Yann Danis doesn't plan on implementing any sort of superstitious rituals.
But if the Oklahoma City Barons' goalie keeps up his hot streak, he says he just might retain the raging mustache he's been growing as part of “Movember.”
Behind yet another strong outing by Danis, the Barons squeaked out a 1-0 win over Charlotte on Friday night in an American Hockey League game between division leaders. Danis recorded 30 saves to earn his second shutout of the season and bump the Barons' winning streak to a franchise-record six games.
“I was feeling good again,” Danis said. “I'm seeing the puck well. I got lucky a few times. I think they hit three posts, but when everything's going your way, I got those bounces.”
As the Barons look to continue establishing themselves as a dominant home team, it's been Danis who has led the way. In the Barons' past six home games, Danis has given up only five goals.
On Friday, Danis' performance made up for a rather lackluster overall effort by the Barons, who got the lone goal from Gilbert Brule at 3:44 in the first period.
“That was the difference in the game. That was the game right there in a nutshell,” Barons coach Todd Nelson said of Danis. “I thought we pretty much stole one. … Yann was definitely solid for us. I can't say enough about his play.”
The Barons improved to an AHL-best 10-2-0-1, but Nelson was more concerned with how his team still hasn't put together a quality 60 minutes. On Thursday, Nelson talked about avoiding complacency and maintaining focus throughout the winning streak. And he didn't like what he saw Friday night after watching his team refuse to wake up until the third period following that early goal.
“Right now, since we're having success, guys are starting to take shortcuts,” Nelson said. “I saw it in practice (Thursday), and it doesn't work. In the third period, we started doing the little things and started battling and we ended up getting more scoring opportunities. It's kind of weird how that works, hey?”
The Barons don't have much time to figure out a solution for whatever is causing the complacency. Oklahoma City will face this same tough Checkers team Saturday night before hitting the road to face Milwaukee on Sunday.
“I think we need to play a little bit more aggressive,” Danis said. “I think we were a little bit soft along the boards. … We have a game plan and when we follow it, things go well for us.”
The results have been mighty impressive. With Houston idle Friday night, the win moved the Barons into sole possession of first place in the West Division. But Nelson needs to see improvement in the route by which the Barons get the results.
“It's great to be where we're at right now,” Nelson said. “I'm happy with the two points. I'm always happy with the win however we get it. But right now we got to focus on the process. The outcome will always take care of itself. We have to just focus on the little things that we talked about. If we do take shortcuts and it continues on, then things will turn south real quick. I've seen it happen many times.”