It’s been almost two weeks since the Anaheim Ducks last earned a point in the standings.
That’s not entirely their fault. They’ve only played once since beating Pittsburgh on Dec. 6.
But they did blow that one opportunity, dropping a 5-1 decision at home to Carolina on Dec. 11.
Tonight in Buffalo, they kick off a four-game road trip, with further stops in Newark, Brooklyn, and Manhattan, followed by the Christmas break.
“When you don’t get any points in (10) days, a lot of teams pass you and go by you,” coach Bruce Boudreau told the O.C. Register. “So the sense of urgency to get points is a little bit more. I think everybody knows the importance of this week.”
Picked by many to win the Stanley Cup, the Ducks (11-13-5) will begin their trip in last place in the worst division in the league, three points back of four teams.
On the bright side, they’re only four points out of second in said Pacific Division, with at least a game in hand on every team they’re chasing.
Looking ahead, the Ducks play seven of their next eight on the road, then get an eight-game home stand from Jan. 3-20. While it’s possible they could tread water during that stretch and still stay in the playoff race, this is not a roster that was built to tread water. Considering expectations, GM Bob Murray probably won’t stay patient forever.
“The ball’s in our court,” said forward Chris Stewart. “It’s just up to us.”