Ducks Look to Re-Focus at Home

The team gets back to work at Honda Center after returning early Tuesday morning from a tough four-game road trip

Tuesday, 11.17.2009 / 3:56 PM PT / Features
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Ducks Look to Re-Focus at Home
By Matt Vevoda
AnaheimDucks.com

“I felt with our schedule that is coming, we’re going to play every second day here as we go, that we should try to get on the ice as much as possible to try to improve our overall execution level,” Carlyle said. “That first and foremost was missing from last night (at Pittsburgh). It wasn’t where it needs to be in the last three-four games and that has been frustrating for everybody.”
A disappointing four-game road trip in the books, the Ducks were back at Honda Center for practice on Tuesday afternoon, hoping to unearth a solution to various breakdowns that have left the team puzzled.

With a big seven-game homestand starting Thursday against Tampa Bay, Anaheim head coach Randy Carlyle opted to have his team skate rather than take a day off despite getting back into town in the wee hours of the morning.

“I felt with our schedule that is coming, we’re going to play every second day here as we go, that we should try to get on the ice as much as possible to try to improve our overall execution level,” said Carlyle, who noted that his decision was also in part because the team did not practice on Sunday due to one-on-one meetings. “That first and foremost was missing from last night (at Pittsburgh). It wasn’t where it needs to be in the last three-four games and that has been frustrating for everybody.”

A glaring problem that reared its head against the defending Stanley Cup champion Penguins was turnovers, and in a locker room meeting afterward, the team spoke openly about the need to be safer with the puck.

“Especially in your own end, if you’re going to make those little plays, you can’t turnover pucks right in front of our net,” Joffrey Lupul said. “We’re behind the eight-ball early in some of these games from just small mistakes. Right now, we’re in one of those little funks where it seems every time we make one of those mistakes, it’s in our net.”

“Whatever we’re dealt right now, we have to use to try and be better,” Niedermayer said. “We realized that we were going to be playing some pretty good teams on the road trip. We came up short and made too many mistakes. When you’re playing good teams, you can’t afford to do that. Hopefully, we can have a bit of a string here at home. That would be great.”
Taking pride in their defensive capabilities the past several seasons, the Ducks find themselves in the very unfamiliar position of 27th (tied with Columbus) in the NHL in goals against per game (3.42) and 28th on the penalty kill (74.2 percent).  Scott Niedermayer said the first and simplest fix is to address the turnovers.

“The biggest thing is you look at the giveaways,” the Ducks captain said. “Those should be pretty easy to correct. There are good players in this league that are going to make plays. Things are going to happen even when you’re doing your job, but to give them opportunities is tough.”

Known more for his offensive prowess since debuting in the league in 2005, Corey Perry is also starting to see more time in a defensive role on the penalty kill. The right wing, who said he last played prominently on the PK back in junior hockey, played a season-high 5:26 on the unit last night and assisted on Todd Marchant’s shorthanded goal in the first period.

“For me, it’s a place where you can stay involved in the game and the intensity just rises when you’re on the penalty kill,” Perry said. “Everybody says championship teams start with defense. Good defense leads to good offense. The less time you spend in your zone, you’re going to have a better chance of scoring on the other end.”

On the opposite side of the rink is where Perry has been doing plenty of damage. With that assist to Marchant, the 24-year-old extended his scoring streak to 12 games, a career high and the longest hot stretch by a player in the league so far this season. But individual achievements mean little to him if the team is not playing well as a whole.

“It’s been going all right personally, but that stuff doesn’t matter to me,” Perry said. “I’m not a person that just thinks about that. It’s all about the team. When we’re losing like we are, it doesn’t feel great. I just want to go out and get the two points for a win.”
“It’s been going all right personally, but that stuff doesn’t matter to me,” said Perry, who is tied for third in the league with 24 points and tied for fourth with 13 goals. “I’m not a person that just thinks about that. It’s all about the team. When we’re losing like we are, it doesn’t feel great. I just want to go out and get the two points for a win.”

The Ducks  (6-10-3) will have one more day of practice tomorrow to go over their course of action going forward before a critical homestand begins on Thursday. From there, a game will be played at Honda Center every other day until Dec. 1.

“Whatever we’re dealt right now, we have to use to try and be better,” Niedermayer said. “We realized that we were going to be playing some pretty good teams on the road trip and that it was going to be tough. We came up short and made too many mistakes. When you’re playing good teams, you can’t afford to do that. Hopefully, we can have a bit of a string here at home. That would be great.”

Injury Notes
Center Saku Koivu (groin strain) skated on his own before practice and then skated with the team for close to 15 minutes before leaving the ice. Koivu has been out the last five games.  Center Ryan Carter, who has missed the last three games with a bruised foot, did not skate.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - ANA 82 51 24 7 228 221 109
2 y - STL 82 51 24 7 239 197 109
3 x - NSH 82 47 25 10 226 202 104
4 x - CHI 82 48 28 6 220 186 102
5 x - VAN 82 48 29 5 236 220 101
6 x - MIN 82 46 28 8 227 198 100
7 x - WPG 82 43 26 13 223 204 99
8 x - CGY 82 45 30 7 237 213 97
9 LAK 82 40 27 15 218 197 95
10 DAL 82 41 31 10 257 257 92
11 COL 82 39 31 12 209 223 90
12 SJS 82 40 33 9 224 226 89
13 EDM 82 24 44 14 193 276 62
14 ARI 82 24 50 8 165 267 56

STATS

2014-2015 PLAYOFFS
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
C. Perry 7 6 8 8 14
R. Getzlaf 7 2 10 7 12
R. Kesler 7 3 4 3 7
J. Silfverberg 7 2 5 6 7
S. Vatanen 7 2 5 6 7
H. Lindholm 7 1 5 2 6
P. Maroon 7 3 2 6 5
S. Despres 7 0 5 4 5
A. Cogliano 7 1 3 4 4
M. Beleskey 7 3 0 -2 3
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
F. Andersen 6 1 1 .927 1.96

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