The Ducks hit the ice at Amalie Arena in Tampa for an afternoon practice following a 3-1 victory last night against the Florida Panthers. Tomorrow's game against the Tampa Bay Lightning will conclude Anaheim's four-game Southeastern road trip, which began with a 4-1 victory at Carolina on Monday and a 3-2 defeat in Nashville on Tuesday.
Below are quotes from Ducks head coach Bruce Boudreau, Lightning center Brian Boyle and Lightning associate coach Rick Bowness upon conclusion of the teams' practices in Tampa on Friday. ANAHEIM DUCKS
Head Coach Bruce Boudreau On getting stronger throughout the road trip Tomorrow is the test. Whether their record is 9-9 or 18-1, we know [Tampa Bay] is the best team in the East right along with the Rangers. It’s going to be a real learning experience for us. They kicked our butts twice last year. We’re well aware of their capabilities.
On Ritchie He’s getting more confident and he’s getting better every game. In the first game he was a little tentative. In the second game he asserted himself a little bit more, and I thought yesterday he asserted himself really good in the physical part of the game. He’s big and strong, and got in on the forecheck. When he does that, he dislodges people from the puck.
On the Hagelin-Horcoff-Cogliano line You can build off of them. They’ve played well. I’m not going to break up lines just for the sake of breaking them up. There are reasons for it, but I like the way the line is going. I think Cogs and Hags really complement each other with their skating. They’re pushing each other.
On Horcoff’s addition You’re talking a guy who captained a team to the Stanley Cup Final. He’s played an awful lot of years in a lot of different situations. He’s a really good communicator with those guys. From what I see, they really get along with each other. They’re always talking together.
TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING
Brian Boyle On state of the team I'm a firm believer, you are what your record says you are. We played well the last two games. The majority of the year we've had trouble scoring and we've had some issues finishing some of our chances, but the last couple of games we've generated more. We've done well defensively. We need to turn it around. I think the most important thing is keeping pucks out of our net. We've done a great job of that and our goaltenders have been good. Now we need to start generating more goals.
Lightning Associate Coach Rick Bowness On the team and last night's 2-1 victory against the New York Rangers There are always games that you need and you need it now. We were a game below .500 going into last night. There are games you just can't fall behind in any further than that. Every year, it won't be just last night, but there will be other times when we really need this game, and certainly last night falls into that category.