Drawing the Lines

As the Ducks inch closer to opening night, forward lines and defensive pairings are getting set in stone

Thursday, 10.01.2009 / 7:30 PM / Features
X
Share with your Friends


Drawing the Lines
By Matt Vevoda
AnaheimDucks.com

"Every time I step on the ice, it's going to be going over 100 percent," Brown said. I try to get energy, make big hits and make their d-men worry whenever I'm on the ice. The orther two guys on the line - Georgie and Carts - are doing the same thing. That is why we are pretty good together."
With eight teams set to kickoff the first day of the 2009-10 NHL season tonight, the Ducks were still rigorously preparing for their opening night matchup set for Saturday against the Sharks.

Anaheim punched the clock for another two-hour practice at The Rinks – Anaheim ICE on Thursday, paying close attention to special teams and defensive zone coverage. Amid the planning for San Jose (who are in action tonight at Colorado), it appears the forward and defense combinations the Ducks will send onto the ice at Honda Center in close to 48 hours are just about set.

The top two forward lines – Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry, Bobby Ryan and Saku Koivu, Teemu Selanne, Joffrey Lupul – have been widely discussed at length throughout training camp and they will get their chance to ignite the team’s offense. There is plenty of grit and toughness on an energy line of Ryan Carter, George Parros and Mike Brown.

On the third line is where there appears to be some possibilities of mixing and matching, with Todd Marchant most likely being the constant among Evgeny Artyukhin, Erik Christensen, Petteri Nokelainen (who sat our practice with a strained groin) and Andrew Ebbett.

“The groupings of forwards we have, in our eyes complement one another,” Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle said. “We are putting them in roles that we feel they can have success in. We think Koivu, Selanne and Lupul can provide a second level of scoring and maybe push our big guys. We’re comfortable with Marchant playing the third-line role and with the Carter, Brown, Parros line.”

"As a team, we've been building," Eminger said. "This week in practice has been really key for us to figure out linemates, figure out systems and not to be second guessing ourselves in this opening game."
Though Anaheim’s top-six forward earn much of the publicity, the proposed energy line has the potential to earn a lot of fans’ hearts with their collective penchant for hard work and lack of fear to drop the gloves at any given moment.

“I like playing with guys like that,” said Brown, who quickly became a favorite in Orange County after being acquired last February. “Every time I step on the ice, it’s going to be going over 100 percent. I try to get energy, make big hits and make their d-men worry whenever I’m on the ice. The other two guys on the line – Georgie and Carts – are doing the same thing. That is why we are pretty good together.”

Back on the blue line, it’s starting to look like the intriguing pairing of Scott Niedermayer and Luca Sbisa will at least initially get a chance. Good friends Ryan Whitney and James Wisniewski, each entering their fifth seasons in the league, will form another duo. That leaves offseason acquisitions and former Florida teammates Steve Eminger and Nick Boynton dueling with Sheldon Brookbank for the fifth and sixth defensive spots.

“Now, we’ve got a decision to make out of the remaining three – Brookbank, Boynton and Eminger,” Carlyle said. “One of them is not going to play the first game. We’ll monitor that as we go forward, but that is the way we’ve set things up. We’ve talked about competitions for positions and that is one right there.”

Said Eminger, "As a team, we’ve been building. It’s tough to judge in preseason with different lineups and different players playing together. But this week in practice has been really key for us to figure out linemates, figure out systems and not to be second guessing ourselves in this opening game."

"This is a totally different culture and attitude here," Boynton said. "I know you have to work hard. But just when all your guys from top to bottom buy in, that is a big difference. It's a big thrill for me."
For the entire Ducks roster, there is realization that the long hours of pushing their bodies to the limit at their training facility will pay off. Regardless of the battles within to get on the ice or have more playing time, the united team focus needed to win has already starting to take shape.

“I’ve been unfortunately on some teams that didn’t have a shot at making the playoffs the last few years,” Boynton said. “This is a totally different culture and a different attitude here. I know you have to work hard. But just when all your guys from top to bottom buy in, that is a big difference than when you’re on a team where maybe half the guys are showing up.

“For me, it’s just been a lot of fun to be in the room with a bunch of talented players like this who have been there before and know what has to be done. It’s a big thrill for me.”

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

AnaheimDucks.com is the official Web site of the Anaheim Ducks. Anaheim Ducks and AnaheimDucks.com are trademarks of Anaheim Ducks Hockey Club, LLC. NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2013 Anaheim Ducks Hockey Club, LLC and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.

Privacy Policy     Contact Us    Jobs     Honda Center    Corporate Partnerships   Terms of Use   Site Map AdChoices