Mar 15, 2012, 11:52 AM EDT
After Wednesday’s 4-0 win over Detroit, the Anaheim Ducks found themselves sitting 12th in the Western Conference with 71 points — nine back of eighth-place Colorado — with 11 games left to play.
For some, getting into the playoffs from this position would represent a monumental, if not impossible, challenge.
Not so for Ducks head coach Bruce Boudreau.
“It can be done,” he told the OC Register. “Until I look and do the math and we’re six points out with two games to go or things like that, we’re going to fight and see where it leads.”
If the Ducks do go 11-0 down the stretch — the quest for 12 started with last night’s victory over Detroit — it still might not be enough, as it would leave them with 93 points. Chicago was the No. 8 seed a year ago with 97 (ninth-place Dallas had 95, 10th-place Calgary had 94). You’d have to go all the way back to 2008-09 to find a Western Conference playoff team with 93 points or fewer.
That said, Boudreau has reason for optimism. During his first year in Washington, the Capitals won 11 of their final 12 games, making the postseason on the last day — going from 72 points to 94. It marked one of the more stirring comebacks in recent NHL history.
“When I’m preaching that it can happen, it’s not like it hasn’t happened,” Boudreau said. “The schedule has not been in our favor, but now it starts to turn in our favor.
“Whether it’s too late or not, we’ll see.”
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