By Kyle Shohara
|Bobby Ryan, on the Kings: "They're a pretty big team that battles well and they don't give you much room to operate. There are no glaring weaknesses."
Only a handful of players skated this afternoon in an optional practice at Honda Center.
Among them was Jonas Hiller, who was unable to backup Viktor Fasth last night due to illness prompting the Ducks to recall Igor Bobkov from Norfolk on an emergency basis.
The other players on the ice were Bobkov, Radek Dvorak, Peter Holland, Toni Lydman, Brad Staubitz and David Steckel.
“Ryan didn’t have any setback. He’s day-to-day,” said head coach Bruce Boudreau on the status of Ryan Getzlaf, who missed last night’s game with a lower body injury sustained in the third period of the April 3rd game against Dallas.
STRONG START, FORECHECK
When the Ducks come out of the gate strong and establish a forecheck early on, they usually find success. And despite tying the game just seconds after Dallas opened the scoring, the Ducks found themselves in a 3-1 deficit after 20 minutes, a score that would hold for the remainder of the game.
“When we were playing our best hockey, we were getting leads early and making it a tough building to come into, and establishing a start and establishing a forecheck by taking away time and space,” said Bobby Ryan. “We allowed them, pretty comfortably, to get out of their zone last night early. It’s amazing what that does to a team’s confidence.
“I think if we gotten that first one, it could’ve been a completely different game because they were almost a team that’s been a little bit beaten down and broken. And we had beaten them twice in the week. We let two points get away from us.”
PREVIEWING THE KINGS
The Kings always play the Ducks tough, and it figures to be no different tomorrow night at 6 p.m., when the two teams go head-to-head at Honda Center.
Boudreau: “I think, and I’ve always thought this, that they’re the best team in the league for us to play against. There’s nothing to sway me from thinking that. They’re a challenge and they’re starting to rev it up. It’ll be a real test.
“It’s pretty hard to treat it like another game. It’s the Kings versus the Ducks. And more importantly right now, they’re nipping at our heels for the division championship. They might look they’re 10 points back now, but in a hurry that can drop.”
Bobby Ryan: “They do a lot of things well. They have great goaltending no matter who they put in net. On top of that, they play a full-ice game very well. They’re good in all three zones. They’re a pretty big team that battles well and they don’t give you much room to operate. There are no glaring weaknesses. They’re pretty good from the goalies on out.”
Ryan, on the Ducks and Kings having success: “I think it’s a great thing for Southern California hockey. Over the past 10 years, you’ve seen it grow as a youth sport here. But now that both teams are good and in playoff races and division races, I think it’s only going to add to it. You’re going to get more young kids who are going to want to play. I think it does great things for the game here in Southern California.”