On the Ducks’ performance,
We had that never-say-die attitude and we’ve been that way for almost two months now. We were able to get a level of play and a commitment from our players for that long of a period of time. We stepped into the playoffs, and nobody expected us to have success against San Jose and nobody expected us to compete with Detroit. There was a lot of will for our group in the last 2 1/2 months.
On the team’s season turning around after the trade deadline,
It was surprising and I’ve stated it before. The trade deadline was a finality on who was going to be a Duck and who wasn’t. That cloud had been over the hockey club for the better part of 6 or 8 months, or as far back as a year ago when you consider free agency. Things didn’t change until up until the trade deadline. Obviously it was something that had an effect on our group.
On the success of the team the last couple of months,
The coaches just deal with Xs and Os. The players have to do the job night in and night out. They felt good about themselves and had confidence about what we were doing. Once they did the little things and play as a team, they found success and enjoyed one another. It’s like the chicken and the egg -- do they have to have success to become a team or do they have to become a team to have success? Nobody will ever have that answer, but it just happened and it developed for our group. We’re still sitting here and we lost in the second round. While we have a sense of accomplishment, we still fell short of our goal.
On whether younger players benefitted from getting their first playoff experience,
It helps as long as they retain it. You have to learn from these experiences and hopefully the players that participated in this level of the playoffs, you can tell them all you want, but until they actually live it, it’s hard to understand it. I’m sure they have a better understanding of it today than they had before the playoffs started, but they have to maintain it into next season. We don’t want to fall back, we want to go forward.
On Bobby Ryan’s development,
Nothing should really change for Bobby Ryan other than the fact he’s got one year more experience. His main concern is his summer program, the change in his lifestyle and his workout habits, all those things have to continue. He has to understand this isn’t a one-shot deal,. This is a lifestyle that he’s chosen and he has to stay with it, because the results should be very encouraging for him. The growth of Bobby Ryan from where he was last training camp to where he finished the season is tremendous.
On whether Ryan will spend the summer working out in Anaheim again,
I think it would be encouraging for him to make that decision himself. I would encourage him to do it if that’s going to be necessary for him to show that development and stay with it. That’s why those people are here. Guys like [Strength and Conditioning Coach] Sean Skahan are here to help him.
On whether the veteran players needed to pick up their play during the up-and-down regular season,
I don’t look to blame anybody for the ups and downs we had. I look at the things we tried to accomplish and the things we started out to do. Did we have inconsistency? For sure. You can’t play 82 perfect games and you can’t be 110 percent 82 times a year. I just know that when they were called on in the difficult times, they came to the forefront and they deserve to be commended for that.
On the decision to go with Jonas Hiller in net,
We made the decision around the trade deadline that Hiller had earned an opportunity to competed for the position and we felt we were going to go with the guy with the hot hand. Jonas earned the job and came to the forefront. That’s not anything against Giguere, that’s just the reality of it. Jonas Hiller earned the opportunity. It’s always difficult to tell one goaltender that he’s not playing, but that’s part of the position. Only one guy can play and there are two competing for it.
On what the goaltending situation will be next season,
I think the whole thing will be settled one way or another by the general manager and by management. There will be conversations and meetings taking place that will clarify the position of both individuals. There will be give and take with how the player feels. I’m not saying I don’t expect them to both be here. I’m just saying those situations are dealt with behind closed doors. The coaching staff has their input, but ultimately it will be the general manager who makes those decisions. We participate in what our feelings are towards it and we’ll go forward from there.
The one thing you can say in this situation is that it’s been more difficult on Giguere than it’s been on Hiller because Hiller is getting the opportunity to play. But the professional and the class that Jiggy showed and demonstrated, it’s extremely difficult, but he handled it with the utmost of class.
On why the Ducks lost Game 7,
We’re not in Chicago today because we didn’t score on our 5-on-3, we didn’t score on our 4-on-3 and we didn’t play the conservative game to get us to overtime.
On whether the Ducks are feeling frustration or a sense of accomplishment,
I think it’s both. As a coach, you have to recognize where you had an opportunity to make a difference and I think we had that opportunity. In the big picture, you have to respect the opposition we played against and respect how hard our players worked and how committed they were to competing to the level to get to a seventh game between two hockey clubs.