By the time the dust settled on the latest victory by the Anaheim Ducks, coach Bruce Boudreau tried to pass it off as just another win and part of a routine stretch of the 2013-14 NHL season.
"I try not to pay attention to that," Boudreau said shortly after a 9-1 win Wednesday against the Vancouver Canucks. "I really don't because it gets in your head. We're just trying to win games. You win enough games and then you look up and you go, 'Holy cripes. We got that many points? That's pretty good.' We wanted to make sure that nobody's head gets swelled. You take it for what it was: An unfortunate game by Vancouver and I'm sure that their next opponent is going to pay for that."
TEAMS TO WIN 18 GAMES IN 19-GAME STRETCH, NHL HISTORY*
|* Stats Inc.
Boudreau's modesty is admirable and his philosophy is correct, so let the rest of us gloat over what the Ducks have accomplished not just Wednesday, but all season long. All they're doing is putting together a regular season that ranks somewhere between sublime, incredible and ridiculous.
The Ducks' blasting of Vancouver at Honda Center was its eighth straight win, continued their 20-0-2 run on home ice and was their 18th win the past 19 games. Other teams are leading their respective divisions, but you may as well put the Ducks on Mount Olympus.
On a historic pace, the Ducks are flying high yet staying grounded.
"You just approach every game and play," forward Andrew Cogliano said. "You have to prepare yourself and have a game plan. And if you execute it you have a good chance of winning. [Wednesday], we did that. Freddy [goalie Frederik Andersen] made some good stops in the first period that kept us in the game. We were able to get a bunch of goals."
In a case of perfect timing, the Ducks' next game will be a matchup of the League's top two teams when they play Friday against the Chicago Blackhawks at United Center (8 p.m. ET, NHLN-US, NHLN-CA, RDS). They head to Chicago tied with the 1967-68 Montreal Canadiens as the only teams in League history to win 18 of 19 games (18-1-0).
"It will definitely show us where we're at," Cogliano said. "I feel like we're going pretty good now but they [the Blackhawks] are a team at home that's really tough to beat and that building is pretty cool to play in. I think that's going to be a really fun game, a really exciting game and I think it's something we can build off of if we get a big win."
The Canadiens went on to win 20 of 21 games between Jan. 6 and Feb. 22, 1968 en route to winning the first of consecutive Stanley Cups. The way these Ducks are playing there's been no stopping them from heading into the Stanley Cup Playoffs as the League's top seed, with the road to the Cup Final paved through a building where they never seem to lose:
*Anaheim's current 10-game win streak on home ice is tied for the third-longest in franchise history. The only longer streaks have come in the past six seasons: 13 games from Jan. 26 to March 20, 2013; 11 games between Dec. 8, 2009 and Feb. 10, 2010; and 10 games from Feb. 17 to March 26, 2008.
LONGEST HOME POINT STREAKS TO START NHL SEASON – SINCE 1973-74*
|* NHL Record (Elias Sports Bureau)
* The Ducks twice have won eight or more consecutive home games this season; the last team to do that was the 2006-07 Calgary Flames, who won 10 straight from Nov. 7 to Dec. 12, 2006, and eight in a row between Jan. 4 and Feb. 3, 2007. They're also the fourth team since 1973-74 to earn points in its first 22 home games of a season.
* Anaheim's eight-game winning streak is the longest active streak in the League. The Ducks also own two of the game's longest winning streaks this season, having won 10 straight from Dec. 6-28. In addition they won seven straight from Oct. 5-20, which makes them the first team to have three separate winning streaks of at least seven games in a single season since the 2007-08 Detroit Red Wings; the Wings won nine straight between Oct. 18 and Nov. 9, 2007; seven straight between Nov. 27 and Dec. 10, 2007; and eight in a row from Jan. 17 to Feb. 5, 2008.
* The Ducks lead the League with a 36-8-5 record and 77 points through 49 games. It's the deepest point of a season they have been atop the League standings; their previous best was 48 games into the 2006-07 season.
* Anaheim's 168 non-shootout goals are the most through 49 games in club history and its 116 goals allowed are the fewest. The Ducks' 89 goals at Honda Center are the team's most ever through 22 games and the 39 goals-against match the fewest in franchise history.