|"When we come to the practice rink, you can kind of see it in the air. It sounds a little cheesy, but you can see this focus there. The players know it’s go time, and you’ve got to get a good practice in and get ourselves ready for the next game." |
Almost forgotten in the moment when Ryan Getzlaf
’s apparent overtime winner last night in New Jersey was overturned by replay review as the play defenseman Luca Sbisa
made to set it up.
The 22-year-old Sbisa, playing a strong third season in Anaheim, held the puck behind the net with pressure from Devils defenseman Anton Volchenkov, then made a pinpoint feed to Getzlaf. The goal was later disallowed when officials in Toronto ruled Getzlaf kicked it in, and the Ducks ultimately lost in a shootout. Watch the play
It was a disappointing ending to another well-played game for the Ducks on this marathon eight-game, 15-day road trip in which they have gone 3-0-2.
Having arrive in Fort Lauderdale, Florida for tomorrow’s game with the Panthers, Sbisa took some time to talk about last night’s game, the current road trip and what has been the key for the Ducks during their current push for playoff position:Q: Talk a little about the play you made in New Jersey
It was 4 on 4, so you have a little more room to skate. Lubo was carrying the puck and gave it to me and I started skating with it. The guy attacked me and I didn’t see any options, so I carried it around the net. I took a peek. At first I wanted to shoot it, but I saw Getzy going back door, so I gave it to him. Unluckily for us, they disallowed it.
What was the feeling like on the bench when they were reviewing it?
|"It wasn’t a good feeling because it was overtime and we thought the game was over. We were kind of joking on the ice, 'Let’s get off the ice right away' because we saw the referees talking about it. I wasn’t really focused on that as much as re-focusing my mind on the next shift, in case they disallowed it – which is what happened." |
It wasn’t a good feeling because it was overtime and we thought the game was over. We were kind of joking on the ice, “Let’s get off the ice right away” because we saw the referees talking about it. We were sitting on the bench and saw they were taking awhile to review it. Every time it takes awhile, you kind of know something is going on. It wasn’t a good feeling, but I wasn’t really focused on that as much as re-focusing my mind on the next shift, in case they disallowed it – which is what happened at the end of the day. I still think we played a strong overtime and lost the game in a shootout, which happens. Did you still leave with a good feeling about the way you played?
We knew it was a really tough building to play in, especially against that team. They don’t make many mistakes and we knew we had to control them, especially their top line, which I think we did a good job of throughout the game. It’s kind of unrealistic to think you can win every game until the end of the season, but if you do end up losing, if you leave with at least one point, that’s still a positive. What has been the biggest difference for this team during this run?
A big part of it is confidence, but we were in a similar position last year and we somehow manage to battle through it. A few weeks back we started realizing that if we want to make the playoffs, we need to make a push. With it happening last year, we kind of have that experience and we know how to handle games at this time of the year. We have a lot of veteran players on this team leading the way for the younger guys, while the young guys are chipping in pretty nicely as well. Most importantly, we realize we have to play a team game first. Bruce [Boudreau] has been telling us that the whole year and guys are showing right now that it works.
|"The best part of the road trip is just being with the boys. We travel to a lot of cities, and it gives us a chance to be in places you don’t normally spend too much time in. It’s having team dinners or other meals with the boys, which we usually don’t have time to do at home since most of the guys spend time with their wives and families. It’s just about catching up on things and having a fun time with the guys." |
If you look at the stats, at the start of the season, the opponents were outshooting us every game, and now we’re the guys keeping the shots low for their side and putting a lot of shots on net. I think it shows in the results. We’re also blocking a lot of shots. Guys are paying the price right now. Hillsy [Jonas Hiller
] is making great saves, but most of the time the puck doesn’t get through because guys are getting in the shooting lane. That shows the willingness of this team right now. What’s the toughest thing about this road trip?
I think it’s just making sure you get your rest on days you don’t have a game. Bruce knows how to handle his players on off days like this and what kind of practice to have. Other than that, the players just have to take care of themselves, and that’s what we’ve been doing. When we come to the practice rink, you can kind of see it in the air. It sounds a little cheesy, but you can see this focus there. The players know it’s “go time” and you’ve got to get a good practice in and get ourselves ready for the next game. We get as much rest in between games, and then on game day, leave it all out there. What’s the best part of a road trip like this?
It’s just being with the boys. We travel to a lot of cities, and it gives us a chance to be in places you don’t normally spend too much time in. Like today, we’re in Fort Lauderdale and it’s a pretty cool place to be. It’s having team dinners or other meals with the boys, which we usually don’t have time to do at home since most of the guys spend time with their wives and families. It’s just about catching up on things and having a fun time with the guys. Is there a favorite city for you on this trip?
I think I’d have to say down here in Fort Lauderdale. I guess we’re a little spoiled living in Newport Beach or Anaheim, where it’s always sunny. After five or six days of cold weather and rain, it’s nice to be in the warm weather again. It’s nice down here, for sure.