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Bertuzzi Looks to Join the Club

by Kyle Shohara / Anaheim Ducks

By Matt Vevoda


AnaheimDucks.com

“I’m as motivated, if not even more, than anyone,” said Bertuzzi. “I want to experience what they all went through. I was fortunate to see a few of the presentations that happened with them. Whether it was being jealous or whatever it was, it was something that motivates you and makes you want to have it.”

On the eve of his fifth trip to the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Ducks forward Todd Bertuzzi desires what many of his teammates have already attained.

While 18 of the current 25 Ducks were on last year’s Stanley Cup champion squad and another two (Mathieu Schneider and Doug Weight) won titles with previous teams, Bertuzzi is the most senior member on a group of five (along with Brian Sutherby, Marc-Andre Bergeron, Bobby Ryan and Jonas Hiller) who have not won an NHL crown.

A bystander during many of the in-season celebrations highlighting last year’s triumph, the 12-year veteran only became more driven in his quest for a Cup.

“I’m as motivated, if not even more, than anyone,” said Bertuzzi, who has played in 40 career playoff games up to this year. “I want to experience what they all went through. I was fortunate to see a few of the presentations that happened with them. Whether it was being jealous or whatever it was, it was something that motivates you and makes you want to have it.”

Bertuzzi has only been as far as the Western Conference Final, and that was last year with Detroit, which fell to the Ducks in six games. Beginning on Thursday, Bertuzzi finally gets his chance to work with the Ducks toward their goal of repeating, as the team opens the playoffs with a Western Conference Quarterfinal matchup against Dallas.

 “It’s an exciting time,” Bertuzzi said. “It’s a long season in order to build up to this. It seemed like those last five games took forever. We’re excited and ready to get this going.”

Not wanting the majority of his team to rest on last year’s laurels, Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle is adamant that his team carve out a new identity in these playoffs.

“It’s an exciting time. It’s a long season in order to build up to this. It seemed like those last five games took forever. We’re excited and ready to get this going.” - Todd Bertuzzi

“This is a new season,” Carlyle said. “Everybody starts back at zero. We’ve got a playoff series to play against a very difficult opponent and an opponent that has given us lots of trouble over the course of the season. We’ve got to win four games before they do and that’s our approach.”

Ducks goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere echoed the sentiments of his coach. “What happened last year and during the season doesn’t count anymore,” Giguere said. “Right now, it’s the first team to win four games and that’s all that matters. Our focus right now is on trying to win [Thursday].”

Having attained home-ice advantage for the series, the Ducks will be eager to get the series started off on a winning note with the first two games at Honda Center.

“I think our goal was to get home-ice advantage,” Teemu Selanne said. “It was just one little step forward. Now, it’s time to take another big step forward.”

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