About a month and a half ago, we wrote about the Anaheim Ducks and how their underlying possession numbers left quite a bit to be desired.
So it’s only fair that we point out that those same numbers have dramatically improved since then.
In the Ducks’ last 20 games, their score-adjusted Fenwick ranks seventh in the NHL. In their last ten, it’s fourth. That compares to 14th in their first 58 games, and 26th in the month of February alone.
Oh, and the Ducks have also won seven of their last nine. (In case you believe wins and losses are a worthwhile statistic, too.)
To be sure, this team still has a lot to prove. Anaheim has only won two playoff series since winning the Stanley Cup in 2007; the Ducks’ two goaltenders are capable, but inexperienced; and their 20th-ranked goals-against is a potential red flag, given the success of elite defensive teams in the playoffs.
But having a solid score-adjusted Fenwick is a promising way to go into the postseason. Just consider recent history. The Kings ranked first in their final 20 games last year. The Blackhawks were second the year before. The Kings were first the year before that.
We all know how things ended for those teams.