Friday, April 18, 2008

Ducks Face Elimination

The Anaheim Ducks are defending Stanley Cup champions. Although they started slowly this season, when Scott Niedermayer and Teemu Selanne returned from sabbaticals, they were one of the best (if not the best) teams in the NHL. In the first round of the playoffs when they matched up with the Dallas Stars, who had played very poorly in the stretch, it looked like Anaheim would have an easy time of their first round series.

So far, their first round series has been anything but easy. Dallas leads it 3 games to one and thus has Anaheim on the brink of elimination. Dallas has outplayed Anaheim so far. They have outscored them 14-7 and outshot them by an average margin of 30-22. In this series so far, Anaheim has not looked like defending champions. As in the regular season, Dallas has been led by Mike Ribiero's offence (so far he has seven points).

All is not over for the Ducks. If you asked me if they could win three games straight against Dallas before the playoffs began, my answer would have been a resounding yes. In the slightly over a week of playoff games so far nothing has changed to shake that opinion. Anaheim is a good enough team that they could come back from a 3-1 deficit against the Stars. The problem is that they have to do it to continue on in the playoffs and that is a tough thing to accomplish.

I prefer to see a new champ every year anyway, keeps it more interesting, Go Stars!
Coming back from a 3-1 deficit has apparently only happened 20 times in NHL history. I don't have the data to know whether or not that is statistically favorable to the team with the lead or not. But on its face, that sure sounds like a very rare thing.(go stars)
1) As we outlined on our blog this morning, we blame Scott Niedermayer for the Ducks failures this post season!
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