By Kyle Shohara
Photos from Practice
A new week is upon us, which means a new set of goals for head coach Bruce Boudreau and his team. While last week didn’t bear fruit, the Ducks begin this seven-day stretch with four games, three of which on the road. It’s another opportunity for the Ducks to get back into the win column after dropping back-to-back games Thursday and Friday against the San Jose Sharks and Chicago Blackhawks. The Ducks haven’t lost more than two consecutive games in regulation all season.
Boudreau says he’s not going to “micro manage” a Ducks team that recently won six straight before completing a stretch of three games in four days following the All-Star break. “When we’re talking about two games as being a slide, then I think that’s a good thing when it comes to the whole scheme of things,” he said. “There’s a lot of pride in the room. We’re upset that we’ve lost two. It doesn’t mean we’re not going to lose three, but they’re sure cognizant of that fact.”
“Any time you have a little setback like this, it kind of puts things into perspective for us,” said defenseman Cam Fowler. “We lost against two good teams, and we lost pretty handily in both games. We’re not where we want to be right now, but we have another opportunity tomorrow night to try and get things going on the right track.”
The Carolina Hurricanes landed in Southern California yesterday after a cross-country flight from New York following a 4-1 loss to the Rangers on Saturday. Although they rank 15th in the Eastern Conference and 28th overall with a 17-26-6 record (40 points), they were among the NHL’s hottest teams in the month of January. Carolina went 7-2-3 in 12 games last month, a stark improvement to their 3-10-1 record in December.
“They’re playing really good right now, and I’ve played against this Carolina group a lot when I was in Washington,” said Boudreau. “They’re a team with tremendous speed, and when Cam Ward is on, he’s a really good goalie. It’s not going to be an easy game, and we understand that. Hopefully we’ll play to what our standard is, and maybe sneak a win out.”
LEFT WING SWAP
Boudreau tweaked the top line in practice this morning, putting Matt Beleskey at left wing alongside Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry. Patrick Maroon, who’s been with Getzlaf and Perry as of late, took Beleskey’s spot on the second line with Ryan Kesler and Kyle Palmieri.
“I switch them every now and again when I think they’re getting a little stale,” said Boudreau, referring to the top two lines. “Just to add a little jump. That’s the one good thing about those guys being here for the last few years. Matty’s been up and down with that line and Patty’s been playing with three of the four lines. It might be a breath of fresh air.”
BREWER IS READY
Fans will get a chance to become reacquainted with defenseman Eric Brewer soon. The 6-foot-4 blueliner has only appeared in two games with the Ducks since being acquired from the Tampa Bay Lightning on Nov. 28. A broken foot on Dec. 1 vs. Boston sidelined him for 23 consecutive games.
“He’s going to play this week,” said Boudreau. “He’s ready to play.” At practice, Brewer took the place of Clayton Stoner, who Boudreau says is out with a cold and did not come to the rink.
Brewer has four points (all assists), 18 penalty minutes and a plus-5 rating in 19 games with Tampa Bay and Anaheim this season.