The Ducks were happy to have Teemu Selanne join them in Tampa Bay. After being out a couple weeks with a broken jaw (following missing 17 games with a broken hand), Selanne is skating with the team once again. He is also eating again, a task that was difficult to do with his jaw wired shut.
Will he be able to play in the final two road games in Tampa Bay and Florida? Probably not. But is his always positive and upbeat personality a welcome breath of fresh air to a team that has lost three of their last four games? Absolutely.
If the Ducks have taken a close look at the standings, they will need someone to remind them of the positive. It looks bleak.
The Ducks are in 12th place, having slipped two notches in just a couple of days. They have 55 points and it is reasonable to assume that they will need at least 95 to obtain a playoff spot.
There are 28 games remaining on the Ducks schedule. The reality check is that the Ducks will still need 40 of those 56 points in order to have a glimmer of chance at the playoffs. 20 out of 28 wins. Or more importantly – they can only lose 8 more games the rest of the season.
Yes, there are more permutations if you want to factor in the extra point for an overtime loss, but how about we just keep it simple, hmm?
Of the remaining games, 15 are at home. 13 are on the road.
At home the Ducks are 16-8-2. They are winning 2 out of 3 games there. If you continue to win 2 out of 3 games, the Ducks should get 10 more wins at home, which is 20 points. Better case scenario would be for the Ducks to win 3 out of every 4 home games, which would translate to just over 11 wins and 22 points.
The problem is that the Ducks are downright bad on the road. With the exception of the St. Louis Blues, every single team in a playoff spot in the Western Conference has a winning record on the road. The Ducks are 8-15-5. That means they are losing nearly half the games that they are playing. If they keep going that way, they will likely pick up points in only 7 of the remaining 13 games. That would translate to 14 points.
Keeping the math simple and assuming continued numbers, that would only be 34 points more that the Ducks can reasonably project in their final 28 games.
You don’t have to be a math major to know that won’t be enough. Unless the Ducks can turn around their fortunes while on the road, the Ducks will merely be road kill. And Selanne will have plenty of time to play golf and muse about his likely retirement.