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Practice Report: Relax, Refocus, Regroup

Tuesday, 02.04.2014 / 5:39 PM / News
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Practice Report: Relax, Refocus, Regroup
Although the Ducks aren\u2019t playing their best hockey as of late, head coach Bruce Boudreau opted for a different approach to today\u2019s practice at Honda Center.
PHOTOS FROM PRACTICE
By Kyle Shohara
AnaheimDucks.com

Although the Ducks aren’t playing their best hockey as of late, head coach Bruce Boudreau opted for a different approach to today’s practice at Honda Center.

He wanted to remind his players that hockey, at its core, should be fun. So instead of bag skating them or putting them through a physically demanding practice, Boudreau had the Ducks open the session with what he calls “two-puck” before breaking off into a scrimmage.

“Sometimes when things are going bad and things aren’t going right, players forget it’s a game to have fun,” he said. “We played a little bit of two-puck to warm up and told them that the sun still rose today and we’re still first place. Let’s not jump off a cliff because we haven’t played well the past week.”

The Ducks won’t have any other choice but to play at their best tomorrow night against the Chicago Blackhawks, a team right on Anaheim’s heels. With the Ducks loss last night coupled with the Blackhawks victory over LA, Chicago sits only three points behind Anaheim in the conference (and league) standings.

“I think it’s appropriate we play Chicago tomorrow,” said defenseman Bryan Allen. “They’re a great team coming in that’s always a good battle and great games. It’ll be good to end [the homestand] with a victory.”

Unlike the previous four games against teams clawing for a postseason berth, the Blackhawks are likely to punch a ticket to the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Despite sitting second in the Western Conference, Boudreau expects them to be a desperate hockey club.

“They’re the team that was first overall last year and won the Stanley Cup,” he said. “I think they would like to get back in that position. In the Central Division, Colorado and St. Louis aren’t losing too many games. They have to keep winning just to stay where they want to stay in their division.”

Victories in their next two games would surely send the Ducks into the Olympic break on a higher note. Matt Beleskey says it’s time for the Ducks to refocus and strive to be better.

“We can play two good, hard games here and go into the break feeling good about ourselves,” he said. “Sometimes adversity is something the team needs. Maybe this is a wakeup call for us. I’d rather have it now than towards the end of the season.”

VIKTOR SKATES
Goaltender Viktor Fasth took part in his first full practice with the Ducks this afternoon. It’s been a rough season for Fasth, who’s dealt with several injuries, including a lower-body issue that’s forced him to sit out 34 consecutive games. But practicing with the team is a step in the right direction, and Boudreau says everything is dictated by how Fasth feels.

“There’s a plan in place,” he said. “Everything has to go according to how he feels. If he feels good by this date, this can happen. If he feels ready to play by another date, another thing can happen.”

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 ANA 47 31 10 6 139 124 68
2 NSH 45 30 10 5 137 104 65
3 STL 46 29 13 4 148 111 62
4 CHI 47 30 15 2 148 108 62
5 WPG 48 26 14 8 135 117 60
6 SJS 48 25 17 6 131 132 56
7 VAN 45 26 16 3 124 114 55
8 CGY 47 25 19 3 136 125 53
9 LAK 47 20 15 12 129 126 52
10 COL 48 20 18 10 125 137 50
11 DAL 46 21 18 7 144 151 49
12 MIN 46 20 20 6 128 137 46
13 ARI 46 16 25 5 105 156 37
14 EDM 47 12 26 9 109 158 33

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
R. Getzlaf 46 15 35 12 50
C. Perry 32 19 12 15 31
R. Kesler 47 13 17 -2 30
S. Vatanen 47 10 19 3 29
M. Beleskey 46 17 7 12 24
C. Fowler 46 5 18 4 23
P. Maroon 39 4 18 1 22
H. Lindholm 46 5 14 13 19
J. Silfverberg 47 6 12 2 18
D. Smith-Pelly 41 4 11 5 15
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Gibson 2 2 0 .927 2.28
F. Andersen 26 6 5 .917 2.30

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