By Kyle Shohara
|"Everything is in my hands right now. I'm going to control the way I play and how I react [tonight]" -- Patrick Maroon
With final roster cuts looming, tonight’s preseason finale against the San Jose Sharks at Honda Center serves as a last chance to make an impression for several Ducks.
“I just need to go in there and play as hard as I can, and get noticed out here,” said Patrick Maroon after the morning skate. “It’s the last preseason game and it’s time for them to make cuts here. I just have to play the best I can and hopefully get noticed.”
Maroon is getting an extended look in the preseason, as tonight marks his fifth game of Anaheim’s seven preseason contests. Through four games, Maroon has three assists and has been a physical presence throughout training camp and preseason. “I just need to do the things I do,” he said. “Get pucks out, get pucks in, and keep playing the way I’m playing.”
A few weeks ago, Maroon said he treats every practice as a real game, and with this being the final game of the preseason, the intensity will reach new heights. But that doesn’t mean the big forward isn’t nervous heading into tonight’s game.
“There are a lot of nerves,” he said. “You don’t know what’s going to happen. But, I control that. Everything is in my hands right now. I’m going to control the way I play and how I react [tonight]. I just have to be prepared and be ready.”
Young forward Devante Smith-Pelly is also fighting for a roster spot, and the former second-round draft pick said he’s sticking to his game plan.
“Last chance to show what you got,” he said. “It’s a big game for a lot of the younger guys. I try not to really put too much pressure on myself. Just go play how I’ve been playing. Just continue to try and help the team out.”
Like Maroon, Smith-Pelly’s gotten an extended look, as tonight serves as his sixth game of the preseason. He enters tonight with two points (1g/1a) through six games.
Smith-Pelly said he has no nerves entering tonight’s preseason finale. “Not at all,” he said. “I think I’ve been doing pretty well. Just going to try and continue playing like I have been.”