Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 12/31/07 at 04:40 PM ET
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
On Sunday, the Ducks became the first NHL team to reach the mid-point of the season — and while they were technically in eighth spot in the Western Conference, most of the teams chasing them held three-to-five games in hand. Prorated over the course of a full season, their 43 points in 41 games is unlikely to be enough to get them into the playoffs. So they need to make a surge, and with five of their next six games at home, and with checking centre Sami Pahlsson scheduled to return to the line-up, this would be a good time to start the turnaround.
The identity of the team is still evolving, but it is clear they will be playing in a lot of low-scoring games from here on in, barring the return of Teemu Selanne or a deal at the deadline to add a goal-scorer - given the strength of their defensive corps, from Niedermayer and Chris Pronger to Schneider and Francois Beauchemin and their comparatively limited offensive personnel.
read on... and remember that internet rumor junk that was floating around, “if you knew the real reason why Niedermayer wants to retire, you would understand”?, well, in the article from Eric, Scott says he just wanted to make sure he wanted to play again, no conspiracy theories…
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