Morning Report: Always Room for Improvement
While the Ducks will look for their sixth consecutive victory tonight against the visiting Phoenix Coyotes at Honda Center, the focus this morning was on getting better. After a less-than-stellar performance in Wednesday night’s 3-2 victory, head coach Bruce Boudreau had his players watch a lot of video leading up to tonight’s game.
“I don’t think there were many guys in the room who were happy with the way the last game went, even though we got the win, which was most important,” said defenseman Cam Fowler. “We know we can come out with a better effort tonight.”
Added winger Dustin Penner, “I don’t think there’s been a team I’ve been on that can play the same perfect game, like we did against Ottawa, for 82 games. Finding a way to win when the team isn’t playing well is a sign of a good team. We don’t want to let our game slip any more than it has. We want to right the ship tonight.”
Good starts have been one of the reasons the Ducks have reeled off five straight wins to improve to 5-1-0 on the season. In fact, Anaheim has opened the scoring in four of those five victories. The Ducks will look to jump out to another good start tonight against the Coyotes.
“They’re a patient team,” said Fowler. “I think the main thing is we can’t beat ourselves. We’ve just got to keep things simple. When we do that, we’re a tough team to handle. We need to make sure we do that right from the start.”
“They’re a hard-working team,” said Penner. “They’re very system-oriented, they’re sound structurally, and they’ve got great goaltending. They play together as a team on lines one through four. It’s going to be a pretty good matchup for us with two similar teams. It’s going to come down to compete level.”
“They’ve got four good lines,” said Boudreau. “Their checking line is good as well, and they’re so deep on defense. [Goaltender] Mike Smith has been a pain in our side for a long time. They play with pace, they play with speed, and they’re well-coached. You add all of things up and it usually means that if we’re not ready for the game, they’re going to take it to us.”
Viktor Fasth suffered a lower-body injury yesterday and is considered day-to-day, according to Boudreau. Frederik Andersen has been recalled from Norfolk of the American Hockey League and will serve as Jonas Hiller’s backup tonight.
"He just tweaked something lower body yesterday at the end of practice," Boudreau said. "It's precautionary. We've got so many games coming up, the last thing we need is somebody to get hurt badly."