NASHVILLE, Tenn. — There are the results and then there is the process.
Both are meaningful. Results are the end game everyone wants but how every team across sports talks about the process makes it a contagion they all now share. The NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers essentially gave their extended rebuilding strategy a moniker that’s repeated over and over.
“Trust The Process” is the catchphrase and it isn’t limited to rebuilding. When you take the sliver within the sports landscape that is the Ducks and their current trip, there is the belief that they’re doing things the right way and that the results they covet will come.
So far, they haven’t. Just four points have been earned on a six-game journey that started in Los Angeles, wound itself around the Midwest and has now circled itself back to Las Vegas, where the Ducks will pay their first visit to T-Mobile Arena and play the Vegas Golden Knights.
But they’re putting belief in the how. How they’ve played in all but one stop. Toss aside the blowout in Chicago and how their efforts could – and perhaps should – have pocketed wins in L.A., Columbus and Nashville. How they did earn one in St. Louis.
As their battered lineup has been a season-long transit station, the Ducks are thinking that they’ve reached a level of consistency – even if the string of wins has yet to arrive.
“You hope so,” Ducks defenseman Kevin Bieksa said. “The process everyone talks about is just doing the same things every day, regardless of the score and regardless of who we’re playing.”
To break that down further, Bieksa points to their defensive work being the focal point. With key forwards still on the shelf due to injury, it has to be.
“So we have to have guys down low,” he said. “We have to be protecting the middle of the slot and not giving up those grade-As (chances). We have to be breaking the puck out clean and special teams has to be good right now, especially with guys hurt. You need special teams to be really good.
“So that’s the process. That shouldn’t change depending on the score or what club we are playing.”
Over the five previous road games, the Ducks have allowed 15 goals in regulation. It isn’t that impressive until you discount the seven Chicago scored. Their response to that has been effective hockey, perhaps a level of consistency they’ve finally displayed.
“As a coach, you only look at your last one and we say yes,” said Ducks coach Randy Carlyle, adding…