The Anaheim Ducks aren’t quite done with their season of record-breaking finishes.
On Monday night, the Ducks came back from a 4-0 deficit to defeat the Winnipeg Jets in overtime for the greatest comeback win in franchise history. And Wednesday night, the team’s win against the Edmonton Oilers marked the first 50-win season ever for the franchise.
In just 20 short years, the Ducks have gone from being an NHL team based on Hollywood dreams and movies to a Stanley Cup-winning organization to the California franchise playing the types of games this year that has finally put West Coast hockey on the map.
The list of NHL-best and franchise-record stats for the Ducks’ season seems to keep adding up, but for the players on the ice each night, it’s about something deeper than two points.
When asked about reaching the 50-win mark, Anaheim winger Corey Perry explained a record like that isn’t just about the number itself, it’s about the people you look around at in the locker room who pushed each other to attain that number.
Perry’s opinion puts a bit of a different spin on the Ducks’ play this season heading into the playoffs. While Anaheim has certainly had the ups and downs of every team in the NHL, one of the greatest strengths continues to be their compete level as a team. The previously mentioned comebacks don’t just happen; the team has to dig deep as a whole and figure out a way to get back into the game.
While the Ducks’ consistent inability to play smart hockey through entire games might prove a liability in the first round of the playoffs, Perry’s opinion of the 50-win season brings a bit of a silver lining to a potential death sentence for Anaheim’s Stanley Cup hopes.
No, the Ducks will not win the championship if the team continues down a path of bad starts and epic comebacks; Anaheim’s 5-2 loss against the Nashville Predators on Friday night proved this. But the mental ability the Ducks have to create such come-from-behind wins happens as a unit and proves the resilience you see when you look around the Ducks’ locker room — a bit of what Perry might have been referencing.
After all, the Stanley Cup has never been won by a single person alone — it is won as a team — and with the way the Ducks have played together this season, this year might be the team with the greatest finish of all.