Sports

Behold the mighty Ducks: Anaheim soars to top of NHL standings with 18 wins in 19 games

  • FILE - In this Jan. 11, 2014, file photo, Anaheim Ducks' Hampus Lindholm (47) celebrates his goal with teammates Nick Bonino, right, Francois Beauchemin and Kyle Palmieri (21) during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Phoenix Coyotes in Glendale, Ariz. The Ducks have reached rarefied air while winning 18 of their last 19 games, reigning atop the NHL standings with their high-scoring, fun-filled brand of hockey. (AP Photo/Matt York, File)

    FILE - In this Jan. 11, 2014, file photo, Anaheim Ducks' Hampus Lindholm (47) celebrates his goal with teammates Nick Bonino, right, Francois Beauchemin and Kyle Palmieri (21) during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Phoenix Coyotes in Glendale, Ariz. The Ducks have reached rarefied air while winning 18 of their last 19 games, reigning atop the NHL standings with their high-scoring, fun-filled brand of hockey. (AP Photo/Matt York, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • The Anaheim Ducks players celebrate their 9-1 win against the Vancouver Canucks after an NHL hockey game on Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

    The Anaheim Ducks players celebrate their 9-1 win against the Vancouver Canucks after an NHL hockey game on Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)  (The Associated Press)

  • Anaheim Ducks' Nick Bonino(13) celebrates his goal with Corey Perry(10) during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Vancouver Canucks on Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

    Anaheim Ducks' Nick Bonino(13) celebrates his goal with Corey Perry(10) during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Vancouver Canucks on Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)  (The Associated Press)

By the time the Anaheim Ducks finished with them late Wednesday night, the Canucks had a humiliating 9-1 loss and four players in the dressing room after committing misconduct penalties out of frustration.

As beleaguered Vancouver can attest, it's an awfully tough time to face the Ducks. They reign atop the NHL at 36-8-5 after winning 18 of their last 19 games, including eight straight.

It's even tougher to visit Honda Center, where Anaheim has gone 20-0-2 to match the NHL's longest season-opening home points streak in 34 years.

With four quality scoring lines, a versatile defense and standout goaltending from Jonas Hiller, the Ducks have been the NHL's best team.

And every Anaheim player realizes it means nothing without the playoff success that has eluded them since 2007.