Boudreau Urges More Intensity in Last Practice Before the Road

Wednesday, 03.7.2012 / 2:51 PM PT / News
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Boudreau Urges More Intensity in Last Practice Before the Road
By Matt Vevoda
AnaheimDucks.com


Unhappy with what he was seeing at a rare 9 a.m. practice, Ducks head coach Bruce Boudreau halted drills and vehemently urged his team for a better effort.

“They are all must-wins,” Ryan said. “They’ve all been must-wins since January 1. That mindset doesn’t change for us. We’ll prepare for St. Louis. At this point in the season, every two points is a must-have.”
The session at The Rinks – Anaheim ICE took place hours before the team boarded a flight for St. Louis for the start of a critical three-game road trip. The Ducks are six points back of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference and have just 15 games left in the regular season to make up the ground. There is little to no room for error over the next month.

“I think I explained that to them a few times,” Boudreau said.  “I wasn’t happy with what their practice was in the first half. Maybe guys aren’t used to getting up at 7:30 in the morning or something. The day before a game, you want to have a good practice.

“I know they had a day off for the most part yesterday. I know it’s not at our regular practice facility. But you expect a certain level of play and when you don’t get, you just can’t accept it. You have to push to get it better.”

Boudreau’s most veteran player agreed that the practice was not smooth at the start. “We were sloppy,” Teemu Selanne said. “Yesterday was like a service day for us. (Maybe) before the flight, the mind is already on the flight. It wasn’t easy right away, but it got better after the start.

“Our focus is only on tomorrow. We know they have a great team. I’m really looking forward to seeing how good we could be against them.”

In their matchup with the Blues tomorrow night, Anaheim will be pitted against a team that has soared to the top of the Western Conference. Just like the Ducks did, St. Louis made a coaching change during the month of November. Out went Davis Payne on Nov. 6 and in came veteran head coach Ken Hitchcock, a Stanley Cup winner with Dallas in 1999. He has also coached Philadelphia and Columbus during his career.

One game under the .500 mark (6-7-0) before Hitchcock took over the reins, the Blues have since compiled a 38-11-7 record under their new head coach. They rarely lose at home in the Scottrade Center (27-4-4 record in their building) and are tied for first in the NHL with 91 points (along with the Rangers).

“It’s a pretty loud building,” Boudreau said. “Some teams just like home cooking. They have played great all year. You take out their record before they made the change and they are the best team in the league by a good margin. Definitely, our hands are full.”

“These three games, most importantly tomorrow night, could almost write our season,” Blake said. “It doesn’t matter who we’re playing now or where we’re playing. We have to make that we’re ready, take care of ourselves and win hockey games.”
At this point though, time is more of an opponent than any NHL team is for the Ducks. With the clock winding down on the 2011-12 campaign, Anaheim needs continue the run it started in January that got the team to this current position.

“They are all must-wins,” Bobby Ryan said. “They’ve all been must-wins since January 1. That mindset doesn’t change for us. We’ll prepare for St. Louis. At this point in the season, every two points is a must-have.”

The rest of the three-game road trek consists of Dallas on Saturday and Colorado on Monday, two teams among the seven with the Ducks that are separated by just nine points. By the time Anaheim returns home next week, the playoff picture could be dramatically different one way or another.

“These three games, most importantly tomorrow night, could almost write our season,” Jason Blake said. “It doesn’t matter who we’re playing now or where we’re playing. We have to make that we’re ready, take care of ourselves and win hockey games.”

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
R. Getzlaf 15 2 17 7 19
C. Perry 15 9 8 7 17
J. Silfverberg 15 4 13 5 17
R. Kesler 15 6 6 1 12
S. Vatanen 15 3 8 5 11
P. Maroon 15 7 3 5 10
A. Cogliano 15 3 6 10 9
C. Fowler 15 2 7 7 9
H. Lindholm 15 2 7 1 9
M. Beleskey 15 7 1 -4 8
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
F. Andersen 11 4 3 .919 2.18

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