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Gauging the surging Anaheim Ducks’ playoff prospects

Feb 15, 2012, 10:02 PM EDT

Anaheim Ducks v Pittsburgh Penguins Getty Images

The hot-and-cold Anaheim Ducks are downright torrid now, but if you want to put their overall body of work in perspective, peek at their record after a 2-1 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins. (Click here to see Teemu Selanne‘s game-winning [and historic] goal.)

24-24-9 for 57 points.

As hot as the Ducks have been – and as eerily familiar as this run is becoming compared to last season’s surge – the team is just now at .500. That doesn’t sound like the stuff of a Western Conference playoff team, but let’s dig a little deeper.

The cold, nerdy perspective

Sports Club Stats is the generally agreed-upon source for sober analysis of every team’s playoff chances. That site’s forecast of the Ducks’ chances isn’t very sunny right now: they’re currently at 6 percent, which places them 13th overall in the West.

The schedule

Anaheim’s immediate future doesn’t lend much in the way of optimism – at least if you ignore the context of its scalding run. The Ducks still have four road games in a row and five of their next six away from Anaheim. There’s also a four-out-of-five away run to in early March.

Trending up

That schedule bit can only rain on the Ducks’ parade so much because they’ve gone 3-0-1 in the first half of their current eight-game road trip. The Ducks are also enjoying a seven-game points streak (5-0-2) and have been hot in general since the New Year, putting together an impressive 14-3-3 mark.

The big picture

Excluding the four bubble teams in front of them for the sake of sanity, the Ducks are six points behind eighth-place Phoenix and trail the Blackhawks and Kings by eight as of this writing. Anaheim has 11 home and 14 road games remaining on its schedule.

Circling back to Sports Club Stats, the Ducks would have a 61.1 percent chance to make the playoffs if they go 16-7-2, a 78 percent chance if they go 16-6-3 and so on. In other words, they’d need to more-or-less duplicate the great work from 2012 while hoping that some of their peers stumble.

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The Ducks face a steep mountain, but they did last season as well. Can they do it again? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Here are highlights from that Ducks-Penguins game:

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  1. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Feb 15, 2012 at 10:06 PM

    Playoffs? Don’t talk about playoffs. Getzlaf is coming to the Leafs.

    • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Feb 15, 2012 at 10:16 PM

      Not that we need him to beat the Oilers.

  2. blomfeld - Feb 16, 2012 at 1:20 AM

    SURGING SCHMURGING !

    I realize that the author of this article likely means well and that he’s produced it in good faith, etc … but what a load of rubbish ! The Ducks are “surging” in the western conference about as fast as Greek government bonds are surging in value on the open market ! The entire concept is preposterous and completely comical.

    On the other hand friends, you only need to drive north for about 45 minutes on the 405 freeway to find a team that is about to start surging ! … you got it, our beloved LA Kings ! Coach Sutter knows “exactly” what’s going on and the Kings are about to go “berserk”, literally ! So all you Canucks, Red Wings and Sharks fans had better start running now while you still have a chance, as the LA King’s juggernaut is about to start rolling !

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