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Ducks Appear Loose, Jovial Going Into Tonight's Game 7

Friday, 05.16.2014 / 10:46 AM PT / News
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“We’ve got a really fun team, and we’ve been that way all year,” Bonino said. “When the time comes, you’re focused and dialed in, but morning is a time to get loose and get ready for the game. You want to do what you’ve done all year.”
By Adam Brady
AnaheimDucks.com

Ducks fans across the county are distracted at work and school, expressing their stress levels on social media and going through various superstitious rituals in the hours before tonight’s Game 7 against the hated Kings. But the Ducks themselves appear cool as … well, ice.

The vibe at today’s morning skate was loose, culminating with about 10 players and coaches crowding around goalie Jonas Hiller for a kind of friendly shooting competition – complete with over-the-top goal celebrations.

“We’ve got a really fun team, and we’ve been that way all year,” said Ducks forward Nick Bonino. “When the time comes, you’re focused and dialed in, but morning is a time to get loose and get ready for the game. You want to do what you’ve done all year.”

Despite the magnitude of playing their bitter rivals in a playoff series for the first time, Bonino says they’ve remained upbeat the entire time.

“I think we’ve had a great mood all series,” Bonino said this morning. “After we were down 2-nothing, you wouldn’t have known by the mood in our locker room that that was the case. We’ve had confidence all series, all season, and it doesn’t make much sense to abandon that now.”

While the Ducks would have loved to close out this series two nights ago in LA, after that game their focus quickly shifted to getting it done tonight. “After Game 6, we all probably wished we could have played Game 7 right away,” Bonino said. “We’re in a pretty eager mood and we’re excited to play. I can’t wait.”

Despite the fact that a loss tonight would make this his last game in the NHL, Teemu Selanne was his usual jovial self while surrounded by a gaggle of reporters in front of his locker. He was asked if former teammate Paul Kariya would be in the building tonight, just as he was (surprisingly so) for Selanne’s last regular season game on April 13. “Oh no no no, that was already a miracle,” Selanne said, drawing a hardy laugh from the gathering.

“You’ve got to enjoy this,” Selanne said. “It’s a very special time…The experience of facing this before, I really believe it’s going to help us now.”

Andrew Cogliano, one of the more intense Ducks, shared the sentiment of his teammates. “We were down 2-nothing in the series, and if someone gave us an option of going to Game 7 at that point, a lot of guys would’ve taken it.”

“I think we’ve had a great mood all series,” Bonino said. “After we were down 2-nothing, you wouldn’t have known by the mood in our locker room that that was the case. We’ve had confidence all series, all season, and it doesn’t make much sense to abandon that now.”

The Ducks know full well that home teams are 1-4 in Game 7s in this year’s playoffs, partly because those teams have come out of the gate timidly.

“At the end of the day, you have to seize the moment,” Cogliano said. “We just have to go for it. When you play safe, especially against good teams, you have no chance of winning. When we’ve been successful, especially in the playoffs, we’ve really pushed the issue. There’s nothing to be nervous about.”

The looseness extended this morning to head coach Bruce Boudreau, who despite making a small tweak to his forward lines, isn’t making dramatic changes for this one game.

“We don’t want to change anything to make it special,” Boudreau said. “I don’t want to sit here and act like I’m inventing the wheel and say, ‘Bruce, you’ve got to do something outlandish to win this game. Every game has been basically a one-goal game. We’ve just got to go out there and play just as hard as we have done, and hope we get the breaks and not them.”

Boudreau acknowledged that for anyone engaged in this historical series, they want it to go as long as possible, and hockey fans are getting their wish.

“I think for hockey people it’s a real exciting time, and it’s a real exciting time for California,” Boudreau said. “You either fear it or embrace it. We want to embrace it. We want to go after it.”

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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