It's Playoff Time Again

By clinching a third straight postseason berth Wednesday night, the Ducks offered further proof of a new era of consistency for the franchise

Thursday, 03.27.2008 / 5:38 PM / Features
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It\'s Playoff Time Again

By Matt Vevoda
AnaheimDucks.com

The Ducks clinched their third straight trip to the postseason by knocking off the Kings 2-1 in a shootout Wednesday night.

Not a Stanley Cup Playoffs mainstay in the first decade of the franchise’s existence, the Ducks previously would have had a much more demonstrative celebration upon clinching a spot in the postseason.

Times have changed for a club that now breeds consistency, made evident by the third straight playoff berth it secured in Wednesday’s 2-1 shootout victory over the Kings. Like last season, when the team secured its first Stanley Cup title, the bar has been set much higher by the new-era Ducks.

“Ten years ago it was different,” said Teemu Selanne, who is in the third year of his second stint with the team, the first coming from 1995 through 2001. “It would have been a bigger deal back then. The biggest goal for the season was making the playoffs. I don’t think I heard anybody say a word about that last night. The whole thing has changed here now. That’s the least what we can do at least how we feel. We know how much it takes. Everything is about winning in this room and that’s a great feeling.”

Spending nine of his 15 NHL season with the Ducks, which prior to the ownership and management change of 2005 had only made the playoffs on three separate occasions (‘97, ‘99, ‘03), Selanne is grateful to be a part of the current run.

 “It’s never easy to build a good hockey club,” Selanne said. “Going through all those years where we didn’t really have a good team, you really appreciate the times when you have this kind of team and situation that we have here.”

Upon coming to the Ducks in 2005-06 as a rookie head coach in the league, Randy Carlyle and his staff set a goal to establish the team as a perennial power. So far, that ambition has been realized in a major way.

“Our mandate when we first came here was to develop solid organizational skills that would help us be a competitive hockey club and provide that for our fans because they have been very loyal to our group since we’ve been here,” Carlyle said.

Maintaining a winning club has not proved easy for many teams in the league, including 2006 champions Carolina, who missed the playoffs after finishing 11th in the Eastern Conference last year. Edmonton, which fell to the Hurricanes in seven games in that ’06 Final, finished a disappointing 12th in the Western Conference.

“We’ve had our own challenges this season,” Carlyle said. “I’m not sitting here and saying we feel bad that we’ve got 96 points. We’ve established a style that we have to play and a gameplan that we have to put in place. Then you have to outwork people and you have to get a few breaks along the way. This hockey club has never been one to shy away from the work ethic.”

Once again in position to contend for a title, the Ducks say the accomplishment of three consecutive appearances in the playoffs extends past their locker room.

“I think the pride starts from the ownership and the organization,” Selanne said. “I think it carries over to the players. They want to build a good team around here. When it comes from there, everybody’s on the same page. With this organization, it’s a big family. The family has a dream and a goal and it’s to win.”

Said Carlyle: “It’s not easy to win in the NHL. It’s an organizational accomplishment. It’s not just the hockey team. We’re setting goals and we’re going to try to continue to reach them. We have a chance to compete in the playoffs. There’s no better feeling.”

NOTES
Good news for the Ducks on the injury front was the return of center Ryan Getzlaf (upper body injury) and goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere (back spasms) to practice at Honda Center on Thursday. Each took part in the roughly one-hour session and spoke briefly afterwards about the possibility of playing in Friday’s game against Pacific Division-leading San Jose.

“Everything went well today,” said Giguere, who has sat out the last three games. “I feel okay and I’m ready to play. We have great trainers here and they did a great job of getting me back on track. It’s a little stiff in the morning still, but every day it’s better. I don’t anticipate anything worse tomorrow.”

Getzlaf, who missed the past two games, said, “Today was definitely a progression day. I did a little more passing and everything, so we’ll see tomorrow morning. Everything is going the way we want it to and moving forward toward the game.”

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - ANA 82 54 20 8 266 209 116
2 y - COL 82 52 22 8 250 220 112
3 x - STL 82 52 23 7 248 191 111
4 x - SJS 82 51 22 9 249 200 111
5 x - CHI 82 46 21 15 267 220 107
6 x - LAK 82 46 28 8 206 174 100
7 x - MIN 82 43 27 12 207 206 98
8 x - DAL 82 40 31 11 235 228 91
9 PHX 82 37 30 15 216 231 89
10 NSH 82 38 32 12 216 242 88
11 WPG 82 37 35 10 227 237 84
12 VAN 82 36 35 11 196 223 83
13 CGY 82 35 40 7 209 241 77
14 EDM 82 29 44 9 203 270 67

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
R. Getzlaf 77 31 56 28 87
C. Perry 81 43 39 32 82
N. Bonino 77 22 27 14 49
M. Perreault 69 18 25 13 43
A. Cogliano 82 21 21 13 42
C. Fowler 70 6 30 15 36
K. Palmieri 71 14 17 9 31
D. Winnik 76 6 24 6 30
H. Lindholm 78 6 24 29 30
S. Koivu 65 11 18 3 29
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
F. Andersen 20 5 0 .923 2.29
J. Hiller 29 13 7 .911 2.48


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