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Selanne Hopes Recent History Guides Ducks, Wants to End Series Tonight

Wednesday, 05.14.2014 / 3:39 PM / News
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Selanne Hopes Recent History Guides Ducks, Wants to End Series Tonight
Teemu Selanne hopes that the lessons the Ducks have learned from past playoff disappointment continue to push them in this postseason, and he wants to close out the Kings in tonight\'s Game 6.
“I always believe that with good teams, they have to take a couple of steps down before they can climb up all the way. I hope we’ve gone through that learning process and we can reach another level.”
By Adam Brady

You can talk about his legendary hands or his mind-boggling speed, but among the talents Teemu Selanne has is a firm grasp of history.

Ask him about a goal he scored in a mid-‘90s game in Winnipeg and he’ll probably remember it, down to how he scored it, who was in net and maybe what he had for his pregame meal that night.

So it’s no surprise that with his Ducks hoping to eliminate the Kings and advance to the team’s first Western Conference Final since 2007, Selanne went back in time to recount the lessons that Cup-winning team endured.

“We had lost the conference final the year before,” Selanne recalled, referencing Anaheim’s loss in five games to the Edmonton Oilers in ’06, “and we tried to remind each other, ‘You’ve got to remember that feeling.’ We thought we were better than the Oilers. Every game the shots were like 40-20 and we had a lot more scoring chances than them.”

Then he pointed across the locker room at former Oilers goalie Dwayne Roloson, now the Ducks’ goaltending consultant. “But damn Roloson was in the net there, and he was standing on his head. That was disappointing, but it was something we wanted to remind each other [about], that feeling. You’ve got to remember that.

“There are similarities now, but obviously it’s a totally different team.”

Selanne made the comparison because these Ducks have for a long time carried the bitter taste of a first-round defeat to the Detroit Red Wings in last year’s postseason. The Ducks had a chance to close out that series in Game 6 in Detroit, but lost that game and then were knocked off in Game 7 back in Anaheim. They have used that disappointment as fuel this year.

“We felt we were way better than that, and we felt that with the depth that we had, the longer we would go, the better we’d get. We still feel that way.”

“It was a learning process for this team,” he said. “I always believe that with good teams, they have to take a couple of steps down before they can climb up all the way. I hope we’ve gone through that learning process and we can reach another level.”

Nobody knows better than Selanne that looking ahead past tonight’s Game 6 is not an option, especially since the 43-year-old is definitively calling this season his last. He shares the feeling among his fellow Ducks, who have no interest in playing a Game 7 in this series with their bitter rivals.

“You’ve got to just finish when you have the chance,” Selanne said. “There is no ‘tomorrow’ attitude. You’ve got to find a way to do it now.”

"Obviously, winning [tonight], I would get a chance to experience something that I haven't been able to do so far," Koivu said. "It would be a huge step for myself, but at the same time, you don't want to get ahead of yourself and try keep all the focus on [tonight's] game and on this series."

KOIVU LOOKING TO BREAK NEW GROUND
Selanne’s countryman and fellow Ducks alternate captain Saku Koivu has been in the playoffs 11 times in his lengthy career (three with Anaheim and eight with Montreal), but he has never been as far as the conference final.

"Obviously, winning [tonight], I would get a chance to experience something that I haven't been able to do so far," Koivu said. "It would be a huge step for myself, but at the same time, you don't want to get ahead of yourself and try keep all the focus on [tonight's] game and on this series."

Koivu has just one assist in this postseason, but he’s played a key defensive role on a line with Andrew Cogliano and Jakob Silfverberg, as well on the penalty kill and in the faceoff circle.

While Selanne has announced this as his last year, the 39-year-old Koivu’s status beyond this season remains up in the air. He did, however, pass on the chance to join Selanne on Team Finland for this year’s Olympics, indicating he wanted to be as sharp as possible for the stretch run with the Ducks.

Regardless of what his future may hold, Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf said he and his Ducks teammates would love to give him a season for the ages.

“Saku, I know, really wants this,” Getzlaf said. “He wants to get to the Final. He wants an opportunity to play for that Cup, and we'd love to give it to him."

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 ANA 7 6 1 0 25 14 12
2 NSH 6 4 0 2 16 11 10
3 CHI 5 4 0 1 16 7 9
4 LAK 6 4 1 1 15 10 9
5 SJS 7 4 2 1 23 20 9
6 CGY 8 4 3 1 20 19 9
7 DAL 6 3 1 2 21 20 8
8 VAN 5 3 2 0 16 16 6
9 STL 5 2 2 1 12 9 5
10 ARI 5 2 2 1 16 22 5
11 EDM 7 2 4 1 17 29 5
12 MIN 4 2 2 0 10 4 4
13 WPG 6 2 4 0 11 16 4
14 COL 7 1 4 2 12 24 4

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
C. Perry 7 8 2 6 10
R. Getzlaf 7 2 8 3 10
R. Kesler 7 3 3 1 6
S. Vatanen 7 2 3 -2 5
M. Beleskey 7 4 0 3 4
J. Silfverberg 7 0 4 2 4
C. Fowler 7 0 4 4 4
D. Smith-Pelly 7 1 2 3 3
P. Maroon 3 0 3 -1 3
N. Thompson 7 0 3 -1 3
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
F. Andersen 6 0 0 .951 1.32
J. Gibson 0 1 0 .846 6.00

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