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Q&A with Andy McDonald

Monday, 03.12.2007 / 12:00 AM / News
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Q&A with Andy McDonald

 

By Adam Brady

 

            It's safe to say the last year has been the best of Andy McDonald's life.

            A breakout 2005-06 season - in which he shattered career highs in goals (34) and points (51) - commenced with his first experience in the Stanley Cup playoffs. McDonald, who has been the with Ducks since his rookie year of 2000-01, regrettably missed the Ducks' run to the '03 Stanley Cup finals, as a concussion forced him to sit it out. But he was a major part of last seasons run to the Western Conference finals, scoring a pair of goals and adding seven assists in 16 games.

            A little more than a month after that playoff run ended, McDonald was rewarded by the Ducks with a new three-year contract. But his summer got even better when he and wife Gina were married in Newport Beach in front of family and friends, including several Ducks teammates.

            With a new contract and a lifestyle change, pressure was high for McDonald to maintain his level of play with this season's Ducks. He has done that and more, flourishing as the team's No. 1 center and playmaker, and earning a selection to the Western Conference squad at the All-Star game.

            McDonald spoke after a recent Ducks practice about the past year and his development as a pass-first forward.

 

How important was it for you to have a good season for you after what you did last year?

Certainly the expectations were high on my part and the organization's part. Last year I kind of fell into the No. 1 center spot after we traded Sergei [Fedorov]. There were always rumors that they were looking for another center. Until the trading deadline passed last year [on March 9] I was kind of waiting and waiting. When the deadline passed and we hadn't acquired another center, I really thought this was my opportunity. I was rewarded with a new contract in the summer, and that kind of changes everything and you have to perform every night. You put high expectations on yourself and you have to prepare every night to play at the highest level possible.

 

Have you ever had a better offseason than the past one, with the new contract and getting married?

Well, my wife would put the wedding ahead of the contract [laughs]. But it was a really good summer. There were a lot of things going on and it was pretty exciting in both respects.

 

How has married life treated you?

It's been good, but it's definitely not the first time I've lived with my wife. During the lockout (in 2004-05) we lived over in Germany together when I was playing over there. We had a million things going on last summer with the wedding and the honeymoon and the contract. Now things have settled down a bit, and we moved into a new house in Huntington Beach last October. We're enjoying it down there. But it wasn't until the last couple of weeks that we finally hung up some pictures.

 

Do you pride yourself on your ability to find the open man?

That's the way I was always taught to play, moving the puck and passing the puck. When you're one of the top players on your team, you want to make other players around you better. I was always taught to make the pass first, and that's kind of been my trademark, even in college. I would describe myself as a playmaker, rather than a goal-scorer. I think now that's the perfect fit for our line. Maybe sometimes I might overpass, but obviously Teemu is a natural scorer, so you want to give him the puck as much as possible.

 

What was your first All-Star game like?

The experience was great and so unique for me. I really enjoyed myself. Just being around players like Nicklas Lindstrom and Joe Sakic, hanging out with those guys, gives you a pretty good outlook on things. It really motivates me to try and get back there.

 

The day before the game, you won the NHL's fastest skater competition. Did that surprise you at all?

It did. I wasn't really looking forward to it because I didn't know I was going to do it and I was a little nervous beforehand. But obviously it went well and it was a good experience.

 

Was it even more special to go through the playoffs last year after missing the opportunity in '03?

It definitely was. When I was out with the concussion, it wasn't easy watching that team go through the playoffs and make the finals. That was a big motivator for me last year, and to have the great run that we did, that was exciting. Certainly no one expected us to go as far as we did. Going through the playoffs for the first time gives you a little bit of a taste and you hope you can get back there and go even further.

 

This story appears in the latest version of Ducks Digest, available free at every Ducks home game.

 

 

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 NSH 62 41 14 7 188 147 89
2 ANA 62 38 17 7 182 174 83
3 STL 61 39 18 4 190 152 82
4 CHI 62 37 20 5 183 146 79
5 WPG 63 31 20 12 174 170 74
6 VAN 61 35 23 3 174 162 73
7 MIN 61 32 22 7 173 160 71
8 LAK 59 29 18 12 162 152 70
9 CGY 61 33 24 4 174 158 70
10 SJS 61 30 23 8 171 174 68
11 DAL 61 27 25 9 191 202 63
12 COL 61 26 24 11 161 175 63
13 ARI 62 20 35 7 137 210 47
14 EDM 62 18 34 10 142 206 46

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
R. Getzlaf 59 19 39 9 58
C. Perry 47 24 17 12 41
R. Kesler 62 15 22 -4 37
S. Vatanen 57 12 22 6 34
M. Beleskey 56 21 9 13 30
P. Maroon 54 7 21 -3 28
H. Lindholm 59 6 22 19 28
J. Silfverberg 61 9 17 7 26
C. Fowler 61 5 21 -5 26
K. Palmieri 37 12 11 -1 23
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
F. Andersen 29 8 5 .916 2.37
J. Gibson 6 5 0 .915 2.69


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