After a dismal first half to the Anaheim Ducks season, the fans have, once again, began to embrace the tank. But, is a tank really what we’re rooting for?
We’ve reached the halfway point of the season, and despite the changes made in the offseason, the Anaheim Ducks are, once again, coming up short. Currently, they’re sitting at the bottom of the Division, the Conference, and they’re third from the bottom of the league. Their lackluster performance so far this season has caused even the most loyal and positive fans to jump straight on the “tank train.”
However, is a tank really what the fans are truly embracing? Rooting for a tank means that the fans are okay with the Ducks throwing away their season and giving up. Does any fan really want to see their team do that? More likely than not, the answer would be no. Despite the fact that the Ducks have shown signs they’re doing exactly that, I do not believe that fans are really rooting for a tank. It is, unfortunately, the only way we know how to explain what we want out of the rest of the season.
What are We Really Rooting For?
A tank isn’t really an adequate way to describe what most of the Anaheim Ducks fan base is currently rooting for. Of course, there are fans out there that want the Ducks to actually tank, and their reasons for wanting that can probably be justified. Nevertheless, most of us don’t actually want the team to purposely lose. No one ever wants to see the team they love lose just for the sake of losing. However, there are some incentives for losing, which makes this a complicated situation.
The race for Alexi Laafrenière is going to be a tight one. As it currently stands, the Ducks have about a 9.5% chance of winning the draft lottery. While the chances may be slim they draft first overall, we can still dream. However, the 2020 NHL Entry Draft is deep; filled with desirable prospects Anaheim would be lucky to have. Snagging a Top 5 pick, who is preferably a natural goal scorer, to pair with the talented playmaker that is Trevor Zegras, would be huge for the Ducks and a step in the right direction if they want to contend in the next 3-4 years.
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There are certain aspects taken from the idea of tanking that has been applied to the thought process of many fans as we watch our beloved Ducks burn this season to the ground. If they don’t have what it takes to be contenders for the Stanely Cup, why not root for the second-best option? The road to a high draft pick is either through a trade or losing and since the Ducks have been doing plenty of the latter, it makes it a lot easier to accept the fact that they had a hard time stringing together wins.
Nevertheless, we are never actively rooting for this team to lose. Despite the fact that they will more than likely miss the playoffs for the second year in a row, we are still elated when they win. Victory is not disappointing, however, neither are losses. The best way to describe the current trend sweeping through Ducks Nation is acceptance: acceptance that they aren’t the team they used to be, acceptance that the Ducks are possibly on the verge of a rebuild, and acceptance that losing is just in their nature this season.
At the end of the day, a few years of struggling is worth success in the future, and fans are slowly beginning to realize that. All the fans really want is to see improvements, even if it ends in a loss. While it’s hard to see past the glaring mistakes, we’ve seen several improvements this season. Granted, it’s been a roller coaster, but at this point, every single small victory is worth celebrating.
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