Ducks Radio Analyst
|“Everybody in the room knows what we have to do,” Boudreau said “We’ve known what we’ve had to do for a month now. Everybody’s sense of urgency is at different times in the year, as far as teams go. There are teams that haven’t reached their sense of urgency yet. We reached ours earlier than most teams.” |
GLENDALE, Ariz. – Fresh from a five-day break for NHL All-Star weekend, the Ducks will look to pick up pretty much where they left off in a Tuesday night matchup with the Phoenix Coyotes at Jobing.com Arena.
Though the Ducks dropped their final contest before the break, a 1-0 decision at Dallas on Jan. 24, the club had gone 8-0-1 in its previous nine games and owns an 8-2-1 mark this month.
As much as 20 points out of the eighth and final Stanley Cup playoff position in the Western Conference as recently as Jan. 6, the Ducks have climbed within 12 points of the current eighth-place club, Minnesota. Thirty-four games remain for the Ducks to make up the necessary ground.
“Everybody in the room knows what we have to do,” coach Bruce Boudreau said after putting the Ducks through a late-afternoon practice session in Glendale. “We’ve known what we’ve had to do for a month now. Everybody’s sense of urgency is at different times in the year, as far as teams go. There are teams that haven’t reached their sense of urgency yet. We reached ours earlier than most teams.”
Perhaps a telling sign of that was the presence of right wing Corey Perry
on the ice for Monday’s practice. Little more than 24 hours earlier, Perry had been in Ottawa, where he contributed a goal and an assist in Team Chara’s 12-9 victory over Team Alfredsson in the NHL All-Star Game.
The Coyotes, who edged the visiting Senators 3-2 in their final game before the All-Star break, are among three teams in a virtual tie for 10th place in the West, nine points ahead of the Ducks. Another of those clubs, the Stars, will be at Honda Center for a Wednesday night matchup in Anaheim.
“We know every team we’re playing against right now is a team that we’re trying to catch in the standings,” defenseman Francois Beauchemin
said. “Every game is important. We just have to take it one by one.”
Beauchemin, who has two goals, seven points and a plus-10 mark over the past 10 games, is a leader among those who have raised their level of play considerably since New Year’s.
|“Everybody has a lot of confidence," Beauchemin said. "We know we can win every night. It’s just a matter of being ready, being focused every night to score some goals. By doing that, we’ll win some games.” |
“We feel really good about ourselves, the way we’ve been playing the last month,” Beauchemin said. “I think it shows with the record we’ve had in the month of January. We want to build on that.
“Everybody has a lot of confidence. We know we can win every night. It’s just a matter of being ready, being focused every night to score some goals. By doing that, we’ll win some games.”
A good illustration of how well the Ducks have played of late is the fact that both of their losses in the past 10 games, including a Jan. 12 overtime decision at Calgary, have been by 1-0 scores.
“We have to be able to keep it up and play better than what we did, even though I thought the last 10 games were as good as anybody’s,” Boudreau said. “We have to win at a pretty good rate if we want to continue the success we’re having.”
Wednesday’s date with Dallas will open a four-game home stand that also includes contests against Columbus on Friday, Calgary on Feb. 6 and Carolina on Feb. 8. Then comes an eight-game, 15-day road swing that could go a long way toward determining the Ducks’ fate this season.
“We have 15 games (in) 29 days,” Boudreau said, including Monday in his calculation. "I’ve read every team’s schedule. They all have tough rows to hoe. We just have to do what we do.”