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Ducks Feeling Optimistic After San Jose

Wednesday, 12.28.2011 / 2:24 PM
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Ducks Off the Ice by Adam Brady
Ducks Feeling Optimistic After San Jose

Helmets allow aggressive pats on the head.
After a second straight day of work in preparation for tomorrow night's home match with Vancouver, the Ducks were still in the mood to talk about their last win in San Jose.

Any why not? Monday night's 3-2 victory, in one of the tougher buildings to pull a win from, was among the finest performances of this frustrating Ducks season. And it has a lot of Ducks talking about rolling it into a good "second half" (even though at 35 games played, we're still not to the halfway point of the campaign yet).

"It was a big game for us," Andrew Cogliano, who had a big goal in that game, said today. "It’s a tough building to play in and San Jose is a tough team. It just gets the ball rolling for the second half of the year. We’re looking to win games and put a bunch together hopefully. That was a good way to start and now play another good team in Vancouver."

Indeed, if the Ducks want to make a habit of winning games -- and doing it against the class of the Western Conference -- they'll have to keep it going tomorrow night against the Canucks. It's the start of a six-game homestand for Anaheim, but they're only thinking about the first one.

"The goal is to take one game at a time," said Cogliano, whose play on the third line was praised by Bruce Boudreau today. "Hopefully, we can get a win and build on it from there. You feel good about yourself and playing. I think that started in the last game playing against San Jose, which was good for us. Hopefully, you can go on a little run. There is no better place to have six games at home to start.

Boudreau, too, was all for discussing that encouraging win in SJ this afternoon. "I was really excited about it the last few days because I thought we played really well," he said. "I came away from that thinking we played hard and as well as them. They had a flurry of shots in the last six minutes because they had two power plays and they were desperate. They routinely outshoot every team.

"I was impressed with the way we hung in. We played the way we wanted to play and didn’t give up a lot of Grade ‘A’ scoring chances the first two periods ... We bent a little bit, but we never broke. We got that third goal and hung tough in the third period. That was a good sign. That is probably the reason I am so excited about tomorrow’s game because it’s another great test for us."

Boudreau was also intent to compliment the play of Matt Beleskey, a guy who survived being put on waivers by the Ducks just before Boudreau took over, but has come back to make a huge contribution lately. He's been playing much of the time on the third unit with Cogliano and Andrew Gordon/Kyle Palmieri.

"The last few games from the first few games that I was here, he’s playing hard and competing harder," Boudreau said of Beleskey. "When you compete harder, you get opportunities. He’s getting opportunities to score, creating chances, he’s doing a good job of checking and he’s getting involved. He’s gotten in two fights I think in the last five or six games. When you get involved and engaged in the game, then opportunities come.

"He’s gotten points, been on the ice for goals for and not too many against. The biggest difference is Matt. When Matt is not sitting around watching the play, he’s being proactive on it."

The Ducks practiced for the second straight day former second-line mainstays Saku Koivu and Jason Blake on the ice. Koivu (groin), of course, is much closer to returning than Blake (lacerated arm), but Bourdreau was uncertain on whether that return would come tomorrow night. "It’s up to him. I don’t want to be coy, but it’s day-to-day," he said. "I certainly like him to be able to play. We’ll see how he feels. Probably a better indication will be to see how he feels tomorrow after today."

Blake talked to reporters yesterday after skating with the team for the first time since getting cut just above the left wrist in the third game of the season (a win over SJ at Honda Center). He has been skating on his own for the last several weeks, but only started handling and shooting the puck in the past few days.
“Overall, it felt good,” Blake said. “It’s just nice to be out there and be a part of the team again. It was good."

Blake was originally supposed to be out three months, which would have his return scheduled for the middle of next month.

“Right now it’s about getting in game shape," he said. "I have to practice with the guys here for a few days and re-evaluate it, see where I’m at. I’ve got to start strengthening my arm. I’ve been doing a lot with the wrist, but I have to strengthen my triceps and biceps.”




1 ANA 49 32 11 6 146 130 70
2 NSH 47 31 10 6 145 112 68
3 STL 47 30 13 4 153 115 64
4 CHI 48 30 16 2 151 112 62
5 WPG 50 26 16 8 140 127 60
6 SJS 49 26 17 6 137 135 58
7 VAN 46 26 17 3 124 118 55
8 CGY 49 26 20 3 140 127 55
9 LAK 48 21 15 12 133 129 54
10 DAL 48 22 19 7 152 157 51
11 COL 49 20 18 11 128 141 51
12 MIN 48 22 20 6 131 138 50
13 ARI 48 17 25 6 111 161 40
14 EDM 49 13 27 9 113 162 35


R. Getzlaf 48 15 35 10 50
R. Kesler 49 13 19 -2 32
C. Perry 34 19 12 15 31
S. Vatanen 49 10 20 3 30
M. Beleskey 48 19 7 12 26
P. Maroon 41 6 18 2 24
C. Fowler 48 5 18 4 23
H. Lindholm 48 5 16 13 21
J. Silfverberg 49 6 13 2 19
K. Palmieri 25 10 6 0 16
F. Andersen 27 6 5 .919 2.22
J. Gibson 2 2 0 .927 2.28 is the official Web site of the Anaheim Ducks. Anaheim Ducks and are trademarks of Anaheim Ducks Hockey Club, LLC. NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2015 Anaheim Ducks Hockey Club, LLC and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.

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