dose of caution is encouraged (and honestly, it's not like we're thinking playoffs right now), there was something different about Friday's game. Something clicked, and the team finally performed the way it was designed to. We can vilify Bob Murray for his incompetence all we want (and rightfully so, most of the time), but Friday showed that the blueprint can work as expected.
It would be tempting to assume that this should be an easy win for the Ducks, but the Blue Jackets have already defeated us once this year and Columbus has an annoying habit of finding ways to win against us. If the Ducks fall behind at any point tonight, it will be interesting to see how they respond. For the first time seemingly all season, they found a way to hang around after giving up a goal in the third period on Friday. On Ducks Live after the game, Boudreau said that his team "got mad" when that goal went in. Let's hope that fire carries over tonight and that RPG once again finds a way to control the game. Two wins in a row would be a nice change.