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From Nashville: Ducks Look to Turn Page on Day Off

by Staff Writer / Anaheim Ducks
By Dan Wood

Ducks Radio Analyst


NASHVILLE, Tenn. – On Monday, they rested.

One day after their own disappointing performance had a lot to do with Nashville’s 4-3 victory in Game 3 of an opening-round Stanley Cup playoff series, the Ducks took advantage of a two-day break in the schedule to skip practice and attempt to rejuvenate.

“I think his voice carries a long way,” said Perry of Selanne. “You guys just heard a little bit of what he said, but he said a lot more before that. He was pretty emotional. It could be his last playoff. He really wants to win, and I think he showed that last night.”
Down two games to one in the best-of-7 series, the Ducks will attempt to get even in Game 4 Wednesday night at Bridgestone Arena before the teams travel back to Anaheim for Game 5 on Friday.

“I think today is about just going ‘Whoa,’” Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said during a Monday morning meeting with reporters. “We showed signs of a very tired hockey club last night. I don’t know if it’s physically, emotionally, mentally – we showed signs that we didn’t really have what was required to compete in the hockey game, for long stretches.

“So today is about ‘Whoa.’ Just forget about it, for today. Tomorrow we go back to work. We have a little get-together for lunch. We’ll come back to practice tomorrow. The coaches don’t have the day off. We’ll do an analysis of what happened last night, and why it happened, and we’ll present our players with some of the things that we think are important. We’ll try to refresh our group and get ready for the game Wednesday.”

Ducks right wing Corey Perry welcomed the respite.

“It’s always good to get a day off,” he said. “It’s always nice just to regenerate and just hang out with the guys, just not do anything, not even think about hockey. It’s one of those days where you just sit back, relax and watch what else is going on.”

Despite being out-shot 12-4 in the first period and 15-6 in the second on Sunday, the Ducks rallied with two Teemu Selanne goals within a 30-second span to get even late in the second period. The Predators, though, scored two of three third-period goals, and finished with an overwhelming 37-16 advantage in shots on goal.

Selanne, who at 40 might be in his final NHL season, was livid after the game, both in private comments to his teammates and, later, to the media. Among other things, Selanne said the Ducks’ performance had been “embarrassing,” and that the team had “no business” being in the game.

“I think his voice carries a long way,” said Perry, who set up both Selanne goals. “You guys just heard a little bit of what he said, but he said a lot more before that. He was pretty emotional. It could be his last playoff. He really wants to win, and I think he showed that last night.”

Selanne, Carlyle said, has “earned that right to speak.

“We want to stay positive, and we are positive, but you have to be honest," Selanne said. "You have to face the facts, learn and be better. This team is way too good to play like we played last night. I’m expecting that Wednesday we’re going to play our best game of this series.”
“I think he spoke from his heart, and that’s how he felt. That’s just taking responsibility for our actions. That’s stating the obvious. When you state the obvious, it’s time for some people to look in the mirror, and say ‘Hey, why did this happen and how can I be better?’

“This is the playoffs. The things that we did and the way we managed the puck, we didn’t look like we were a playoff team.”

Selanne, among several Ducks players who participated in a media session Monday, was already looking ahead.

“New opportunities,” Selanne said as he greeted reporters. “We don’t play until Wednesday, so we have a lot of things to fix before that. Today, we’re just worried about playing pool. It’s time to just reload the batteries.”

Learning from Sunday’s mistakes, primarily having to do with an abundance of what Carlyle called “atrocious” turnovers combined with alarmingly poor defensive-zone coverage, will be key for the Ducks going forward, Selanne said.

“When you play well and you lose, you can live with that, but when you play bad, that’s so much tougher,” Selanne said. “You didn’t even give (yourself) a chance to win. That’s what really bothers us right now.

“I felt that last night we didn’t … I hate to say it, but it looked like we didn’t want it. As a professional athlete, that’s the worst thing you can really say. We all can do better. I can’t say one guy who can honestly say he played his best. If you can’t do that, you can’t win games at this level.

“We want to stay positive, and we are positive, but you have to be honest. You have to face the facts and learn and be better. This team is way too good to play like we played last night. I’m expecting that Wednesday we’re going to play our best game of this series.”

Carlyle, too, is anticipating better things to come.

“We believe in this group,” he said. “We know that they can play to a higher level than last night.”
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