By Adam Brady | AnaheimDucks.com
It didn’t take long to get past the Ducks’ performance in Game 6 in Chicago and come to terms with the fact Anaheim faces a do-or-die Game 7 at home for the third straight postseason.
No one needs to be reminded of the Ducks’ performance in those Game 7s the past two springs, which include a disheartening defeat to Detroit in the 2013 opening series and a crushing 6-2 rout by the rival Kings in last year’s Second Round -- both at Honda Center. Each of those followed a Game 6 loss after the Ducks had earned a 3-2 series lead, as is this case this time around.
But Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said recent history will not be addressed as his team gears up for Saturday evening’s crucial Game 7 against the Blackhawks.
“I’m not bringing that up to them at all,” Boudreau said this afternoon from his office at Honda Center. “To me, quite frankly, every year is a different entity. The guys who have been here those three years know what’s happened. If we have to draw on extra motivation for a Game 7 with a chance to play for the Stanley Cup, then we’ve got the wrong guys. And we have the right guys here.”
Veteran defenseman Francois Beauchemin has been a part of both of those crushing Game 7s, and said today they have nothing to do with how they will approach the next one. “The last two years, we were a different team. We were a younger team,” he said. “We’ve added some players who have made a difference all year long for our team. It’s not the same Ducks who have played those Game 7s the past two years.”
|“I think if you want to prove people wrong you’ve just to go out and do it,” Palmieri said. “Yeah, we blew 3-2 series leads the last two years but no one’s going to remember that if you go out there Saturday night and beat these guys and go play for the Stanley Cup.” |
Forward Andrew Cogliano was also in both of those games, and said that last year’s particularly “took a toll” on the team, but it’s a much different group this time around. “We have guys on the team and guys brought in who have been in these situations before and they know what it takes to win,” he said. “It’s just going to take our best game. We’ve been a good job of being a hard team to play against in our building. We just need to play.”
This Ducks team, which has pressed the issue so often in this Western Conference Final series with Chicago was “too tentative” last night, according to Boudreau.
“We were waiting for something to happen,” he said. “What makes you play your best is when you know you haven’t played well, and you know you’re capable of much more. You’re mad at yourself for not playing up to your capabilities and maybe letting something slip away.”
Cogliano agreed, “We’ve had games where we played with a purpose, and I don’t think guys were happy with their games last night. It’s just a matter of responding. There’s only one way to make it right, and that’s in the last game [of the series].”
Indeed, the Ducks know it does little good to dwell on the recent -- or distant -- past, so the focus now is on Saturday night, when Anaheim will lay everything on the line for a Stanley Cup Final berth.
“It’s been our goal all year,” Beauchemin said. “Our goal wasn’t to get to the Conference Final, our goal was to get to the Stanley Cup Final. Now we have a chance to do that in Game 7 at home.”
Ducks winger Kyle Palmieri said there is a foolproof way to get everyone to stop mentioning the team’s Game 7 letdowns. “I think if you want to prove people wrong you’ve just to go out and do it,” Palmieri said. “Yeah, we blew 3-2 series leads the last two years but no one’s going to remember that if you go out there Saturday night and beat these guys and go play for the Stanley Cup.”