Baby steps.

Saturday’s win over the Phoenix Coyotes (on the road!) was a game the Ducks should have won. Breaking the power-play slump and getting into a bunch of fights were mere bonuses.

When the Ducks lost 1-0 to the Coyotes 10 days ago, it was one of the worst hockey games I’d ever witnessed. Put simply, guys were being asked to score who weren’t scorers. As a result, no one scored.

The Ducks’ power-play scoring drought reached 22 in the first period Saturday before Mathieu Schneider did was he was asked to do: Score on the power play. The Ducks got four more goals before time was up on the 5-2 win over a team they should beat 5-2. I don’t think that anyone expects Schneider to score goals so frequently, and so timely, in every game. But GM Brian Burke seems too smart to hand a 2-year, $11 million contract to someone who won’t contribute, so Schneider’s immediate production isn’t a total surprise. It’s got to be a welcome relief.

Anyway, these back-to-back wins are really baby steps back toward the level of respectability the Ducks earned last year, and toward a .500 record. They can get there tonight by beating Dallas, an above-average team that has also beaten the Ducks in recent weeks.

This entry was posted in Anaheim Ducks/NHL by J.P. Hoornstra. Bookmark the permalink.

About J.P. Hoornstra

J.P. Hoornstra covers the Dodgers, Angels and Major League Baseball for the Los Angeles Daily News, Long Beach Press-Telegram, Torrance Daily Breeze, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Pasadena Star-News, San Bernardino Sun, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, Whittier Daily News and Redlands Daily Facts. Before taking the beat in 2012, J.P. covered the NHL for four years. UCLA gave him a degree once upon a time; when he graduated on schedule, he missed getting Arnold Schwarzenegger's autograph on his diploma by five months.

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