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 Orange County Register, 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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