Going into Monday, Bruce Boudreau told NHL.com that he’s crunched the numbers and steadfastly believes that the Anaheim Ducks are “still eligible” for the playoffs.
Still, if Anaheim lost to the Edmonton Oilers, it would probably have been a near-knockout blow for the team’s slim playoff hopes. While the game wasn’t always pretty, the Ducks did what they had to do to win a 4-2 contest against the lowly Oilers (whose pain ran deepest when former Ducks defenseman Ryan Whitney essentially assisted on a Corey Perry empty-netter).
Boudreau insists that the Ducks – now firmly in 12th place with 68 points – don’t need 98 points to make the playoffs. Sports Club Stats seems to back him up as the site gives Anaheim a 73.5 percent chance if they go 11-2-2, which would leave them with “just” 92 points.
So, yeah, technically the Ducks aren’t out of the mix, but with a 1.1 percent chance of making it, the team might look back at tonight with a different perspective in about a month.
Milestones for Ducks
Teemu Selanne collected an assist to reach the 1,398-point mark, tying Finnish icon Jari Kurri for 19th all-time among NHL scorers. Selanne admitted that locking up “his hero” was “more special” than his other recent milestones. (In less-sexy news, he tied Joe Thornton for 42nd all-time with 740 assists.)
Perry scored his 200th goal and moved on to 201 with that empty-netter, so it was an evening that should be memorable for the past and the future of the franchise more than the present.