Anaheim Ducks Fans Seeking Positivity at the Quarter Mark

SKCorrespondent INovember 23, 2009

ANAHEIM, CA - NOVEMBER 03:  (L-R) Bobby Ryan #9, Corey Perry #10, Ryan Getzlaf #15  and Scott Niedermayer #27 of the Anaheim Ducks celebrate Perry's first-period goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins at the Honda Center on November 3, 2009 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

My confidence has been shaken.

In this space, I'm insanely critical of my team.  I'm the first to judge them on a bad night. Heck, I'm the first to judge them on a good night.

I'm critical of them before the game, during the game, and after the game.

But deep down inside, I'm filled with a slight tinge of positivity.

On the outside, I'm disappointed, perplexed, and distraught at this ugly season the Ducks have produced thus far.

On the inside, I'm eternally hopeful.  I'm blind to the ugly numbers, the disturbing trends, the injuries, the rumors, and their name resting at the bottom of the standings.

I can't help it.  There is too much of this team in my heart that says they will find a way to pull through.  The recipe on paper still looks too good to taste this bad.

The timer hasn't gone off yet.

So I hold onto that little bit of positivity.

Lately, tiny pieces of hope flourish during the simple moments within the game.

A glove save.  A blocked shot.  A rush up the ice.

A simple clean pass is enough to make my heart race (this pounding is different from the nerve-wracking anxiety that races through my body when the Ducks are on a penalty kill—and lately, when they are on the power play).

However, as the season progresses, I'm having a hard time keeping my silent positivity intact.

I have to search for small reminders that this is really happening to the team I love so dearly.

I have to force myself not to cringe when I hear analysts mention "Chris Pronger" and "Norris Trophy" in the same breath.

I have to search for Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf's names amongst the scoring leaders to remind myself that the talent exists.

I have to check the Conference standings occasionally to make sure they haven't been mathematically eliminated from the playoffs.

I have to tell myself there is still time to see them turn things around.

But there is one thing I never have to remind myself of...

I love hockey.

I love the sport, I love the action, and I love interacting with other fans who enjoy the sport for the millions of little reasons that I do.

Above all, I love my team.  It doesn't matter if they make the playoffs this year.  It doesn't matter if they finish above .500, and it doesn't matter if they finish at the bottom of the Western Conference.

That little bit of positivity that remains in my bones won't allow me to believe this season will end that way.

As fans, we have to remember that sometimes with the good, comes the bad.  This won’t last forever.  The players wont allow it.  There are too many guys on this team who have tasted success.  Too many players who have seen the bottom, and found their way to the top.

So yea, this team is struggling.  They're having difficulties in putting the ingredients together, but it will happen.

The clock may be ticking, but the timer hasn't gone off yet.




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