A morning after a heartbreaking home loss to Boston, the Ducks returned to practice at Honda Center on Monday and remained upbeat.
|“We showed a lot of resiliency,” Ryan said. “We earned such a big hole. It could have gone two ways. It could have been a very lackluster January, February and March. Or you can put your boots on and go to work every day." |
With just 12 days remaining in the 2011-12 regular season, the clock is nearly up on Anaheim’s postseason hopes. But the fact that the club, once 12 games under the .500 mark on Jan. 6, is still not mathematically out of the postseason picture is something these Ducks can be proud of.
“We showed a lot of resiliency,” said Bobby Ryan
, who needs three more goals to reach 30 for the fourth straight season. “We earned such a big hole. It could have gone two ways. It could have been a very lackluster January, February and March. Or you can put your boots on and go to work every day.
“Bruce came in and did a good job of getting guys to buy in, learn the system and do things. There is a lot to be excited about from January on. Hopefully, whether we are in or out, it will set things up for a nice year next season.”Ellis discusses his return, Ducks talk about their approach
Currently seated in the 12th spot of the Western Conference with a 32-33-11 record (75 points), the Ducks could be officially be eliminated from the playoff race by the time they next play on Wednesday night at home against rival San Jose. Even if that proves to be the case, Anaheim will continue to give maximum effort the rest of the way and hopefully cause some frustration for opponents.
“We’ll continue doing what we’re doing, which is playing hard,” said Ducks head coach Bruce Boudreau after last night’s loss. “We get a chance to stop San Jose. Let’s prevent them from making it. We’ll whatever we can to win.
“There is a lot of character in that room. We’ve had one of the better records in the NHL from the beginning of January, so let’s try to continue to work on that. It’ll be something to really look forward to coming into next year.”
Boudreau voiced his satisfaction Monday afternoon with the way his team battled back against the defending Stanley Cup champion Bruins, despite having an apparent tying goal by Matt Beleskey
waved off for goalie interference.
|“This team does have the core guys, the tremendous skill level and ability," Koivu said. "I think this team has a good mix of the young and old, some veteran leadership. When you look at it from January on and how well we played, I’m confident that this team can do it." |
“Even with the depression of what happened seven minutes into the third period and getting down 3-1, still fighting to come back after that, I thought was pretty well the rallying cry of what we’ve been doing for a long time now - never saying die,” Boudreau said. “You look at every game and there is just a handful, maybe two or three, that we haven’t been in going down to the wire every night.”
For a veteran like Saku Koivu
, who is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent this summer, the second half surge is proof for him that this team has what it takes to make noise in the Stanley Cup playoffs. He’s hopeful to be around for that happening in the future.
“I feel like I don’t want to finish my playing career by not making the playoffs and not getting that feeling,” said Koivu, who began his career with Montreal in 1995-96. “This team does have the core guys, the tremendous skill level and ability. I think this team has a good mix of the young and old, some veteran leadership. When you look at it from January on and how well we played, I’m confident that this team can do it. We’ve loved it here and feel comfortable. But at this time, it’s both sides have to agree on that it’s the direction we’re taking. I’m hoping we can get it done here.”Notes
Goaltender Dan Ellis
(sports hernia surgery) returned to practice with the rest of the Ducks on Monday. He had been away since suffering a torn groin in practice on Jan. 7. The 31-year-old appeared in just 10 games prior to the injury, which would be his lowest amount since becoming an NHL regular in 2007-08. Whether he sees action again in the regular season remains to be seen, but Boudreau did not sound hopeful afterward.
“I haven’t talked to the trainers about that, but I don’t think so at this stage,” Boudreau said. “We just want to make sure he is healthy for the future. I hate to just throw him into a game. You just put on the pads for one practice and in a week it’s tough to get a guy game-ready. We want to win every game we play, so it’s tough to think he’d be ready.”