The Ducks are looking mighty once more 

March, 28, 2011

After spending the weekend serving as a studio analyst for ESPN U's NCAA Hockey regional coverage, I'm playing a little catch-up with the pro game.

Here's a mixed-bag of a Monday 10 that will include a quick look at each of the four teams that advanced to the Frozen Four in St. Paul, Minn. I still can't believe that Boston College and Miami were drummed out of the tournament so quickly. Then again, the screwy NCAA selection process didn't help either school.

The Eagles got sent to St. Louis to play in the toughest region due to a couple of rule quirks. Jerry York's defending champs couldn't play in Bridgeport because Yale (also a No. 1 seed) was the host team at that site. Then, they couldn't go to Manchester, NH, because they're not allowed to play a first round game against a Conference opponent. New Hampshire, a No. 4 seed, was the host team at that site.

Thus, BC got kicked to St. Louis, where they suffered a shocking 8-4 loss to Colorado College.

Miami, meanwhile, had the pleasure of skating against New Hampshire in New Hampshire. Doesn't a No. 1 seed deserve better? The Redhawks looked dreadful in a 3-1 loss to the Wildcats.

Oh well ... Here's the Monday 10.

1. En Fuego

In case you hadn't noticed -- and it has been hard not to -- Ducks RW Corey Perry is making a hardcore run at the Hart Trophy. The gritty sniper has carried a sizzling stick in March, tying a franchise record for goals in a single month with 13. And, he's got two more games to play before we flip the calendar on Thursday.

With the hot run, Perry has nudged past Tampa Bay's Steven Stamkos (44 to 43) in the race for the Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy given to the league's top goal scorer. Perry's 85 points places him fifth in the chase for the Art Ross Trophy.

The 25-year-old has been getting it done in the clutch, too. He's tied for the NHL lead with 10 game-winners (Washington's Alex Ovechkin and Vancouver's Daniel Sedin also have 10 GWGs). And, Perry has scored 22 of his 44 goals in the third period or overtime. That's some pretty timely lamp-lighting. San Jose's Patrick Marleau is next on that list with 18 such goals.

The Hart Trophy race became a wide-open affair when Sidney Crosby went down with injury in early January. Since then, several candidates (Daniel Sedin, Chicago's Jonathan Toews and Boston's Tim Thomas among others) have come to the fore. Perry's fabulous finish, however, might be a difference maker to the voters, especially if the Ducks can lock down a playoff spot in the West.

E.J. Hradek

Senior Writer, ESPN The Magazine
E.J. Hradek is a senior writer at ESPN The Magazine, joining the staff prior to its launch in 1998. He began covering hockey as a writer/editor for Hockey Illustrated in 1989.