DALLAS – With a much-needed day off behind them and another challenging set of back-to-back games on the immediate horizon, the Ducks hope to be reinvigorated for tonight’s matchup with the Dallas Stars at the American Airlines Center.
While they gained a point in the NHL standings with Sunday night’s 3-2, overtime loss at Chicago, the Ducks saw a season-high, six-game winning streak halted.
“What happened in Chicago has gone by,” Coach Randy Carlyle said after today’s morning skate. “We played a loose game. We didn’t stop many pucks. We didn’t really get inside to a point where we could say we were controlling any part of the game, other than probably five or six minutes. And that’s not the way we have to play. We have to play a lot higher level of hockey than we did.”
Given what has been a very demanding schedule, one that includes a Wednesday night game at Minnesota, perhaps it was not a surprise that the Ducks’ collective fuel tank was not full Sunday.
“It was pretty easy and pretty evident when we watched the game the other night in Chicago that we did a lot of things that we haven’t done in a while,” Carlyle said. “We looked like we were a flat hockey club and a tired hockey club. That’s not making excuses. That’s just the way we felt.”
As a result, Carlyle called off Monday’s scheduled practice session in suburban Dallas, opting to let players “work out, get the blood moving, have an opportunity to rest some bumps and bruises, and refresh themselves for today.
“That really is the goal. What happened Sunday night in Chicago, you turn the page on all that.”
Veteran forward Todd Marchant, who missed Sunday’s game because of an upper-body injury, participated in today’s morning skate and is also scheduled to take part in the pregame warm-up.
“We’ll make a decision based on what he tells us,” Carlyle said.
One player who will not be in the Ducks lineup is right wing Troy Bodie, whom the Carolina Hurricanes claimed on waivers earlier today.
After producing five goals and seven points in 44 games with the Ducks last season while playing primarily a checking role, Bodie had one assist in nine games this season. He had been a healthy scratch in each of the past eight games.
“We thought Troy had made a real nice transition from an American Hockey League player to an NHL player last year,” Carlyle said. “And he just didn’t seem to get on track. It’s not because of lack of effort because he’s a kid that tries day-in, day-out. It just wasn’t happening for him.”
Bodie, 25, left the American Airlines Center before the Ducks took the ice this morning, bound for Raleigh, N.C., where the Hurricanes host the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday.
“He’s getting an opportunity to go to an organization that sees something in him. That’s all part of the process,” Carlyle said. “We have nothing but good things to say about Troy Bodie, the kind of individual he is and how hard he worked at it.”