It’s about time the NHL.com weekly Super 16 Power Rankings got clued in to the fact that the Anaheim Ducks are doing very well right now. I’ve written before about how the Ducks are like the forgotten Western Conference superpower, lost among the other strong teams coming out of time zones that aren’t Eastern.
This week’s installment of the power rankings sees the Ducks jump from ninth place into fifth, so at least they’re in the top five now. Keep in mind that they weren’t ranked at all prior to last week.
Strangely, though, the little blurb accompanying the Ducks’ fifth-place finish slants a little negative. It focuses on how the Ducks are weak on the penalty kill, which is a valid criticism, but considering that the teams in first, second, third and fourth place all have blurbs spotlighting a strong aspect of their games, it seems odd that the Anaheim focus should be on penalty kill weakness. They try to spin it as a sign that Anaheim’s game could get even better if they work harder at killing penalties, but still, it seems to be a strange point to mention.
Consider, of course, that Viktor Fasth has been stellar in goal, or that Teemu Selanne and Saku Koivu are proving that age isn’t everything and the team is finally getting the secondary scoring they need to stay strong. Seven Ducks have at least four goals to their names right now through 11 games played, including Koivu, Selanne and Bobby Ryan but also Daniel Winnik and Sheldon Souray, whose +10 rating leads all defensemen in the league. (Koivu’s +11 leads the league when all skaters are considered.)
But hey, their penalty kill is weak, which is what fans who might not be able to watch Ducks games need to know if they want to know the strongest aspect of each team’s performance. Ah, well. Keep trying, NHL. Maybe you’ll figure it out about the Ducks eventually.