What we learned from the Ducks' 31 win over the Jets

If this season were a
jigsaw puzzle, Friday was an example of pieces snapping into place for the Ducks
wasn all pretty. They overcame early turnovers and lost a rare game in the
faceoff circle, but their 3-1 win against the Winnipeg Jets fulfilled most of
their wish list and earned them a first-place tie with the San Jose Sharks in
the Pacific Division.Here what we learnedIt was quality over quantity for
Jonathan Bernier. Bernier only faced 18 shots which matched a season-best
allowed for the Ducks and four in the third period. But at least two were
crucial. He denied Mark Scheifele on a mini-breakaway in the first period and
made a toe save on Joel Armia in the second period Brandon Montour
. feel good,” Bernier said. t the momentum. The more you play, the
better you feel. The confidence just builds with every game. It a group thing.
In the room, we feel good about ourselves. We feel confident. When we go into
the third period and we have the lead, we all know what we need to do, and we do
it out there.”Nobody wants to win the division. It hasn gotten the Ducks
anything the past four seasons, and that the lesson theye learned. San Jose
probably isn going to worry about finishing second or third instead of first,
either.Ducks Coach Randy Carlyle downplayed the standings postgame. e don want
to get too far ahead of ourselves,” Carlyle said. ee just in a situation right
now where wee not actually in first [because of the tiebreaker] … theye in first
place. Wee still in second, so I not going to make too much of a big deal of
it.”Of course, if they keep winning and San Jose keeps sinking like a stone, the
Ducks will win a fifth straight division title.What would that get them?The
division winner will likely play the St. Louis Blues or Nashville Predators, as
opposed to the Calgary Flames or Edmonton Oilers.Do the Ducks want the former
scenario?Theye had bad juju with the Predators, losing two previous playoff
series to them, while the Blues are one of the most physically punishing teams
in the NHL. The Calgary-Edmonton option might be a better matchup Sam Steel
.Chris Wagner is making an impression. Literally, Wagner has delivered
some crunching hits on this homestand. He leveled St. Louis defenseman Joel
Edmundson and on Friday lowered the boom on Armia.Wagner, Nate Thompson and
Jared Boll have comprised the fourth line lately, and Wagner has earned his spot
with an edgy game and a willingness to do fourth-line work.