Originally posted on Fox Sports West  |  Last updated 2/27/12
No other National Hockey League team can match the Anaheim Ducks' 38 points in 2012. While the Red Wings, Canucks, Blues and Rangers may have commanded more attention, Anaheim's 17-3-4 record since January 6 has lifted a team that was once 20 points out of a playoff spot to just six points out and gaining momentum heading into Monday night's swing game at Colorado (6:00 PT Prime Ticket). "We'll take it. We take every win we can get right now," coach Bruce Boudreau said after Sunday's 3-1 win over the Chicago Blackhawks. "I mean, nobody else seems to want to lose that's going for the playoffs in the west, so we're going to have to try to do it ourselves." The day began with less-than-encouraging results courtesy of rival playoff hopefuls. Dallas erased a 2-0 deficit and won in overtime against Vancouver, giving them 70 points and the number eight seed before Minnesota came from behind to defeat San Jose 4-3 for 65 points. The Ducks' 64 points are good for the 13th spot in the west, though with Chicago and San Jose's recent struggles, the sixth spot in the conference is completely up for grabs as the Blackhawks and Sharks fight for their postseason lives. Nine points separate sixth-place Chicago from 13th-place Anaheim. Should the team be fortunate enough to make the playoffs, their second half play would certainly make them capable of a deep run. So will general manager Bob Murray add a piece or two prior to Monday's deadline to bulk up for the season's home stretch? "Don't have a clue," captain Ryan Getzlaf said. "I wish I could give you anything, but that's not my job. We've been grinding for the last month, and every day's been Groundhog's Day for us around here. We just keep plugging away, and that's all we can do as a group. We'll be ready to play tomorrow night, whatever group we have." Usually quick to opine, Boudreau didn't think a shakeup would be a good thing for this Ducks locker room at the present time. "Not for us, I don't. We like what we've got, so I don't expect too much," he said. Anaheim had already received a boost last week when Devante Smith-Pelly rejoined the team in Tampa Bay after missing two months with a broken foot sustained while blocking a shot for Team Canada at the World Junior Championships. His strength, forechecking and ability to drive to the net complemented the work engineered by linemates Andrew Cogliano and Nick Bonino and led to the Ducks' game-tying goal in the first period. Though he didn't earn a point in his 13:33 of ice time, he was named the third star of the game and by virtue of his health has allowed Anaheim to add a valuable third-line physical winger for nothing prior to the trading deadline. "They're playing well," Getzlaf said of Smith-Pelly and Bonino's contributions. "They've got a little thing going, some chemistry with the three of them. It's been great. We need scoring from everywhere, and they're playing well defensively, grinding teams down in the offensive zone and forcing some d-men to play a lot of minutes over there." Two months ago, Lubomir Visnovsky's name was one that many had expected would receive some interest around the trading deadline, but considering the Ducks went 2-9-2 when the defenseman was sidelined with a broken finger in the first half of the season, he won't be going anywhere. Bobby Ryan was also a name that received considerable play in trade projections during the season's first half, but with the stretch Anaheim is currently on, trading an emotional, well-liked and productive leader is the absolute last thing on Bob Murray's mind. When the dust finally settles shortly after noon Pacific Time on Monday, there may be some nip and tuck here and there on this Ducks roster, but why take the team into the shop if there's nothing that needs to be fixed? Saying that he's "enjoying every second of it right now," an excited Teemu Selanne gave an encouraging report of the team's state following his one-goal, two-point, first star performance. "Obviously, when you go through some tough times like we did in the first half, and it was just like you couldn't believe what was happening here. When it turns around, it has been unbelievable, so much fun," Selanne said. "That's why we all play hockey. We try to keep pushing and enjoy this all the way. Lot of good things going right now." NOTES: With his third period goal, Selanne recorded his 1,395th career point and moved past Los Angeles Kings legend Luc Robitaille for 20th place on the all-time scoring list. He is three points behind 19th place Jari Kurri's 1,398 points and with four points would become the highest scoring Finnish player of all time. Said Selanne: "That's a big honor. Obviously Jari was my idol, and if somebody would have told me while I was younger that I'm going to have more points than Jari Kurri, that would be unrealistic. That's a big honor. I don't think about those numbers much, but reaching his numbers, its unbelievable and it's almost overwhelming." The standing room-only crowd of 17,601 was the largest regular season crowd to ever watch a Ducks game at Honda Center. Saku Koivu recorded his 200th game as a Duck and his 992nd career NHL game. Sheldon Brookbank's game-winner was only his third career goal. He has two goals in five games; prior to his game-tying goal on February 17 at New Jersey, he had gone 167 games without scoring. Bruce Boudreau is 20-12-6 as Anaheim's head coach. Since his debut with Washington on November 23, 2007, Boudreau has gone 221-100-46, good for a league-best .665 winning percentage over that span.
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