There’s an old adage in baseball: every game you win in April is one you don’t have to win in September. Point being, a fast start makes for an easier finish.
Logically, this is true in all sports, including hockey. Every win on the ice in October is a game you don’t have to win in March.
In Anaheim, with all eyes on the Ducks to finally get over the under par start last season that led to a disappointing regular season and make a push towards the playoffs.
Ducks Head Coach David Quinn commented, “Our season goal is clear. Start fast and end strong.”
That may be easier said than done but the preseason has been a positive one. The defense and goaltenders are playing well and Logan Couture, a disappointment last season has been on fire.
Quinn is also a historian of the game. He noted, “Since 1996, only two Stanley Cup-winning teams had a losing record in their first 10 games; both of those were in the last four years.”
If it’s important to win games early in the season, it stands to reason it should be equally important to win games late. Teams can enter the playoffs hot and use that momentum to carry them far.
“Going by the numbers,” Quinn added, “a strong finish is not as important as a strong start. Stanley Cup champion teams won an average of 6.4 of their first 10 games, but only 5.5 of their last 10.”
Quinn seems to have lightened up in practice and in front of the microphone. His final quote of the news conference had the room laughing. “We need to get all of our Ducks in a row then Quack, Quack, Quack.”
The bottom line for Duck fans is that they should be rooting for their team to get out of the gate quickly. Should the Ducks exit October with a losing record, history suggests they will have a steep hill to climb.