Through 36 games, the Ducks have played a league high 21 road games with a record of 11-7-3 away from the Pond (versus having only played 15 games at home, tied for 29th in the league). Those 11 wins are topped only by 2 other teams (Los Angeles and Chicago) and no team in the Eastern Conference has more than 10 wins. While the Ducks are not as good away from home (13-0-2), they are still playing very well on the road. And on top of that, this team appears to finally be getting healthy. In the last 2 games the Ducks have welcomed 3 significant players back to their lineup.
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The Ducks have played over half of their road games and the season is not yet half over, meaning that the Ducks have had arguably the most grueling schedule in the league. The number of road games this team has played have truly made them road warriors. While they aren't dominating opposing teams on the road (though they did a pretty damn good job against a banged up Detroit team), they are playing hard and physical in opposing arenas and coming away with at least a point, if not 2, more often than not.
The amazing thing is the Ducks special teams on the road has been pretty awful. The Ducks have only scored 8 powerplay goals in their 21 road games, converting on 12.9% of their chances, good for 23rd in the league for powerplays on the road. And their penalty kill on the road is just as bad. The Ducks have allowed 16 powerplay goals, killing only 76.8% of the penalties they commit on the road, also good for 23rd in the league. Despite those poor numbers, the Ducks have still scored 58 goals on the road, 2nd in the league behind only Chicago.
The worst road game for the Ducks was the season opener against Colorado. That has been their worst game all season and it was just an abysmal night for the team. Nothing more really needs to be said about it. After that game, the only other road game that truly sticks out to me as being really bad was the 5-1 defeat to Tampa. In that game, the Ducks were suffering from the flu, and it was clear on the ice that they were not ready that night. Other than those 2 games, the Ducks have been in virtually every other road game this season, and on only 2 other occasions did they lose by more than 2 goals (in Montreal and Dallas). Even when they don't win games, the Ducks are putting up a strong fight and keeping the games close.
It's hard to pick the Ducks best road game of the season, there have been a few gems so far. The game in Phoenix where they handed the Coyotes their 1st regulation loss of the season was pretty spectacular. And their last 2 road games in St. Louis and Detroit have both been 5-2 wins, and the Blues are one of the dominant teams in the west, and Joe Louis Arena has always been a house of horrors for the Ducks in the regular season. I believe that was just the Ducks 5th win their in the regular season (playoffs are another matter). So both of those games were huge for the Ducks.
To go along nicely with the Ducks 6 game win streak, they are finally getting some players back into the lineup. In the last 2 games the Ducks have had Mathieu Perreault, Francois Beauchemin, and Jakob Silfverberg all return from injury and contribute right away. In the last 3 games the trio have combined for 5 games, 1 goal, 2 assists, and a +7 rating. Against Edmonton Perreault and Beauchemin came back after missing 4 and 10 games respectively, and both helped the Ducks pull out the victory. Perreault had the primary assist on Selanne's 2nd period goal, and Beauchemin was a rock on the back end. He had 3 hits and was a +2 in the game. In Detroit, after having missed over 20 games, Silfverberg scored 25 seconds after the Red Wings had taken a 1 goal lead. He had 3 shots and hit a post too. If the Ducks are to continue to play this well, these 3 will need to continue to be key contributors for the team. It's nice to be writing about 3 players coming back, instead of writing about 3 players leaving the lineup, as has been done many times this season.
The funny thing is, the Ducks have 3 more games on their current road trip. When it's finished, they will have played 24 of their 41 road games and will have played 39 games this season. By the time the Ducks reach the seasons half way point of the season, they will have played 25 games on the road. Meaning that the Ducks will have a ton of home games in the 2nd half of the season. And with their current record, the Ducks have set themselves up very nicely for the 2nd half. If they can keep their momentum going at home, the Ducks are going to finish this season very strongly and put themselves in excellent position once the playoffs start. The Ducks are going to lose in regulation at home this season, I have no doubt that will happen. But if they can play as well in the 2nd half as they have in the 1st half, the Ducks are going to rack up a lot of home wins in the final 41 games of the season.
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