Originally posted on Tonight's Healthy Scratches  |  Last updated 1/23/12

Don't look now, but the Anaheim Ducks have just gotten into the Flying V and are propelling up the Western Conference standings. When the Ducks ousted former head coach Randy Carlyle and brought in Bruce Boudreau just days after he himself was sent packing from Washington, the team was in utter disarray. 

With a 7-13-4 record, and a heavily under-producing offense, it seemed as if the Ducks were going to be battling Columbus for a lottery pick, rather than the top dogs in the West for a high seed in the playoffs.

Fast forward six weeks, and the Ducks are currently the hottest team in the NHL.

After hiring Boudreau in early December, the Ducks continued to produce more of the same, puttering to a 3-8-2 record under their new coach. 

Enter January.

Call it a New Year's resolution if you wish, but since the calendar flipped to 2012, the Ducks have been nearly unstoppable. Perhaps Bruce Boudreau channeled his inner Gordon Bombay after the Holidays, because after looking like D-5 for the first three months of the season, the Ducks have transformed into a well-oiled machine.

Over their past 10 games, the Ducks have posted an eye-opening 8-1-1 record, outscoring their opponents 35-19 over that span.

Despite their tenacious start to 2012, the Ducks have built themselves one giant-sized hole to crawl out of. When Boudreau took over the team, the Ducks sat dead last in the Pacific division, and just one point out of last place in the Western Conference.

Although their game has done a complete 360, they still remain dead last in the Pacific, and 11 points out of eighth place.

With the trade deadline looming, and many general managers around the league starting to feel the pressure of tinkering with their lineups in anticipation of the final leg of the regular season, the Ducks and general manager Bob Murray are in a tricky situation.

With the way the team has been playing of late, will Murray be less intrigued to start shipping key parts of his team away?

As Pro Hockey Talk's James O'Brien pointed out, February will be a strong test to whether or not the Ducks can really make a run at the postseason.

The Ducks will spend a the majority of the month on the road. After a four-game home stand, the Ducks will get ready in the visitor's dressing room for nine of the final 11 games of February.

Not only will the fact that they're on the road be an obstacle, but the caliber of teams they are playing is also a battle. Outside of a couple of winnable games against Eastern Conference cellar-dwellers, Sabres, Hurricanes and Tampa Bay, the Ducks have their work cut out for them.

Will the Ducks prevail through the tough stretch next month or will they be like the rest of America, who is rapidly starting to give up on their resolutions after five weeks?

MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Kyrie Irving told Cavs he wouldn’t report to training camp

Rob Gronkowski has given up alcohol with new diet

Report: Browns looking to trade Osweiler, Colts potential destination

Frank Lester: Jon Jones’ positive steroid test is a ‘straight set up’

Jimbo Fisher calls suspension rule ‘absolutely ridiculous’

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Top storyline for each Week 3 NFL preseason game

LeSean McCoy seemingly responds to trade rumors

Emmanuel Sanders involved in car accident on way to team facility

Old Isaiah Thomas tweet about LeBron goes viral following trade

Report: Smaller-market teams support Pacers in tampering case against Lakers

Report: MRI confirms ankle sprain for Odell Beckham Jr.

The 'When the Doctor took the Big Apple by storm' quiz

BIG3 Referee Hotline: Calls routed from 1-900-MIX-A-LOT

The Indians are on a mission to make you pay attention whether you want to or not

15 college football coaches who are on the hot seat

Getaway Day: The playing field is leveling off as the wild-card chase takes shape

The 'Anquan Boldin calls it a career' quiz

Sports & Politics Intersect: Echoes of Charlottesville ripple across the sports world

BIG3 Playoff Preview: Can anyone stop Trilogy?

Why the SEC is not the best football conference anymore

Box Score 8/18: Reds and Cubs claw through a 23-run game

The 'M! E! S! S! Mess! Mess! Mess!' quiz

Three Up, Three Down: Giancarlo Stanton won't stop hitting homers

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

BIG3 Referee Hotline: Calls routed from 1-900-MIX-A-LOT

The 'When the Doctor took the Big Apple by storm' quiz

The Indians are on a mission to make you pay attention whether you want to or not

The 'Anquan Boldin calls it a career' quiz

Getaway Day: The playing field is leveling off as the wild-card chase takes shape

Sports & Politics Intersect: Echoes of Charlottesville ripple across the sports world

BIG3 Playoff Preview: Can anyone stop Trilogy?

The 'Bye bye to the Beast Incarnate?' quiz

Why the SEC is not the best football conference anymore

The 'M! E! S! S! Mess! Mess! Mess!' quiz

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker