Ducks Eagerly Await Their Second-Round Opponent

Wednesday, 04.30.2014 / 3:53 PM / News
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Ducks Eagerly Await Their Second-Round Opponent
On yet another blustery afternoon in Anaheim, the Ducks took part in a rigorous practice to stay sharp for Game 1 of the upcoming second round. Who they\u2019ll play will be determined tonight during the Kings-Sharks Game 7 in San Jose (7 p.m. PT).
PHOTOS FROM PRACTICE
By Kyle Shohara
AnaheimDucks.com

On yet another blustery afternoon in Anaheim, the Ducks took part in a rigorous practice to stay sharp for Game 1 of the upcoming second round. Who they’ll play will be determined tonight during the Kings-Sharks Game 7 in San Jose (7 p.m. PT).

The Ducks say they’ll be watching tonight’s game from a fan’s perspective instead of through the eyes of an analyst. “I’ll be watching more as a fan than anything,” said captain Ryan Getzlaf. “There aren’t a lot of hockey games that I watch and dissect. There’s nothing these teams are going to throw at us that’s going to surprise us at this point.”

The second round figures to be exciting and surreal for Long Beach native Emerson Etem, no matter which team the Ducks face. His good friend, Matt Nieto, is a winger for the Sharks, and Etem attended Kings games throughout his youth. The 21-year-old was drafted by Anaheim in the first round in 2010 when the event was held at Staples Center.

“We have a little bit of bad blood between the two teams,” he said. “Either way, it’s going to be an exciting series. If we play San Jose, then I’ll play my good buddy Matt Nieto. That’ll be a fun test. LA is just an all-around playoff team. You see it every year. I’m ready for the test.”

Etem says he’ll be taking in tonight’s game as a fan, but will keep an eye out on the standout players. “If you critique it too much, or look too much into it, it becomes too much,” he said. “I’m definitely going to be watching for who’s producing, and just make sure we’re ready to go no matter what.”

The normally outgoing Ben Lovejoy has been all business since the postseason began. Sporting a salt-and-pepper beard and a serious game face, Lovejoy says he can’t wait to get the second round started. “Personally, I was hoping the series would end last game [Game 6] because I hate having this week of practice,” he said. “We had a really hard practice yesterday. No matter who we’re going to be playing, they’re going to be coming in with a successful Game 7 mentality, and we need to be ready for that.”

Of the Kings and Sharks, Lovejoy said, “They’re both elite teams. The Kings bring a defensive mentality with great goaltending. The core of their team has recently won a Stanley Cup. The Sharks bring a lineup very similar to ours: high-end skill, high-end speed. They’re a very difficult team to play against, and both pose very difficult matchups.”

Head coach Bruce Boudreau offered his thoughts on what makes the Sharks and Kings so dangerous. “The Sharks’ forward depth and the speed they come at you with…there’s just no weak link in any of their forward lines,” he said. “LA has different kinds of strengths. They’re bigger and stronger on the boards. They’ve got a history of knowing what it takes to win. They both have star power.”

NOTES
Boudreau says the banged-up players are “getting healthier,” but decided to keep a couple guys off the ice for an extra day for precautionary reasons. “Getzy [Ryan Getzlaf] said he felt fine, and that’s a big improvement,” Boudreau said. “Mathieu Perreault said he felt fine this morning, but we’ll just keep him off the ice until tomorrow. And the same with Matt Beleskey.”

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - ANA 82 54 20 8 266 209 116
2 y - COL 82 52 22 8 250 220 112
3 x - STL 82 52 23 7 248 191 111
4 x - SJS 82 51 22 9 249 200 111
5 x - CHI 82 46 21 15 267 220 107
6 x - LAK 82 46 28 8 206 174 100
7 x - MIN 82 43 27 12 207 206 98
8 x - DAL 82 40 31 11 235 228 91
9 PHX 82 37 30 15 216 231 89
10 NSH 82 38 32 12 216 242 88
11 WPG 82 37 35 10 227 237 84
12 VAN 82 36 35 11 196 223 83
13 CGY 82 35 40 7 209 241 77
14 EDM 82 29 44 9 203 270 67

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
R. Getzlaf 77 31 56 28 87
C. Perry 81 43 39 32 82
N. Bonino 77 22 27 14 49
M. Perreault 69 18 25 13 43
A. Cogliano 82 21 21 13 42
C. Fowler 70 6 30 15 36
K. Palmieri 71 14 17 9 31
D. Winnik 76 6 24 6 30
H. Lindholm 78 6 24 29 30
S. Koivu 65 11 18 3 29
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
F. Andersen 20 5 0 .923 2.29
J. Hiller 29 13 7 .911 2.48

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