There once was a time when opposing teams entering the Honda Center to play the Anaheim Ducks were expected to lose.
How quickly things change.
After starting the season with a remarkable 20-0-2 record at the Honda Center, the Ducks have gone 4-5-2 in their last 11 home games as they continued to struggle in Anaheim on Monday night in a 3-1 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs.
In a physical game that saw three fights, the Ducks fell behind 3-0 early in the second period and never had a chance at getting back into the game. Corey Perry scored the lone goal for Anaheim late in the second period, but it still wasn’t enough to muster up a comeback.
The Ducks came back from the Olympic break first in the NHL and looked at the five-game homestand as an opportunity to cement themselves as leaders in the Presidents’ Trophy race. But after winning the first two contests, the Ducks have lost three straight, with the first regulation loss since the break coming in Monday night’s defeat.
The best thing for the Ducks may be to get away from Anaheim. Despite the success at home, the Ducks have fared just as well away from the Honda Center as their road record sits at 19-9-3. Calgary will be the first destination on the upcoming road trip as the Ducks face off against the Calgary Flames on Wednesday night. Anaheim will then look to avenge its opening night loss to the Colorado Avalanche on Friday before heading back to California to take on the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday.
As for any worried Ducks fans, no need to panic. The Ducks still sit on top of the Pacific Division standings and near the top of the Western Conference standings. Winning the Presidents’ Trophy is a nice feather in your cap, but it doesn’t guarantee a Stanley Cup.
And after last season’s first round exit courtesy of the Detroit Red Wings, a Stanley Cup is the only thing that would make worried Ducks fans happy again.