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Practice Report: Ducks Preparing for Emotional Night

by Staff Writer / Anaheim Ducks

By Kyle Shohara

Pictures from Practice

When the Ducks hopped on the ice this afternoon and made their way behind both nets, they noticed something unique resting under a thin sheet of ice. Yesterday, the organization’s ice technicians added the number 8 behind each goal, a tribute to the most beloved player in Ducks franchise history, Teemu Selanne.

Now just two days away, Teemu Tribute Night figures to be an emotional moment for everyone in attendance, and that includes the players. The Ducks were in Montreal last month when the Canadiens honored the career of Saku Koivu, a touching tribute that included testimonials from fans, former teammates, staff and a cancer survivor who thanked Koivu for all that he has done in the fight against the disease. After his tribute ended, one that lasted a little over 30 minutes, the Ducks went on to claim a 2-1 victory over the Canadiens.

And with Sunday marking a historic chapter in this franchise’s history, the Ducks hope to channel the emotion and excitement from pregame to in-game.

“I’ve been a part of some great retirements, like [Mike] Modano,” said defenseman Clayton Stoner. “It’s emotional, it’s exciting and it’s fun. But at the same time, you have to channel that energy and emotion into the game, and not be overzealous.”

Cam Fowler entered the league in 2010 and had the privilege of learning the ropes from two of the game’s all-time greats, Scott Niedermayer and the aforementioned Selanne. Fowler, now 23 years of age, says he owes a lot to Selanne for guidance on and off the ice.

“He’s certainly helped me throughout my career, and I know he’s touched everybody in some way in this locker room,” said Fowler. “He’s a guy who deserves to have a special night. I’m looking forward to it, but after that you have to settle yourself down. We’re playing a good hockey team. We’ll be ready. “

Ducks head coach Bruce Boudreau said the team spent extra time on the ice today in an effort to eliminate bad habits that have crept into their game as of late. “I told the guys today that their will and character have carried them a little bit in the last 10 games. We’re slipping in a lot of the little things that we were doing that were making us a really good team. We have to get back to it.”

Boudreau says he’s not concerned with the lack of scoring from Patrick Maroon (two goals in 34 games), Andrew Cogliano (five goals in 42 games) and Jakob Silfverberg (four goals in 42 games) because they’re all getting scoring chances. Eventually, he says, goals will come. “The one thing I keep telling them is with chances, you’ll eventually start scoring. It’s got to happen. It’s when you can go through four or five games and you don’t get a chance to score, then all of a sudden you start worrying about what you’re doing wrong. It happens one of two ways, you get frustrated and say you can’t score, or you get more determined and you bear down and end up scoring in bunches. We try to keep them positive and tell them the good things they’re doing.”

Boudreau says he expects defenseman Eric Brewer to start skating on his own next week. Brewer has been out since Dec. 1 due to a foot injury.

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