Leaders of the pack

STEVE MACFARLANE -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 7:53 AM ET

ANAHEIM -- Rob Niedermayer and his brother Scott had big goals when they signed with the the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim before the season.

As NHL teammates for the first time, they were ready to enjoy the benefits of becoming brothers in arms for the Ducks and taking the young team to the playoffs.

Things haven't gone exactly as planned .

The Ducks haven't yet made a splash, although they've played better than their 3-5-1 record heading into last night's game against the Calgary Flames would indicate.

"Obviously, we'd like to be playing better than we are now and have a better record to this point but that's the way the NHL is," said Scott Niedermayer, one of the most coveted free agents this summer.

"It's not easy. We're shooting to get better here. As you get older, you learn the standings and the team accomplishments are really all that matters. Right now we're not where we want to be."

Scott's younger sibling is on the same page.

"Everybody around here, we're disappointed," said Rob, who re-signed with Anaheim in the off-season.

"We want to show that we're a better team than our record right now. We've been close but close isn't good enough."

Still, if you have to play on a team with a less than stellar record, it might as well be alongside a family member.

"It's been great," Rob admitted. "We had a lot of fun when we (were teammates) at the world championships. Now we live close together so I get to see his family quite a bit.

"Before, you leave in the summer and you don't see him for the whole year. This is a lot better."

An example of what makes teaming up with his brother so exciting took place Sunday afternoon in the Ducks' 5-3 home win over Phoenix.

Scott sent a pass to Rob on the powerplay and the younger Niedermayer scored to add a little insurance with half minute left in the game.

"That was pretty exciting for sure," recalled Rob, chuckling at the memory.

"Sometimes you're on the bench and you kind of find yourself watching him a little bit. It's pretty nice. It's nice that we got the chance to do this for sure. We definitely don't take it for granted. You don't know how long it will last."

Rob Niedermayer has been taking advantage of his added ice time with star centre Sergei Fedorov out of the lineup with an injured groin. The associate captain -- brother Scott wears the 'C' -- leads the team in scoring with two goals and six assists in nine games.

Rob, though, pushes his personal success to the side when asked about it.

"In the end, it doesn't mean too much," he said. "Right now I'd rather see our record improve. That's one good thing about this group in here, no one really cares about who gets the credit, we just want to win games. That's something that we're pretty lucky to have."


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