On the Bubble

For Brett Festerling and Andrew Ebbett, every round of cuts in training camp causes anxiety. But so far so good for the two rookies.

Thursday, 10.02.2008 / 6:57 PM / Features
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On the Bubble

By Matt Vevoda
AnaheimDucks.com

“I can’t look too far ahead,” Festerling says. “Just because the numbers are down, doesn’t mean I can work any less or lose focus. I have to work hard every day and prove to them I can play in this league.”

For players on the bubble of the Ducks’ opening night roster, each announcement of roster cuts is met with a high level of anxiety. For guys like defenseman Brett Festerling and center Andrew Ebbett, they know their name could be among those headed for a plane departing Anaheim.

But Festerling and Ebbett are two players who have remained above the fray so far, surviving three rounds of roster cuts that have trimmed the team size from 54 at the start of training camp to 27 currently.

“I think anytime you know there is going to be cuts, you kind of try to hide almost and start running the other way when you see any management coming downstairs,” Ebbett said.

One of seven defensemen remaining on the roster, Festerling appears to have a good chance of sticking with the Ducks, especially in light of the Ducks’ recent trade activity. While he’s pleased to make it this far, Festerling knows that nothing has been made official yet, and he must continue to show the coaching staff he belongs.

“I can’t look too far ahead,” Festerling said. “Just because the numbers are down, doesn’t mean I can work any less or lose focus. I have to work hard every day and prove to them I can play in this league.”

“He’s got offensive instincts and moves through the neutral ice well,” Carlyle said of Ebbett. “He is able to create space and make plays. In our situation, we think he’s garnered a look here and a longer look.”

If Festerling does remain with the NHL club, it would be an incredible transformation for a player who was once an undrafted free agent trying to earn a pro contract at the Ducks’ 2005 training camp.

Since he succeeded in that bid three years ago, Festerling went on to captain his junior team (Vancouver Giants) to a Memorial Cup victory in 2007 and then become a valuable member of Portland’s run through the Calder Cup playoff last season.

“He has been able to show some growth,” Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle said. “You don’t have to tell him more than once where to be and what to do. He seems to be able to pick up on things. He’s a competitive kid.”

At just 22 years old, Festerling now sits on the brink of realizing a dream that a select few are able to attain.

“Did I think I would be a week away from opening day at the age of 22?” Festerling says.  “Probably not, but then again it’s not opening day yet. I can’t take anything for granted. I’m very excited, but I’m trying not to get too excited.”

“Did I think I would be a week away from opening day at the age of 22?” Festerling says.  “Probably not, but then again it’s not opening day yet. I can’t take anything for granted. I’m very excited, but I’m trying not to get too excited.”

Ebbett also remains guarded in his emotions as he tries to do the little things to help secure a spot. “I’m working hard, trying to play smart, not make mistakes and just play a simple game,” said Ebbett, who made his NHL debut during three games with the team last season. “That’s all I’ve been doing since I’ve been here.”

The 25-year-old led Portland in scoring last season (72 points) and played a large role in their playoff success. Overall, he’s accumulated 137 points the past two seasons in the American Hockey League after four years at the University of Michigan.

“He’s got offensive instincts and moves through the neutral ice well,” Carlyle said of Ebbett. “He is able to create space and make plays. In our situation, we think he’s garnered a look here and a longer look.”

With one week remaining until the season opener at San Jose on Oct. 9, the fate of Festerling and Ebbett will soon be revealed. Until then, both remain on pins in needles.

“You’re going to get a little nervous, but you just have to stay positive,” Ebbett said. “As long as I keep working, things will work out for me.”

“You’re going to get a little nervous, but you just have to stay positive,” Ebbett said. “As long as I keep working, things will work out for me.”

Added Festerling, “There is a lot of talent up here. The six defensemen around me are all seasoned, good players. Below me, guys in Iowa like [Brendan] Mikkelson, [Brian] Salcido, and [Brendan] Evans are all good players too. I just have to take it day by day."

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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