Anaheim Ducks Are Much Better Than They Were Quacked up to Be

(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Here at the sports desk, located somewhere below decks of the Good Pirate Ship RedState, we’ve been following the NHL season with avid interest. How can we not, given how every time we look out the porthole, we see a shark and a Kraken giving each other the stink eye?

Anyway, to date, the season has offered several surprises, none more significant than the unexpectedly potent Anaheim Ducks. Nearly exclusively deemed a rebuilding project at season’s beginning, the suddenly fearsome fowl have won eight straight games, including last night’s three to two overtime triumph over the Washington Capitals.

A trio of players is leading Anaheim on their strong season in general and winning streak in particular. One, expected, and two, not so much. While goaltender John Gibson is performing as expected, namely very well (.925% save percentage and a 2.33 goals-against average), the substantial contributions of forwards Troy Terry and Ryan Getzlaf have been a pleasant surprise. Terry, who before this season had not scored more than seven goals in a season, has already notched 11 and is presently riding a 15-game points streak. Getzlaf, who looked to be at the end of his lengthy career following last season, has apparently located a fountain of youth somewhere in the Duck Pond — er, Honda Center — and is averaging an assist a game. His assist last night gave him 1,000 points for his career, in a game which, coincidentally, was the Ducks 1,000th regular-season win.

Numbers don’t lie, aside from those issued by the government, and Anaheim’s numbers are most impressive. A team that couldn’t buy a goal last year is third in the league in scoring this year. The defense, presently 21st in the league as far as goals allowed, could use some work. But to date, the Ducks ability to put the puck in the other team’s net with far greater success than Donald has lobbing snowballs at Chip and Dale has carried them to first place in the Pacific Division.

Whether the Ducks can maintain this level of play throughout the season is, obviously, something that has yet to be determined. This duly noted, it would not be all that surprising should the team formerly known as the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim continue proving themselves mighty indeed.