(I figured putting this up as a Fanpost would allow me to avoid stepping on Sleek's toes? Maybe? Nah, just the fact that I barely research such points will be the best antidote.)
So last year I leaned very heavily on team schedules while "handicapping" the Western Conference playoff bubble. My thought was: all these teams are separated by such a narrow margin that merely whom they play and where they play those games would probably make the difference once the lower seeds were decided. That proved to be (fairly) accurate.
My ears perked up when I heard something on NHL on the Fly last night: the Ducks might be in Chinese Fire Drill Panic Mode right now, but they have one thing going for them: a gigantic seven game home stand starting Thursday.
Here's their schedule, copy-pasted lazily from the Ducks' page:
|THU NOV 19, 2009||LIGHTNING||DUCKS
|SAT NOV 21, 2009||SHARKS||DUCKS
|MON NOV 23, 2009||FLAMES||DUCKS
|WED NOV 25, 2009||HURRICANES||DUCKS
|FRI NOV 27, 2009||BLACKHAWKS||DUCKS
|SUN NOV 29, 2009||COYOTES||DUCKS
|DATE||VISITOR||HOME||TIME (PT)||TV NETWORK/RESULTS|
|TUE DEC 1, 2009||KINGS||DUCKS
Is it that ridiculous to say that this might be the moment that makes or breaks the Ducks as a playoff team?
Beyond playing seven straight games at home, none of them are back-to-back games for Anaheim. Now, some of you might be half-pissed that this trip is coming now. After all, the Ducks are playing obscenely bad hockey right now and this might be the exact time for them to crap themselves when they could collect points in big greedy handfuls.
Granted, at 4-6, the Ducks aren't exactly "protecting their house" like some jacked up dude wearing overpriced underwear but based on their horrific roadtrip (gaining 1 point in 4 games, being outscored 18-9, but you knew that already right?) it couldn't get much worse.
Three games against Pacific opponents, two games against some of the weakest teams in the Eastern Conference ... there's a lot to like about the Ducks' upcoming run.
Just some food for thought, kids.
(Oh, and since you insist on knowing about CLS, the blog's moved to bloguin. But we can still be friends, right?)