These Ducks are mighty

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON

, Last Updated: 10:50 AM ET

ANAHEIM -- The Ducks have suddenly become a hot ticket in southern California.

For the first time in nearly 10 years, a ducat for a hockey game in Anaheim is very tough to get.

For the 16th straight game, the Honda Center was sold out last night, marking the longest sell-out streak since 1998.

Understandably, Anaheim's surge to the top of the Pacific Division is one reason for the peak in interest. But there is another reason: fighting.

The Ducks lead the NHL with 57 fighting majors entering last night, nearly 20 more than Nashville.

"I think what has really turned this market around and put this team on the map is the Brian Burke style of hockey," said Ducks executive vice president Bob Wagner of his general manager.

"It is a very physical brand of hockey."

With league heavyweight George Parros - who has 14 fighting majors - patrolling the ice along with Shawn Thornton and Brad May, the Ducks' skilled players have room to move - meaning more goals.

"It creates a little space knowing that when guys do something (against us) they are going to be confronted about it," said Ducks forward Ryan Getzlaf.

Anaheim could easily have six 20-goal scorers by the end of the season - an impressive statistic that brings many wins. Without the noted policemen on the roster, life would be more difficult.

"You see it throughout the league - when you get a team just full of skill guys you can be a little harder on them," continued Getzlaf.

Anaheim was second in the Western Conference with 91 points entering last night. Only three teams in the entire conference have more total goals than them.

At the gate this season, the Ducks are averaging almost 16,200 fans per game, nearly 10% higher than last year.


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