Playoffs are coming

Let's go back literally a couple of weeks ago. "Anaheim" is third in the division, hopelessly behind the "San Jose" by nine points. Alternate wins and losses, the team can not win even two games in a row. Goals are given with great difficulty, in general the game leaves much to be desired.

At that time, I would not even know what to write before the start of the playoffs. In addition, that everything is bleak with some kind of hopelessness and the Ducks would be an outsider in the series against absolutely any team. Yes, there really, at that time there was no certainty that the team would end up in post-season.

And now, a month later, the "Dax" alone heads the division. And go see how it happened. Of course, many thanks should be said to the "Sharks", who have already suffered six defeats in a row in regular time. Maybe, of course, this is a plan for the teams, which for a long time have practically secured their place in the playoffs and just want to rest. And "Washington", and "San Jose", and "Minnesota" - all are in decline. Only it is not very clear if this recession is planned, or not. This will show only the playoffs. But it is rare that the team entered a steep peak and suddenly emerged from the magic wand.

"Anaheim" himself in the last ten matches scored eight wins with just one defeat in regular time. Hopefully, Carlisle and the company had such a plan - to lead the team to the peak of the form in the end, and not that it happened by accident and in two weeks the team will be blown away.

Most importantly, what inspires optimism is the game of the team. The attack has worked, in defense everything is also more or less good. Even Jonathan Bernier played. Perhaps he was helped a little by Gibson's injury, but nevertheless.

The goalkeeper question is also the team's first problem before the approaching matches for the flight. Who will be the first team number? Gibson seems to have practically recovered and will soon be ready to play. But the question is: will he have time to get the right form? If he has time, will he have enough experience and will he be able to cope with the nerves? The last playoff was Gibson started as the main goalkeeper, but did not cope with the nerves and after two matches gave way to Frederick Andersen.

Another reason for concern - the game in the majority. Before yesterday's Rangers Kesler scored a goal against Rangers, the Ducks could not distinguish themselves in the majority for fifteen consecutive attempts! Before that, there was a similarly protracted stretch - nineteen chances to realize excess without goals. Carlisle believes that players need to throw more, and less pass. Well, let's see, maybe after the goal Kessler in this component will come an improvement.

Another problem is the number of losses. Let's take yesterday's match against the same "Rangers". All three goals the players of "New York" scored in the result of counterattacks. And they could basically score one or two more. In the playoffs, such a large number of losses is unacceptable.

Let's move on to the pluses. Defense - everything seems to be good. At the moment, at least. Successful combinations are found that work. A great season holds Cam Fowler. Hampus Lindholm shows a game worthy of his new contract. Josh Manson plays above expectations. I would like to see Sami Vatanen stand out more, in terms of attack from him, expect more.

Attack. The first link played just amazing. Ryan Getslaf finally played like a real captain. Ryan for the seventh time in his career overcame the mark of 50 assists. This week there were seven of them in three games.

About Ricard Raquella, you can write a separate article. Rick has already scored 32 goals and is the team leader in this indicator. This is more than 2 times more than Cory Perry, on account of which fifteen goals. But Perry is a separate topic, and to Rakellu pretziy for the season is just zero and it remains to be hoped that he will continue in the same spirit.

Patrick Ives became a real strengthening of the team, for which management thanks a lot. In general, at last the first link plays as the first.

For most of the season, the first link was played by the second. Kesler, along with Cogliano and Silverberg, was dragged not only in defense, but also in attack. Now, fortunately, the first link removes some of the load from the Kesler link. But this does not mean that Ryan and his partners began to play worse. And by the end of the season, Kesler is obliged to get "Selke Trophy", this season he has no competitors.

The third and fourth links cause questions. Everyone knows that the Stanley Cup is won mainly thanks to a good game "bottom-6". For example, last year's "Pittsburgh" won in many respects thanks to the amazing game of the third link Hagelin - Bonino - Kessel.

It would be very good if Cory Perry finally got the game. In partners he has Antoine Vermette and Nick Richie. And this link clearly needs to improve the game. They must become the prototype of the Pittsburgh KhBC, if Anaheim wants to compete for the victory in the Stanley Cup.

In the fourth link is a character like Jaret Boll, so with them the demand is not very large. The main thing is that they do not bring goals to their own goal.

In general, while somehow so. There are interesting two weeks of the ending of the regular season, some teams are fighting for getting into the playoffs, some are trying to improve their positions, some just rest (?) Before the playoffs. Choosing an opponent in the Western Conference is pretty stupid, and it's hardly possible, unlike the East, where the "Rangers" successfully take advantage of the shortcomings of the current format of getting into the playoffs.

"Anaheim" for these two weeks you need to improve some of the components of your game and keep those positive moments that are. There is hope for a positive outcome of this season.