By Kyle Shohara
What was supposed to be the second game of a back-to-back for the Ducks is no longer.
After getting word of yesterday’s game postponement against the Capitals, the Ducks high-tailed it for the airport in hopes of getting out of the Washington D.C. area before Winter Storm Jonas unleashed its wrath. Fortunately they did, and arrived in Detroit later in the afternoon.
“At first, the game was moved up which altered a lot of our things from the morning skate to canceling it,” said Ducks head coach Bruce Boudreau. “We had to work out in the hotel. At 1:10 p.m., we found out the game was canceled, so we were on the bus by 2 p.m. We didn't get in the air until about five o’clock. We got out safely and had a good morning skate [today]. I don't know when the game is going to be made up, but we’re here for Detroit.”
The Red Wings are coming off a 3-0 road victory last night against the Buffalo Sabres.
“They are the same team,” said Corey Perry, regarding Detroit’s style of play under first-year head coach Jeff Blashill. “Personnel didn't change, just the coach changed. They play the same way. They do a lot of things similar to what they were before. He's a coach that came up through the system. He adapted that same style of game and it's just continued."
Perry says he and his teammates will have to be willing to finish checks and limit time and space in the neutral zone against a Red Wings team built for speed.
“We have to stay above their guys,” Perry said. “You can't let them generate speed and skate through the neutral zone. If you’re going to do that, they’re going to shred you to pieces. They’ll pick you apart and enter the zone in layers with a lot of speed. If you’re not ready to skate and check hard, you’re going to be in your own zone a whole lot.”
Ryan Garbutt is expected to make his Ducks debut after being acquired from the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday in exchange for Jiri Sekac. Garbutt, who will wear No. 28, skated on the fourth line with Shawn Horcoff and Nate Thompson.
On Thursday, Ducks Executive Vice President and General Manager Bob Murray said the reasoning behind the trade was to give the bottom-six forward grouping more bite.
“We’ve played against Ryan enough to know what kind of player he is,” Murray said. “He’s a good skater who plays hard and plays on the inside. Our team definitely needs to play a little harder, and a little more on the inside.”
“I know they’re a hard-working team with high-end skill,” said Garbutt, on the Ducks. “They come to play every night. They were never a fun team to play against. It’ll be nice being on the other side of that, getting to work with guys like that.”
Garbutt says he’s open to playing any role that’s given to him by the coaching staff.
“I’m the kind of guy who will work for every opportunity I can get and help in any way I can,” Garbutt said. “If I’m being hard to play against, I know I’m doing my job. My first job is to help the team with whatever they need me to do. I come to the rink every day to play hard and play with speed. There are a lot of intangibles I can bring to the team.”