Games in which the Ducks have matched their tight defense with an offensive outburst have been rare this season -- almost count-on-one-hand rare.
Sunday was an example of how good the Ducks can be when they give their goaltending the proper goal support. They jumped on the Winnipeg Jets early and didn’t allow much, if any, wiggle room in a 4-1 win.
Here’s what we learned:
Rickard Rakell is fun to watch.
Rakell had a goal and an assist but perhaps more impressive were two scoring chances in which he stick-handled around two defenders for a shot and danced around another on a separate play.
Rakell is one goal shy of his career-high nine goals last season. He’s shown the hands to go along with his power-forward game. It helps to play with Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry.
“I get to play a lot more than I used to,” Rakell said. “I have so many more scoring chances. It’s everything I want.”
The Ducks’ offense can loosen them up.
So often the Ducks get tight and deflated when the other team scores and they can’t respond. On Sunday, they were a relaxed group after they got leads of 2-0, 3-1 and 4-1.
They scored one goal in each of their previous three games.
“I think a game like tonight makes you believe that you can score more than one [goal] a game,” Ducks Coach Bruce Boudreau said.
Their power play can be effective when they get it.
The last part of that sentence is the operative one because the Ducks have the fewest power plays in the NHL (100).
It’s been a point of contention for Boudreau.
“One of these days we’ll get more power plays than the other team,” he said.
The Ducks scored on both their power plays to equal a season high, and have scored on the man advantage in three straight games. Boudreau credited assistant coach Paul McLean.
“Paul’s doing a great job with that,” he said. “We practice it every day pretty well. It’s about getting pucks to the net and getting hungry around the net, and it’s worked.”