Are the Ducks the worst team in the NHL right now?
The Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the Anaheim Ducks 6-1 on Monday night at Scotiabank Arena. It's the latest black-eye for the Ducks, who have lost four in a row and 16 of 18 (2-12-4).
Toronto cruised to the victory, thanks to a four-point night from Andreas Johnsson (2g 2a) and a 24-save performance from former-Duck, Freddie Andersen. It was Toronto's third straight home victory.
The Ducks played a decent first period, not allowing a goal. Sadly, Anaheim failed to score a goal and the teams headed into the intermission knotted at zero. It was Anaheim's best period of hockey in a while. That should tell you all you need to know about the state of this team. It was a complete 180 from the Winnipeg game, when the defense hemorrhaged goals. Twenty minutes of 0-0 hockey is as good as it gets right now.
Monday night's game pretty much went downhill from there.
Toronto sandwiched three goals in the second period and three goals in the third period around Rickard Rakell's 9th goal of the season.
Everybody in and around the organization has got to be boiling over with frustration. From the players, the coaches, to the fans and even the broadcast team; all seem resigned to the fact that simply scoring a goal is a bonus.
We know how bad things have been over the last month and a half, but it's been bleak for most of the season. Anaheim's record is only palatable because of John Gibson's heroics. Even Gibson can't save this team anymore. The Ducks' MVP's been pulled in three consecutive games and got the hook in the Toronto game after allowing five goals on 35 shots.
Anaheim's been outscored 23-5 during this latest four-game skid. The Ducks situation is dire and I can't help but think they are the worst team in the NHL right now.
Let's look at some of the evidence.
- Anaheim's 2-8-2 record in the last 10 games in the worst of any team during that span.
- The Ducks have scored one or fewer goals in 10 of the past 18 games.
- They're not just losing, they are being curb-stomped. The Ducks have lost by three or more goals 12 times this season.
- They have a polar vortex-like minus-40 goal differential.
- Anaheim's 120 goals for, rank 30th in the NHL, one behind L.A,. Yay... #BeatLA
- With 21 wins, they are tied for 28th in the league in victories and only two better than last place Ottawa. The Sens have played one less game too.
- When they go on a losing streak they really make it count. The Ducks have losing streaks of seven games (0-5-2), 12 (0-8-4) games and now four games (0-4).
- They get worse as the game rolls along. They have been outscored by 24 goals in the second period and by a dozen in the third.
- Once upon a time, the Ducks could never be counted out of a game. Nowadays, they are doomed even when they fall behind early. They are 4-13-1 when trailing after one period, 6-17-2 when trailing after two periods and only 9-3-3 when LEADING after 40 minutes of play.
- John Gibson has faced over a 100 shots more than any other netminder in the league.
I could keep piling on, but I think you get my point. At least they get to go back at it in less than 24 hours vs. a red-hot and rested Montreal Canadiens team.
Thanks for reading,