Anaheim Ducks Hold on for Win Over Phoenix Coyotes: On the Verge of More?

SKCorrespondent INovember 8, 2009

ANAHEIM, CA - NOVEMBER 07:  Teemu Selanne #8 of the Anaheim Ducks takes a shot in front of James Vandermeer #2 of the Phoenix Coyotes in the first period at the Honda Center on November 7, 2009 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images


As if the Ducks haven't given their fans enough stress lately, Saturday night they decided to stop playing in the third period long enough to allow the Phoenix Coyotes to make it a close game.

I'm not particularly partial to laziness.  I am, however, on board with winning.  If this is the give and take type of thing the Ducks are looking to establish, lets hope they're going to give up laziness and take up winning. 

All kidding aside, and sloppy third period ignored (for the time being), the Ducks played a solid game Saturday night to end a long home stand which saw them play their last nine of 10 at the Honda Center.

It's definitely time they hit the road, do some bonding, suffer through some East coast winter weather and remember why they love playing in Southern California so much.  

On the positive end of it all, they're heading out on the road with a win on their backs.  In fact, the Ducks have a trail of really positive games behind them in the recent weeks.

These games date back to October 30, when the Ducks took advantage of a depleted Vancouver Canucks line-up, and found the net seven times. They followed that win up with a hard fought shootout loss to the Phoenix Coyotes, held their own in a tough loss to the defending champion Pittsburgh Penguins, and then completed their first shutout of the season against the Nashville Predators.

Video Play Button
Videos you might like

I'd say things might be looking up.

Likewise, Saturday night saw a flurry of activity from the offensive powers the Ducks posses.  Goals from Teemu Selanne, Bobby Ryan, Corey Perry, and a surprising game winner from Mike Brown (courtesy of a face-off specialist Todd Marchant) is the formula for success.  It's what the fans have been waiting for since Bob Murray went out and signed an offensive line-up.

On a team level, the Ducks are showing signs of progression as whole.  Scoring from multiple lines and players, as well as a continued dominance on the penalty kill, which has only allowed one goal in the last 14 shorthanded situations.

As these areas continue to progress, so will other areas as well.  Hopefully, the power play will find more success as they are having difficulties breaking through.  The Ducks have been working hard at staying disciplined and are actually drawing penalties for a change, instead of taking them.  Meanwhile, passing and simply controlling the puck are still lacking from time to time.

As much as I'd like to ignore the third period against Phoenix, it should be noted that Jonas Hiller was completely hung out to dry.  His teammates stopped skating in front of him and Phoenix was rewarded with extended puck possession.  Hiller was called upon to step up and win the game for the Ducks in what should have, and could have, been a shutout.

Hard fought battles are what the Ducks need to gain some confidence in their locker room.  Finding ways to win and keep the positive momentum going from game to game are essential for a team who has struggled so much this season.

I have to remember two points is two points, no matter how ugly the road was getting there.  The Ducks were victorious against a solid Phoenix line up, something they should be proud of.

Let's hope they take the team that showed up for the first 40 minutes of the game on the road with them.  They're way more enjoyable to watch.



The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.