The Anaheim Ducks survived last night with a 3-2 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes by ways of a shootout. After getting on the board first, they allowed the Coyotes to take the lead all the way to the third period, where Nick Bonino scored the game tying goal, forcing the shootout that the Ducks would end up winning.
It was a great comeback to keep the winning streak going, which now stands at six. After losing their opener to the Colorado Avalanche the Ducks have excelled at keeping the puck out of the net, only allowing ten goals during the winning streak.
There is still one cause for concern still, one that with stars like Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry and Teemu Selanne is a shocking problem to have. Through seven games, the Ducks have only scored one power play goal, and sits at a nightmarish 3.7% conversion rate. Going 0-4 against the Coyotes, which included a four minute double minor penalty, the Ducks failed again to capitalize on their opponent’s miscues.
As shown by Phoenix, it isn’t always necessary to score on the power play, as both of their goals were scored less than 90-seconds after one of their power plays ended, including Antonie Vermette’s goal six seconds after their man advantage ended.
While it is good that they are still winning without success on the power play, if they do not improve, history has not been on their side. While there has been some history of team’s with a bottom five power play making the playoffs, and succeeding, history has not been kind to the team who has finished last in the league in power play efficiency. Only once since the lockout has a team qualified for the playoffs and that team, the Columbus Blue Jackets, barely put up a fight against the Detroit Red Wings.
Outside the Blue Jackets, the results have been ugly, as in the last eight years those teams have finished an average 11th place in their conference standings. It’s still early, and it seems extremely unlikely that the Ducks will continue on this pace, they have too much talent to continue at this rate. But if things don’t sure up, history does not play in their favor, and will need to see improvements as the season goes on if they want to maintain this success.
Anthony Murphy is the Co-Editor at Pucks Of A Feather. You can follow him on Twitter @AMurphyTFC.