The enduring image from the Ducks' thrilling 3-2 shootout victory Tuesday night in Chicago was of Andrew Cogliano punching in the rebound goal, then raising his fists to the rafters with no helmet on his head. For Cogliano, who had gotten his bucket knocked off during a fight for the puck seconds earlier, it was an ultra-timely goal that led to likely the biggest win of the Ducks season.
It was not only the third victory in the first four stops on this already-lengthy road trip, but it came over a Blackhawks team that owns the top spot in the NHL and still hasn't lost in regulation. Having spent a couple of enjoyable nights in the Windy City and now in Detroit, Cogliano spent a few minutes at the team's hotel to talk about that win, the trip so far and Valentine's Day plans.
Let’s go back to the Chicago game. Considering how good that team’s been and the atmosphere in that building, would you consider that the biggest win of the year?
I think so. We’ve only played about 12 games, but that was probably our biggest win. Like you said, that atmosphere in that rink is something special every time you play there. Considering how good they’ve been this season, it was a big one for us. Obviously we would have liked to win in regulation, but getting two points there is a big feat for any team. It was a real good feeling in the room afterward. Everyone was real happy and we were pretty jacked up. It was definitely something we planned on doing, and to follow through and get the job done was a very satisfying feeling. Your goal that tied it late in regulation looked kind of funny from a fan’s perspective because you lost your helmet just before you scored it. Take us through that play.
I was behind the net battling and, actually, I figured out afterward that the guy who knocked it off me was David Bolland, who is a friend of mine. He was giving it to me after, telling me he was the one trying to knock it off. I just got up and kept going. At that point in the game, when you’re trying to tie it, you do anything you can to try and score. I went to the right spot at the right time, the puck was right there and I was able to put the goal in. It was a good feeling because at that point in the game, we were pushing so hard to score and break through. It’s still early, but this team has already made a habit of winning games like that. What do you think has been the reason?
The depth of the lineup is showing through, which is good. This has been a team that relies a lot on guys like Getzy and Pears and Teemu for a long time. We need those guys to score and be our top players, because they are, but it’s just really nice to see guys stepping up at opportune times. When you have that, it gives Bruce options and makes the team feel more confident. We’re spreading the scoring and getting other guys involved, and that makes us pretty tough to beat. There is a long ways to go, but so far so good. Is there something that feels different about this team compared to when it has struggled?
Honestly, I think we’re just playing. We have a game plan and guys aren’t thinking too much or going into games overthinking things. When you just play and take your mind out of it, you tend to perform better. Bruce has done a great job putting together a game plan that fits our team. Our goalies have been really good and given us a chance to win every night. We’re playing four lines and six Ds deep confidently, which is a huge plus.
What is it about playing for Bruce that’s appealing?
|"The depth of the lineup is showing through, which is good. It’s just really nice to see guys stepping up at opportune times. We’re spreading the scoring and getting other guys involved, and that makes us pretty tough to beat." |
The one thing you know about Bruce is he just wants to win. He’s very competitive and he’s a winner. Whenever you play for a guy who is dying to win every night, it just seeps through the lineup. Bruce is someone you want to play for. He’s someone who communicates, a guy who is approachable and he’s fair. At the end of the day, he puts guys in positions where they can do well. As a player, you want to play for a coach who is like that. You want to play hard for him and battle and do the right things every night, because not only do you want to win, but you want to look good in the coach’s eyes. Bruce is easy to play for in terms of that. What has been the highlight of this road trip away from the rink?
We had some good times in Chicago, some good nights. It was fun to have a few days in an unbelievable city like that. Other than that, it’s been a long road trip. We have a couple days in Detroit and then play back-to-back games and then get home. What are the team’s plans for Valentine’s Day?
Right now we’re sitting in the lobby of the hotel, and that’s it for now. We’re trying to make a reservation at the nice restaurant in the hotel, but they’re booked for Valentine’s Day. I guess we’re just going to have to rely on room service tonight. Anyone back home you’re taking care of today?
I’ve got my girlfriend back in Newport Beach, and I sent her a few things, a few chocolates from her favorite place.