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Positions of Power

With a pared down group hitting the training camp ice, the Ducks got to work on a newly configured power play Thursday afternoon

Thursday, 09.23.2010 / 7:53 PM / Features
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Positions of Power
By Matt Vevoda
AnaheimDucks.com


"I think he’s looking for guys who are willing to shoot from back there," Ryan said. "I don’t think there is any question that I look to do that. I’ll try to step in.  It’s nice to get out there with those players in that situation. It gives you a chance for success. I’ll run with it for as long as I can.”
Having trimmed their training camp roster by a quarter on Thursday, the Ducks were able to begin work in smaller groups on Thursday at The RINKS-Anaheim ICE, in particular focusing on special teams.

A new wrinkle emerged from the proceedings, with Bobby Ryan on the point alongside defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky on the first power play unit that also featured forwards Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry and Teemu Selanne. It’s yet again another new assignment for the newly christened center.

“When you have skilled players and he is one of our most skilled players, we think it would be foolish not to put him into as many offensive situations as possible,” said Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle of Ryan, who has some experience at the point during his stints in the American Hockey League. “We like Visnovsky as a rover out there. He’s got a big one-time shot from the right side. Bobby has vision and can shoot the puck himself, so we’ll give it a whirl.”

Already having moved from right to left wing for the Ducks and now switching from wing to center, change is nothing new for Ryan at the NHL level. But it goes a little bit deeper than that for the 23-year-old, who if not for a position switch as a teenager, could have been known as defenseman Bobby Ryan.

It was on the blue line where the forward began playing hockey and stayed until getting to juniors at the age of 15. A coach decided to try him on the front line and Ryan “never looked back” from there. Those defensive skills will come in handy if and when he is to play the point, as he’ll have to have the team’s own end in the back of his mind.

“When you play with a guy who can see the game, can pass and has unbelievable skills, it’s never a bad thing,” said Selanne (left) of Ryan (right).
“I’ve played D for a good portion of my life,” Ryan said. “I don’t mind if they come back the other way. I can certainly handle myself. I think he’s looking for guys who are willing to shoot from back there. I don’t think there is any question that I look to do that. I’ll try to step in.  It’s nice to get out there with those players in that situation. It gives you a chance for success. I’ll run with it for as long as I can.”

After 12 players were sent to Anaheim’s AHL affiliate in Syracuse or back to their junior teams, things are also starting to take shape in the 5-on-5 game. The Ducks appear poised to attack opponents with three scoring lines. There is no doubt one grouping will feature longtime linemates Getzlaf and Perry. From there, Ryan and Saku Koivu will likely center the next two lines. Placements from there are still being juggled, but the odds-on-favorite for Thursday appeared to be Selanne teaming up with Ryan.

“The idea is for me to play with Teemu and get him the puck,” Ryan said. “We’re starting to do more practice drills like that together. I don’t think there is any hiding what Teemu brings to the table. He is going to fly down that wing and always going to be around the puck. It’s exciting and I’m starting to figure him out a little bit.”

"By the moves that we have made, we’re getting ourselves down to a very workable group in a short period of time. We play back-to-back on the weekend. Then, we have just three left. I would suspect that we are going to play as close to a veteran lineup as we go forward and we get more and more close to our team." - Randy Carlyle
Having played with Ryan, the winger, on several occasions over the last two years, Selanne is keen to what his potential new center brings to the table. “When you play with a guy who can see the game, can pass and has unbelievable skills, it’s never a bad thing,” he said.

“I got the feeling early that the team wanted Bobby to be a center. That gives us a lot of depth and options. This time of the year, it’s good to try different combinations. Down the road, you’re going to see injuries here and there. The teams that have three good lines are really going to have success. How we are going to get those three lines, let’s see how it happens.”

Back-to-back preseason games lie ahead in the next two days, with a date at San Jose (whom the Ducks beat 5-2 last night) on Friday, followed by Vancouver on Saturday. All the active players left on the roster are making the trip, so it is possible that these new configurations will start getting tested soon.

“By the moves that we have made, we’re getting ourselves down to a very workable group in a short period of time,” Carlyle said. “We play back-to-back on the weekend. Then, we have just three left. I would suspect that we are going to play as close to a veteran lineup as we go forward and we get more and more close to our team.”

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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