I think that's blowing it a wee bit out of proportion. It's still just a 19 game sample size, and going from being among the worst in the conference if not the entire league to the worst Top 7 team in the West is still a nice jump to make in a year. It would be great to see the team ready to make a run right now, but the realistic expectation at the start of the year was probably a one and done playoff appearance.
We've played most of those teams 3 times. Some we haven't even beaten yet (STL/ANA) and came close to blowing it with LA at home, and squeaked one out against Chicago early (both at home). I don't have a lot of faith on the road against these teams when we were throttled in Chicago, San Jose, Los Angeles, and St. Louis threw up a 4 in regulation.
Right now...we NEED to be the 6th seed to have a shot. And Kesler is back for Vancouver now as well. Only other team I wouldn't be too hard pressed to play against is Detroit. The issue with that, is I think the only way it'll happens is if we are 4th and they are 5th.
Yeah the Ducks seems to be a different team as of late than they were when we faced them earlier in the season. Not so scared of them at the moment. That could change however if they find themselves again.