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Ducks Gameday -- Central Headaches and Blown Leads

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Anaheim Ducks (3-5-1) at Dallas Stars (5-2-0), 6 pm
Anaheim Calling and Defending Big D -- What do you hear, StarDuck?  Nothin' but the rain.

Positivity!  The Anaheim Ducks are on pace to make the playoffs!  Wait, wait, hear me out.

Opponent Record GF/gm GA/gm
Central Division 0-5-0 1.4 4.2
Everybody Else 3-0-1 3.5 2.8

Sure, the Ducks are 0-5-0 against Central Division opponents, but that will only ultimately make up 20 games of the full-season schedule.  Even if we project that to a total of zero points, guess what?

The Ducks are 3-0-1 against non-Central opponents, which will constitute the remaining 62 games.  If the Ducks can continue to take 7 out of every 8 points available in those games, they'll end up with 108.5 standings points, which should get them into the postseason easily.

Right?

Stars_central_points_medium
Better make that an Ott Dog to go.

That's all silliness, of course -- Ducks need to find a way to hold leads better if they're going to even pretend to contend.  Nine games played so far, and the Ducks have yet to hold a two-goal lead.  That's pretty amazing to type.

In fact, eleven times the Ducks have pulled into a lead at any point in a tied game:

  • Five of those times the score was tied up by the opponent.  Average time to tie: 6:52.
  • Three of those times the Ducks scored the next goal for a two-goal lead, but none of those times the Ducks made that stand up -- on average the next opponent goal was scored 6:12 later and the tying goal was scored 7:01 after that.
  • Three of those times the Ducks scored late enough, in the final ten minutes of regulation, to hold on for the team's three wins.

Still, I guess blowing leads is better than never having them at all -- all of Anaheim's standings points so far have come in games where the Ducks have blown leads.

Prediction: The Stars are a non-Central opponent, so the Ducks take the necessary 1.75 standings points to stay on playoff pace.  After blowing two leads, the late-enough-tie-breaking goal by Koivu.

Go Ducks.