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Leafs Blow Into Anaheim

Tuesday, 01.08.2008 / 5:57 PM / Features
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Leafs Blow Into Anaheim

By Matt Vevoda
AnaheimDucks.com

An unfamiliar foe makes its way to Anaheim Wednesday night, as Toronto comes to Honda Center for the first time since 2003. And the new opposing faces are a welcomed sight for the Ducks.

“It’s just nice to see a different team,” Todd Bertuzzi said. “I think after awhile you get tired of the meetings when you know the opponent each and every time. It refreshes things.”

Rated by Forbes magazine as the most valuable NHL franchise, the Maples Leafs, also an Original Six member of the league, are not your average Ducks opponent. With them comes a large fan base.

“I’m sure you’re going to see more than your ample share of blue and white in the stands because there are lots of transplanted Canadians in California,” Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle said. “It’s easily the most recognizable hockey franchise. Having played there a number of years ago and with the branding that’s taking place in the game, Toronto is front and center.”

Also with the Maple Leafs comes a heightened media presence back in Canada, where many Ducks grew up and/or still live in the offseason.

“It’s a huge game that will be exposed,” said Carlyle, a Sudbury, Ontario native. “It will be front and center in the media market in Toronto and across the nation.”

Added Bertuzzi, also a Sudbury native, “Obviously growing up and being from around that area, it’s nice to have a chance to get on TV there, so friends can watch.”

The struggling Leafs will have their work cut out for them against a Ducks team that appears to get getting things together. With four straight wins at home to improve their record at Honda Center to 13-6-4, the Ducks have slowly regained their status as one of the toughest teams to play for traveling opponents.

A big reason for the Ducks’ recent success has been the play of their defense, which has limited opponents to 1.25 goals per game in those four games.

“We think we have a pretty intimidating group of defensemen,” Carlyle said. “The addition of Scott Niedermayer allows us to put Pronger and O’Donnell out and then come back with Niedermayer and Beauchemin and then come back with Huskins and Schneider.”

After a blistering second period that featured four goals in an 8:07 span in the second period en route to a 5-2 win over Nashville on Monday, the offense is also starting to come around.

“Hopefully it continues,” Perry said after Monday night’s win. “We needed a game like that to take the monkey off our back.”

Another source of good news on Tuesday was the continued progress of checking line center Samuel Pahlsson. Pahlsson once again took part in practice with the Ducks at Honda Center and reported no setbacks in his comeback from an injured abdomen.

“I’m feeling better and going in the right direction,” Pahlsson said. “I’m skating pretty close to 100 percent. The whole team has been doing a really good job lately, so I like that. I want to get back as soon as you can."

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 60 29 19 12 162 153 70
9 CGY 61 33 24 4 174 158 70
10 SJS 62 30 24 8 173 177 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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