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Practice Report: Ducks, Honda Center Ready for Game 1

Tuesday, 04.15.2014 / 1:40 PM PT / News
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Practice Report: Ducks, Honda Center Ready for Game 1
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PHOTOS FROM PRACTICE
By Kyle Shohara
AnaheimDucks.com

On the eve of Game 1 of the first round of the playoffs, the Ducks took to the ice for a practice that had the look – and feel – of postseason hockey.

Honda Center’s ice is emblazoned with “Stanley Cup Playoffs” on each end, and the exterior of the building is wrapped in playoff-themed graphics. Meanwhile, the hallway outside the Ducks locker room was buzzing with a significantly larger group of television crews and media members eagerly awaiting player interviews.

And on the ice, head coach Bruce Boudreau led his team through a spirited workmanlike practice that lasted approximately 60 minutes.

The Ducks are a season removed from a heartbreaking first-round loss to the Detroit Red Wings, one that spawned the motto “Unfinished Business” throughout training camp and the regular season. Boudreau says last year’s early exit drove home the point that losing “isn’t fun,” but he feels his team is ready to take the next step.

“We’re ready and prepared,” he said. “They’ve played all year for this. We know we’re playing a really good opponent. I think we’ll make it a series.

“We’re deep, and I think we’ve proved we can play with most teams throughout the course of the year. The confidence that they can win is there.”

Teemu Selanne begins his final Stanley Cup Playoffs, and the 43-year-old, who was honored by the fans on Sunday night for his regular season finale, is eager to begin one last quest for a championship.

“This is the best time for hockey players,” he said. “You’ve got to enjoy every day and every moment. Every little thing matters. Even a little thing can turn the whole series around.”

Selanne uses the Francois Beauchemin-Jarome Iginla fight from the 2006 postseason as an example of how any one thing can change the momentum of an entire series. The Ducks were down, 3-2, in the series, when Beauchemin dropped Iginla with a vicious left a minute into the game. The Ducks wound up winning the contest, 2-1, then went on to blank the Flames, 3-0, in Game 7 at Calgary.

“The Calgary guys were big, strong and mean, and suddenly Beauchemin wins the fight,” Selanne said. “We felt they got smaller and weaker. We won the series. One thing here and there can make a big difference. That’s why the playoffs are what they are.”

Selanne says this current Ducks squad has that it factor that can take them as far as they want to go.

“I don’t think this team has any limits,” he said. “We can be as good as we want to be. It takes a lot of work and pride to do your job. In the playoffs, it doesn’t matter if you play four minutes or 25 minutes. Just do as good as you can, and give back to the team. You can’t ask for more than that.”

ROBI REUNION
Ducks defenseman Stephane Robidas knew there was a chance he’d face his former team in the playoffs when he was traded to Anaheim on March 4 for a conditional fourth-round pick in the 2014 NHL Draft.

And while he’ll see plenty of familiar faces on the other end of the ice tomorrow night, the 37-year-old blueliner says he’s just happy to have a chance at a Stanley Cup. Robidas has played in 44 career Stanley Cup Playoff games, earning 15 points (3g/12a) with 42 penalty minutes.

“I’m just excited to be in the playoffs,” he said. “It’s been five years, and I’ve been waiting for this moment for a long time. When I got traded here, I knew I was going to be in the playoffs. But it’s not about me. It’s about the Ducks.”

Robidas knows the Stars better than anyone else, and says they have skill up and down the lineup.

“They have lots of speed, skill, hard workers, good defensemen who can move the puck, and good goaltending,” he said. “They have good depth. They finished as the eighth seed, but you can’t take them for granted. It’s a good, young team.”

TRAFFIC ADVISORY
With the Ducks and Angels starting at the same time tomorrow night, fans are encouraged to arrive at Honda Center early to avoid traffic complications. In addition, there will be pre-game presentations that fans won’t want to miss.

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 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
R. Getzlaf 77 25 45 15 70
C. Perry 67 33 22 13 55
R. Kesler 81 20 27 -5 47
J. Silfverberg 81 13 26 15 39
S. Vatanen 67 12 25 5 37
P. Maroon 71 9 25 -5 34
C. Fowler 80 7 27 4 34
H. Lindholm 78 7 27 25 34
M. Beleskey 65 22 10 13 32
R. Rakell 71 9 22 6 31
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
F. Andersen 35 12 5 .914 2.38
J. Gibson 13 8 0 .914 2.60

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