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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 ANA 35 22 8 5 101 96 49
2 CHI 34 23 9 2 106 67 48
3 NSH 32 22 8 2 92 65 46
4 STL 33 21 9 3 100 81 45
5 SJS 34 19 11 4 97 87 42
6 WPG 34 17 10 7 83 80 41
7 VAN 32 19 11 2 92 90 40
8 LAK 34 17 11 6 94 84 40
9 CGY 35 17 15 3 100 95 37
10 MIN 31 16 12 3 91 84 35
11 DAL 32 14 13 5 95 109 33
12 COL 33 12 13 8 85 101 32
13 ARI 32 11 17 4 74 104 26
14 EDM 34 7 20 7 74 116 21

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
R. Getzlaf 34 12 25 7 37
R. Kesler 35 11 15 -2 26
S. Vatanen 35 9 15 -1 24
C. Perry 23 14 8 11 22
M. Beleskey 35 15 3 11 18
C. Fowler 34 3 14 1 17
J. Silfverberg 35 4 12 3 16
H. Lindholm 34 4 11 12 15
P. Maroon 27 2 12 -5 14
D. Smith-Pelly 31 4 8 3 12
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Gibson 2 2 0 .927 2.28
F. Andersen 18 5 4 .913 2.41


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