“I didn’t expect the goal production,” said Boudreau, when asked of his expectations of the third line. “But they’re all very fast skaters. The first day I put them together, they seemed to have more jump than anybody else and they’ve kept that up."
By Kyle Shohara
► After giving his team a day off yesterday, head coach Bruce Boudreau put his players through an up-tempo practice at Honda Center in preparation for Friday’s home opener against the Vancouver Canucks. Line combinations mirrored those used in Anaheim’s first two games, with the exception of rookie Rickard Rakell seeing time on the second line with Bobby Ryan and Teemu Selanne. In the first two games, Rakell was used on a fourth line with Matt Beleskey and Devante Smith-Pelly, but today shared duties with fellow center Nick Bonino. “It’s not that hard to play with Bobby Ryan and Teemu Selanne” said Rakell, with a laugh. “You catch the little things that they do on the ice and think, ‘Wow, I can try that, too.’”
► Anaheim’s third line of Andrew Cogliano, Saku Koivu and Daniel Winnik remained intact for obvious reasons. The line has combined for 14 points (five goals, nine assists) with a +15 rating in the first two games of the season.
In fact, Winnik is the first player in Ducks history to start a season with consecutive multi-goal games (4-1=5) and the first player in club history to record multi-goal games in his first two games as a Duck.
Currently, Winnik is tied for the NHL lead in goals (4) and ranks tied for second in scoring (4-1=5), while Koivu (1-4=5) and Cogliano (0-4=4) are tied for third among NHL leaders in assists. The trio is among five players tied for the league-lead in plus/minus (+5).
► “I didn’t expect the goal production,” said Boudreau, when asked of his expectations of the third line. “But they’re all very fast skaters. The first day I put them together, they seemed to have more jump than anybody else and they’ve kept that up.
“Can they keep that up? I don’t know. I’d like to think they’re a reliable line that can continue to score.” Boudreau also noted the importance of the trio clicking off the ice. “All the really good lines that I’ve been a part of when I played, we were always best friends, too. We’d always hang out together. You just end up learning more about them.”
► Scott Niedermayer was also on the ice helping the defensemen. The four-time Stanley Cup champion was named assistant coach on January 11.
► Rookie defenseman Hampus Lindholm participated in the full practice wearing an orange non-contact jersey and was paired with Sami Vatanen throughout most of the drills. Vatanen is currently on injured reserve.
► Line combinations from today’s practice: Forwards Perry – Getzlaf – Palmieri Ryan – Bonino/Rakell – Selanne Cogliano – Koivu – Winnik Beleskey – Holland – Smith-Pelly – Staubitz Defense Allen – Fowler Souray – Sbisa Hendry – Beauchemin Lindholm (non-contact jersey) – Vatanen
Goaltenders Hiller – Fasth
NOTE: Toni Lydman did not participate in today’s on-ice practice.