The Anaheim Ducks can’t seem to get any respect. Or national media coverage or love from any network outside of California. Anaheim is hunting for its sixth-consecutive victory heading into tonight’s game against the Phoenix Coyotes. Based on the coverage (or lack-thereof) you’d think that the Ducks were barely staying afloat in the Pacific Division as the new NHL-darling San Jose Sharks run away with the banner.
NHL.com ranked the Ducks as the ninth-best team in hockey this week despite their recent five-game winning streak and a dominating play style. The St. Louis Blues get all the credit in the world for banging bodies and squeaking out close games. The Ducks can’t even catch a headline.
Having the surging Ducks behind hot-and-cold squads like the Detroit Red Wings and Los Angeles Kings is a farce, but that’s something that Anaheim is likely used to by now.
Since dropping the first game of the season to the Colorado Avalanche, Anaheim has outscored their opponents by a combined score of 21-8, and while the offense isn’t clipping along at quite the same rate as the Sharks, it’s pretty close. Strip away that blowout at the hands of the Avs and Anaheim would have the second-best goal differential in the NHL.
Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry are doing what they always have done. The defense has received a major boost from the likes of Ben Lovejoy and Hampus Lindholm, while Cam Fowler continues to quietly develop into a solid top-four defender with offensive upside.
Now the San Jose and Colorado have both dropped games, the Ducks are the hottest team in the league. Don’t expect anyone to notice though. At least not until they glance at the standings at the end of November and wonder aloud “where did Anaheim come from?”