By Kyle Shohara
|"Usually trips like this bring teams together. I think we're already very close as a team and I think our start has indicated that, but it can only help because you're around everyone a little more." -- Daniel Winnik
The Ducks got in a brisk, up-tempo practice at Honda Center before their afternoon flight to Denver to start a road trip that includes six games in 11 days.
After last night’s 2-1 win over the San Jose Sharks, the Ducks enter the road trip with a 6-1-1 record through eight games (the best start to a season since 2006-07 when they went 6-0-2).
Cam Fowler was not on the ice for today’s practice.
Bruce Boudreau: “No updates. He’s not starting off on the trip, which doesn’t mean he’s not going to be on the trip, because I think we’re there for three or four months. [Laughs.] We’re all getting apartments on the road. To say he’s not coming on wouldn’t be the right thing.”
STATE OF MIND
The Ducks’ road trip features two sets of back-to-backs and includes games against Colorado, Dallas, St. Louis, Chicago, Detroit and Nashville.
Head coach Bruce Boudreau shared his thoughts on the upcoming trip:
“I think it’s both good, in that we’ve played pretty well, and, I don’t know if this is the right word…apprehensive, because it’s six tough games in a short season. You’ve got to worry about it.
“When you play Chicago, Detroit, St. Louis, Dallas, Colorado, Nashville, it’s a tough grind. It’s nothing that we’re going in there thinking ‘we’re all that.’ We’ve gotten to where we are through hard work and tenacity. So we have to do the same thing to scratch out a win every game. There have been a lot of one-goal games for us.”
Road trips often bring teams closer together, on and off the ice. With this being the team’s first extended road trip (and longest) of the season, Daniel Winnik and Toni Lydman shared their thoughts on the upside of being on the road.
Winnik: “Usually trips like this bring teams together. I think we’re already very close as a team and I think our start has indicated that, but it can only help because you’re around everyone a little more.
“Everyone’s used to long road trips, so at least we’re in a good city, Chicago, for a bit, so that’s nice. You’re going to get a little tired at times getting in late on the back-to-backs but that’s about it.”
Lydman: “I think the first thing that comes to mind was last year’s trip. I think it was an eight-game trip. It was really when the team got going. It was after we put some wins together. In the end it wasn’t enough, but that was the time when we started really hitting our stride.”
Lydman, on team chemistry: “It’s already building up nicely and this road trip is just going to help.”
PREVIEWING THE AVS
The first stop is Denver, where the Ducks will take on the Colorado Avalanche in the first of three meetings this season. Although their record is 4-5-0 (eight points), the Avs have a young, talented team.
Boudreau, on the Avalanche: “They’re awfully quick. They’re really fast and they play really good at home. Last night was their first loss at home this year. They’re young, they’re energetic, and they gave us a heap of trouble last year. I expect the same kind of game from them tomorrow as they’ve been doing all year.”
Winnik (former Avalanche player from 2010-12): “Playing the Avs, being there, they rely on their scoring a lot to win them games. With a good defense we should do well. And as always, special teams will be key.”
Perry - Getzlaf - Etem
Selanne - Ryan - Palmieri
Cogliano - Koivu - Winnik
Beleskey - Bonino - Rakell - Staubitz
Souray - Beauchemin
Allen - Vatanen
Sbisa - Lydman
Hiller - Fasth
NOTE: Devante Smith-Pelly was reassigned to Norfolk (AHL) this morning.