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Practice Report (January 31): Ducks Get Ready for Minny

Thursday, 01.31.2013 / 4:07 PM / News
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Practice Report (January 31): Ducks Get Ready for Minny
Boudreau on Vatanen: “He’s very skilled. He was the Finnish Elite Defenseman of the Year for the last two years. He’s a real gamer."
By Kyle Shohara
AnaheimDucks.com


The Ducks closed out the month of January with a high-energy and highly vocal practice at Honda Center, as the team prepared for tomorrow’s matchup against the visiting Minnesota Wild.

It’s a new-look Wild squad, having signed free agents Zach Parise and Ryan Suter to long-term contracts over the summer. Minnesota defeated the previously undefeated Chicago Blackhawks 3-2 in overtime last night.

WILD BUNCH
Cam Fowler and head coach Bruce Boudreau shared their thoughts on tomorrow’s opponent.

“We just need to be on top of our game. We’ve done it well for parts this season. You look at [our] last game in San Jose. It was a good defensive effort from our group. It’s going to be no different with Minnesota. We’ve got to be ready and we’ve got to try and shut down their big line as much as we can. It’s tough because they’re tough players but I think we’re up for the task.” – Fowler

“They’re obviously a [better team]. That probably gives them more confidence. Their expectations are probably pretty high when they sign guys like [Parise and Suter]. Their first line is bona fide. Suter anchors the defense. They never had a real anchor on their defense; it was more like a committee that I remember in the past. They definitely have an identity now. They beat an undefeated team last night [Chicago] and it’ll be a real test.” – Boudreau

Boudreau, on Parise: “He works so hard. He’s like a Tasmanian devil out there. He’s always moving his legs. He’s always going, and when you get to the shootout, he’s almost unstoppable because he’s got four or five really good moves and you never know which one he’s going to use.”

VATANEN GETTING A LOOK
Finnish defenseman Sami Vatanen was recalled on Sunday and was paired with Luca Sbisa during today’s practice. Up until today, he’s been paired with fellow rookie Hampus Lindholm. While he has yet to appear in an NHL game, coach Boudreau shared praise for the 5-10, 180-pound defenseman:

“He’s very skilled. He was the Finnish Elite Defenseman of the Year for the last two years. He’s a real gamer. When I saw him in Norfolk, the one thing that jumped out at me was that his games and practices were totally different. We see guys like that. His practices…he happened to be a little lazy and such. But his games…he competes his rear end off.

“Now, we’ve had him up here for a bit. We want him to do both. Once he starts doing both - and he has recently - his practice habits have been better and he’s ready for a game sometime soon.”

Cam Fowler, on Vatanen: “He’s a promising player with tons of upside. He sees the ice really well, makes good decisions, and he has a bright future ahead of him. It’s always tough transitioning into this league on the defensive side of the puck, battling against stronger, bigger guys, more skilled guys. But that’s something that will come with experience. We’re excited to have him. I think he’s going to be good.”

LINE COMBINATIONS
Forwards

Beleskey – Getzlaf – Perry
Selanne – Rakell – Ryan
Cogliano – Koivu – Winnik – Staubitz
Etem – Bonino – Palmieri – Smith-Pelly

Defense
Allen – Fowler
Souray – Beauchemin
Sbisa – Vatanen
Lindholm – Lydman

Goaltenders

Hiller – Fasth

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 ANA 37 23 8 6 105 100 52
2 CHI 36 24 10 2 112 74 50
3 NSH 34 23 9 2 99 71 48
4 STL 35 21 11 3 103 90 45
5 WPG 36 19 10 7 92 84 45
6 LAK 36 18 11 7 100 89 43
7 SJS 36 19 12 5 100 93 43
8 VAN 33 20 11 2 99 91 42
9 CGY 37 19 15 3 108 99 41
10 MIN 33 16 13 4 96 93 36
11 DAL 34 15 14 5 99 116 35
12 COL 35 13 14 8 92 106 34
13 ARI 35 13 18 4 82 113 30
14 EDM 36 7 22 7 76 125 21

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
R. Getzlaf 36 12 28 10 40
R. Kesler 37 12 15 -1 27
S. Vatanen 37 9 15 2 24
C. Perry 23 14 8 11 22
M. Beleskey 37 15 4 12 19
C. Fowler 36 4 14 1 18
J. Silfverberg 37 4 12 2 16
H. Lindholm 36 4 11 11 15
P. Maroon 29 2 13 -4 15
D. Smith-Pelly 33 4 10 5 14
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Gibson 2 2 0 .927 2.28
F. Andersen 19 5 5 .916 2.34

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