Ever-secretive, Ducks coach Randy Carlyle offered a vague, one-word answer when asked if there would be any lineup changes for tonight’s game against the Minnesota Wild at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn.
“Maybe,” Carlyle said after the club’s morning skate.
On-ice indications, however, were that center Andrew Ebbett and defenseman Nick Boynton appeared likely to see their first regular-season game action.
The Ducks will attempt to bounce back from Saturday night’s season-opening, 4-1 loss to the San Jose Sharks at Honda Center. Video review of that game confirmed the obvious. Carlyle pointed to a number of sub-par areas – passing, offensive execution, defensive-zone coverage and a failure to capitalize on early power-play opportunities among them.
“The whole overall game,” Carlyle said. “We’re going to have to push some people to be better.”
With the Ducks opening a four-game road swing that includes games in Boston, Philadelphia and against the New York Rangers, the matchup with the Wild appears particularly important.
“We always talk about scheduling – the quirks in it,” Carlyle said. “It’s not up for negotiation. It’s what we have.”
Particularly with a roster that includes six new faces, the Ducks will attempt to use their week on the road to further get to know each other, in addition to gaining on-ice results.
“Sometimes it’s a positive to get your team together on the road,” Carlyle said. “With so many games, you’re not really together during the preseason. The road can be a bonding experience.”