The Anaheim Ducks proved their worthiness with a sweep of the Winnipeg Jets Wednesday night. The sweep allows the Ducks to rest before they face off against the Vancouver Canucks or Calgary Flames in the second round.
If the Ducks can defeat Winnipeg they might be an unstoppable force in the playoffs. It’s not easy to play in the MTS Centre. Winnipeg is a small town with big love for hockey. When the Jets scored, the stadium was so loud the television cameras shook.
But more importantly, the Ducks played ahead in all four games. If anything, the home crowd in Winnipeg gave the Ducks more strength, which could be dangerous for future opponents.
“[We knew] that we had to push,” said Ryan Kesler, who scored two goals in the third period. “We can’t sit back. We can’t be on our heels. We’ve got to be on our toes. That was the talk in the [dressing] room. We knew it was going to be [the Jets’] best period, and it was definitely one of our best periods.”
Elias Sports Bureau stated the Ducks only led for 38 minutes and 26 seconds during the four games, which totaled 240 minutes. They led for maybe 16% of the total time. Somehow the team not only managed to win the series, but to sweep.
“Good teams, they have to get scoring not just from their top line, but from all four lines, and we did tonight,” continued Kessler. “We’re going to need that the rest of the way.”
Analyst Neil Greenburg thinks this might be the year Bruce Boudreau wins the Stanley Cup with the team. Boudreau never coached a team past the second round, but this did not stop Greenburg from making his prediction since “17 teams that have swept their opponent in the first round – seven have gone on to the Finals and three have hoisted the Stanley Cup.”
More than likely the Ducks will defeat their second round opponent. The Ducks defeated the Flames 20 times in a row during the regular season. The last time the Flames beat the Ducks, George Bush was president and the Republicans held a majority in both chambers. Yes, the last time was January 19, 2004!
The Ducks also shut down Vancouver’s top scorers Henrik Sedin and Daniel Sedin. Each managed just one assist against the Ducks in the regular season. The last time the Canucks defeated the Ducks in regulation was March 9. Before that, the Canucks last defeated the Ducks on January 25, 2013.