Photo Credit: Ina Fassbender / Reuters

Jason Blake: Linchpin

 

Maybe it’s just a coincidence, but holy hell… who would have thought that it would be the return of Jason Blake that would spur the return of the powerhouse Ducks we all expected from the beginning of this season? Not even changing coaches seemed to have as much effect as Blake’s return. After taking a couple of games to get his legs back it’s easy to see how much he was missed and how much depth he adds to the Ducks roster.

As a Leafs fan I’ve been a big fan of the guy for a while, but honestly I never thought he had this much control over tying the team together. I always liked how smart of a player he is, how he always knows where to be, and how the place to be can usually result in him getting pummeled by guys twice his side. He’s one of the guys on the team who seems to be going all out all the time, like he’s got something to prove, and that energy is passed on to his line, as evidenced last night against the Coyotes (and in most of the games since his return).

Unfortunately this run that the Ducks seem to be making is most likely too little too late. We’re past the half way mark and 13 points out of 8th place. While the middle pack in the Western Conference has been a bit spotty lately, making that run to a playoff spot is going to be a tough ride. We’ve got to hope that the Ducks continue to rock it and that a few teams above us start or continue to falter. The best news out of all of this is that hopefully, with the Ducks continuing to play the way they are, there won’t be any major shake ups to the line up.  Some depth would be nice, but the Blake, Bonino, Cogliano line seems to be clicking and solving that problem.

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