Dateline: Columbus, OH, 27 October 2008. The Anaheim Ducks have completed their first 10 games and are playing In The Curve.
The Ducks are currently finishing Games 1-10 period below their historical PQC average by .83. Their play places them IN THE CURVE, a middle-of-the-road ranking. Anaheim fans need not be too nervous, however, as play over the three years since the Lockout indicates the Ducks build momentum through the first 30 games, increasing their win total every 10 games. The Ducks lost their first four games with an average deficit of 2.25 goals against. That frustrating phase was followed by a 5-1 record with an average winning margin of a bit over one goal, which is certainly not dominant, but equals notches in the "W" column. PLUSES: Secondary scoring by the likes of PAHLSSON, MOEN, SUTHERBY, PARROS, MARCHANT and HUSKINS have been the difference in several games; the beginnings of scoring by the top line in Game 8 at OTT. MINUSES: PENALTIES! This team continues to take too many penalties which assisted in their undoing in the first four games as 7-of-17 goals against came via an opponent's PP; and being outshot by opponents five-of-10 games, but when outshot, by a decent margin.
In the next 10 games, the Ducks historically gain between five and six wins. They tend to play almost three games in either Overtime or on to the Shootout in this stretch. Games 11 - 20 are played between 29 OCTOBER and 19 NOVEMBER and Ducks fans will be happy as nine of 10 games are played at home. The Ducks will have a chance to put a tally in the "L" column for last years' Stanley Cup Champions in Game 11, and book end that with a visit by OVECHKIN, SEMIN and the Capitals at Game 20. Anaheim will also have two games against the Kings and their first against Dallas since Game 6 of last years' Playoffs. So far this season, the Ducks are 2-0 on Fridays and will have an opportunity to extend that record three more times. They also play three games on Sundays where they are 0-2 and will be looking to reverse those misfortunes. To lessen their collective team stress in games, they will have to cut back on penalties taken and continue to see scoring from their top line.