And What If?
A question that a lot of Ducks fans are going to be asking is this: what if the Anaheim Ducks don’t make the playoffs? Is this season a failure? They missed the playoffs last year, so it would be back to back years in which the Ducks would be home for the playoffs. And, in back to back years, the Ducks got off to rough starts, which could be catalysts as to why they didn’t get to the big show last year and probably won’t get there this year.
To me, it would still be a failure, but not as huge as it was last year. Last year, things were a complete crapshoot. No one wanted to play, no one wanted to coach, no one wanted to be there. Last year, it felt like everyone was playing the blame game and it was a dumpster fire galore. This year, it’s different; as much as there have been struggles, the one thing that Ducks fans can say without question is that the Ducks have shown the fight that was missing last year, and they have made strides as far as making sure that the future isn’t going to be all for naught.
While I don’t think that they haven’t bought into Dallas Eakins‘ strategy, I do think that with the way they’ve been playing with one another and their continuity has become stronger, that they have at least not decided to mutiny against their coach either. I believe that within a few years, the Ducks will not be just a playoff contender, but a Cup contender, a team that will be competing against the best in the West.
One of the best moments that has happened so far was the honoring of the past: Corey Perry and Andrew Cogliano coming back to Anaheim a month ago. Those two were a part of the success in the past including what will go down in history forevermore as one of the most incredible playoff series comebacks we’ve seen against Edmonton; especially Corey Perry’s double-overtime game-winner, and Andrew Cogliano, who scored the game-tying goal in game seven in the second period, leading to Nick Ritchie’s game-winner that vaulted the Ducks in the Western Conference finals.
One of the best moments on the ice was against the Nashville Predators at our home ice last month when we won in a shootout. Despite giving up a two-goal lead late in the third period, the fact that the Ducks beat a team that had been a thorn in our side is something to look at and say that things were looking up. The best part of that game was when the captain Ryan Getzlaf potted home the game-winner to complete the win because he’s been through the wars with them, so to see him get the job done for us was something that all Ducks fans were glad to see, even if the win wasn’t in the playoffs.
If the Ducks don’t make the playoffs, there is some hope that next year, the team will finally breakthrough because the young guys had a year and will now have a full year in the league to learn from and find ways to improve going into. Plus, there will be some offseason tweaks and trades that will improve the roster, so don’t expect the Anaheim Ducks to look the same regardless of the outcome.