If you told me on December 31st where the Ducks would be right now, I would have punched you right in the baby-maker. At that point in the season, the Ducks were 10-21-6. Abysmal. It was all but certain that the team would be sellers at the upcoming trade deadline.
Well, here we are now with the Ducks being 26-25-10. An absolutely incredible turn going 16-4-4 in just shy of two months. They did it all with pretty much the same roster as they had on December 31st. The only changes are Andrew Gordon, Mark Fraser, and Jean-Francois Jaques (all in Syracuse), Devante Smith-Pelly (then at World Juniors, returned a game ago from injury), and Dan Ellis (now out with injury). So, now what?
When a relationship is going really well, you're highly unlikely to start going to couples therapy, right? It's one of those "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" situations. Does Bob Murray really need to make any big deals at the deadline to sure up the team's final mad-dash to the playoffs? My opinion, no. Why inject someone in to a locker room that has pretty much been from death to resurrection in the matter of months? This has nothing to do with skilled players needed to make the team more solid - it's all about chemistry.
As a kid, I moved several times. Nothing is tougher than being the new kid in school, it's even worse when you come into the school a couple weeks before summer break. (Hang in with me here, it's a simple example.) This happened to me when my family moved from California to Texas in April of my 4th grade year. In California, summer break begins in June. In Texas, summer break begins mid-May. I was injected into a new class a month before score let out. I still remember how awkward it was to try to make new friends when this class had months to bond prior to my arrival. It wasn't until I told people that I lived near movie stars in California (not true) did anyone want to pair up with me. The teacher tried to always include me in the group activities, but I was still on the outside.
The Ducks may not be a 4th grade classroom but the analogy applies. Adding someone from outside the organization - not just from Syracuse - and shipping off someone else is going to cause a break in the bond of the these players. Too often is the chemistry not considered. When you go through something as stressful and as trying as these players have, it's hard bring in a ringer to complete the puzzle. This isn't like last year where we knew the Ducks needed some key pieces around Corey Perry to survive. We need this team to keep believing in what they can do, with the guys that they have. Any crack in that belief and the Ducks don't make the playoffs.
Spare-parts are fine, but don't tinker with the working ones.