NASHVILLE -- Corey Perry doesn’t need to look at the standings in the Western Conference to know where the Anaheim Ducks are. After early-season struggles, they rebounded and won 10 of the 14 games heading into the All-Star break, leaving them two points behind the Arizona Coyotes for a playoff spot.
With 15 games left against Pacific Division opponents, Perry knows the importance of playing catch-up.
“It’s a chance to gain points that we missed out on early in the season and keep pushing forward,” said Perry.
A 12-15-6 start had many wondering if Bruce Boudreau would be canned and what kind of additional heat would be placed on general manager Bob Murray. The biggest surprise was that they couldn’t score, despite finishing in the top 10 last season.
Perry didn’t have an answer to what contributed to the offensive issues early on. Could it have just been some bad luck?
“Possibly. You can say bad luck,” he said. “You can use all the excuses in the world, but it just wasn’t getting the job done."
While the Ducks have watched their offense finally begin to trend in a positive direction, their team defense has been exactly where they’ve needed it with the playoffs on the horizon. In the 14 games since the Christmas break, Anaheim has allowed more than two goals three times, while posting a pair of shutouts and showing they can win those tight battles.
Can getting to that mindset early on in the season help in the second half? Perry believes so.
“For sure. It’s definitely going to help us. The way we’ve been playing lately, to get our wins we have to keep the team that we’re playing against under two goals or less, then we have a good shot at winning.
“If you can do that in this league you’re going to have a lot of chances to get wins and you’ve just got to capitalize on your opportunities.”
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