Last night, the Anaheim Ducks extended their winning streak to five games, while extending the New York Islanders’ losing streak (the longest in the NHL) to eight games.
At the start of this week (before Sunday’s game against the Nashville Predators), the Ducks were ranked 12th in the western conference. Just three games later, the Ducks are now in 5th place in the west. The Ducks are currently tied (with the Washington Capitals, 1st in the NHL) for the leading winning streak (5 games). Anaheim has played more games than anyone in the NHL other than Chicago, so their standings are a bit inflated at the moment (three of the teams ahead of the Ducks in the conference, including the first place Kings, have played four fewer games).
In spite of their poor play, the Ducks have been finding ways to win. Not only do they have a 5 game winning streak, their record at home is 6-1-1. Very few teams in the NHL beat that. The Ducks realize they haven’t been playing at their best and they’re still managing to win games. Perhaps that knowledge is in the back of their minds making it difficult for them to give their all every night. Last night’s poor effort in the first period (only one shot on goal, which came short handed with less than 2 minutes remaining in the period) may be explained by the Ducks having played the night before in San Jose. After winning 5 games in a row, it’s hard to get into bad the team has looked overall in those games. Randy Carlyle often says he’s not going to analyze a win and with a winning streak like this, who can blame him? A win is a win, when all is said and done. The wins you don’t deserve count just as much as the wins where you completely shut down your opponent and outplayed them. The Ducks now have a winning record 9-7-1 and seem determined to keep their winning streak alive.