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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, 10.2.2008 / 3:57 PM PT / 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."

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STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 CHI 56 36 16 4 158 128 76
2 DAL 53 33 15 5 170 142 71
3 STL 55 30 17 8 132 129 68
4 LAK 51 31 17 3 135 117 65
5 SJS 51 27 20 4 147 138 58
6 NSH 53 25 20 8 136 139 58
7 COL 55 27 24 4 148 152 58
8 ANA 50 25 18 7 111 115 57
9 MIN 52 23 20 9 127 126 55
10 ARI 52 24 22 6 138 161 54
11 VAN 52 20 20 12 120 142 52
12 CGY 51 23 25 3 134 148 49
13 WPG 52 23 26 3 136 150 49
14 EDM 54 21 28 5 132 164 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
C. Perry 50 21 14 -2 35
R. Getzlaf 46 4 30 6 34
R. Rakell 47 11 15 1 26
R. Kesler 50 11 15 -8 26
S. Vatanen 50 6 18 0 24
J. Silfverberg 50 6 11 -3 17
C. Stewart 44 7 9 1 16
A. Cogliano 50 5 11 -10 16
H. Lindholm 49 6 8 -4 14
C. Fowler 37 3 9 -9 12
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
F. Andersen 10 8 5 .918 2.35
J. Gibson 12 7 2 .923 1.92


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