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Beauchemin Bounces Back

Monday, 01.14.2008 / 5:16 PM PT / Features
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Beauchemin Bounces Back
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By Matt Vevoda
AnaheimDucks.com

Beauchemin has been among the NHL leaders in time on ice this season, but Monday night's goal was his first in 40 games.

While his game-winning overtime goal Sunday night against San Jose finished off an improbable and dramatic victory for the Ducks over their division rival, it was much more meaningful to Francois Beauchemin.

Having to deal with the absence of his defensive partner from the past two seasons, and as a result an increase in minutes and pressure, Beauchemin had some difficult adjustments to make in the early part of this season. That’s part of the reason the third-year defenseman saw his plus/minus rating this season reach a team low -12 at one point.

“We talked to him then about just trying to do less,” Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle said. “We told him to be safer and get your confidence from a defensive aspect before starting to stray out on the other side of it.”

Francois Beauchemin Highlights 

When Scott Niedermayer returned to Beauchemin’s side on Dec. 16, slowly too did Beauchemin’s comfort level and subsequent production. An emphatic sign of the change came in the extra session Sunday night, when one flick of Beauchemin’s wrists secured the Ducks a come-from-behind 4-3 victory over San Jose 700K.Surprisingly enough, it was his first goal in the last 40 games. Beauchemin had seven goals last year and eight in his rookie season of 2005-06.

 “I kept thinking about it and when it was going to come,” said Beauchemin, whose goal was also the first of his career to come in overtime. “I was shooting the puck. It’s not that I wasn’t trying. They just weren’t finding their way through. Finally, I got one in last night. It felt really good. Hopefully now the goals will come more often than one every 40 games.”

With Niedermayer contemplating retirement, Beauchemin’s began the season partnering with Joe DiPenta and former Duck Shane Hnidy. Chief among the adjustments Beauchemin had to make was that both of those players are right-handed shooters, whereas Niedermayer is a lefty.

“When you’re used to playing with a lefty, it’s a big change especially with the pass behind the net,” Beauchemin said. “You have to make it a bank pass with a right-handed shot instead of a direct pass. Just the little things like that I had to adjust.”

Being the league leader in average time on the ice for a good portion of Niedermayer’s absence (28:14 in 34 games without Niedermayer, 22:20 in 13 games with him), Beauchemin acknowledged he was pressing at times.

“I was trying to do too much in some situations,” Beauchemin said. “I was getting myself caught in bad defensive positions. Sometimes the more you’re trying to do, the worse you are. Just keeping things simple is better for me.”

Along with the whole team, which has gone 9-2-2 since Niedermayer’s return, Beauchemin feels his game started to turn around with his partner back.

“Since Christmas, I think my game has been better,” said Beauchemin. “I’ve played with Scotty the last two years, so we know how each other plays. When we’re on the ice, I think it’s really important to know where the guy is and I think that’s been the key.”

Carlyle too is happy to see his defenseman headed in the right direction, punctuated by that big goal.

“It’s a confidence builder,” Carlyle said. “When you can score and you haven’t had the bounce go your way or the success that you strive for, it’s always important that you find the back of the net and make a contribution. That goal he scored was big for our hockey club and that’s an even bigger boost.”

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STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - ANA 82 51 24 7 228 221 109
2 y - STL 82 51 24 7 239 197 109
3 x - NSH 82 47 25 10 226 202 104
4 x - CHI 82 48 28 6 220 186 102
5 x - VAN 82 48 29 5 236 220 101
6 x - MIN 82 46 28 8 227 198 100
7 x - WPG 82 43 26 13 223 204 99
8 x - CGY 82 45 30 7 237 213 97
9 LAK 82 40 27 15 218 197 95
10 DAL 82 41 31 10 257 257 92
11 COL 82 39 31 12 209 223 90
12 SJS 82 40 33 9 224 226 89
13 EDM 82 24 44 14 193 276 62
14 ARI 82 24 50 8 165 267 56

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
R. Getzlaf 77 25 45 15 70
C. Perry 67 33 22 13 55
R. Kesler 81 20 27 -5 47
J. Silfverberg 81 13 26 15 39
S. Vatanen 67 12 25 5 37
P. Maroon 71 9 25 -5 34
C. Fowler 80 7 27 4 34
H. Lindholm 78 7 27 25 34
M. Beleskey 65 22 10 13 32
R. Rakell 71 9 22 6 31
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
F. Andersen 35 12 5 .914 2.38
J. Gibson 13 8 0 .914 2.60


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