Of course it couldn’t be pretty.
The Anaheim Ducks tweeted the following when crossing into overtime clinched their playoff spot: “Not a goal, but an expectation.”
Even the Ducks would probably admit that they wouldn’t be so bold with such a proclamation back in, say, November.
In a way, Thursday’s game against the Toronto Maple Leafs runs parallel to the Ducks’ odd little 2015-16 season. They waddled badly out of the gate in falling behind by a score of 4-1 in the waning moments of the second period, yet Anaheim once again reminded us that they shouldn’t be dismissed, even under trying circumstances.
Remarkably, the Ducks ended up roaring back to a 5-4 lead.
Heck, even most of their offense came from reinforcements, hammering home this theme in another way.
Again, that’s a strangely fitting microcosm of their season, although the ultimate result (a 6-5 overtime loss to the lowly Leafs) means that the Ducks don’t want the analogy to be too accurate.
Deep down, more than a few Ducks fans probably let out a sigh of relief tonight.