By Kyle Shohara
A standing-room-only crowd welcomed the Ducks this afternoon as they went through Day 2 of training camp at THE RINKS – Anaheim ICE. Highlighting the day was an intrasquad scrimmage consisting of two 20-minute halves, one on each sheet of ice.
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Marked by intensity, physicality and plenty of offensive firepower, the scrimmage also showcased 3-on-3 play. This new overtime format will be tested during the preseason before it makes its full-time debut when the regular season begins.
The Ducks certainly have the players to benefit from the open ice. Defenseman Cam Fowler put on a dazzling display of speed and agility in the testing session, as did fellow blueliners Hampus Lindholm and Sami Vatanen.
Ducks head coach Bruce Boudreau said he wanted to get a feel for the new overtime format with preseason opening next week. “It was pretty wide open,” he said, before taking a breath, “You can see goals are going to happen. Once some team gets a break, the other team is getting a break.”
“The more ice available the better it suits my game,” said Fowler. “I’m a player that likes to get up in the rush and join offensively. We have a lot of guys on the backend who can do that. It suits our identity as a team.”
Fowler, who enters his sixth year in the NHL (all with the Ducks), made it clear the team’s feelings as it begins another quest for hockey’s ultimate prize.
“The people who we brought in, and the people who have gone through what we’ve gone through the past couple of years, we’re kind of fed up with it,” said Fowler, on previous postseason shortcomings. “What we’re doing now will prepare us for the rest of the season. Since I’ve been here, every time we get to camp it’s a business-like attitude from the get-go. There isn’t any lollygagging. There isn’t time to sit back and work your way into things, especially since Bruce has been here.”
KESLER, SILFVERBERG CONTINUE TO CLICK
A summer apart did nothing to ruin the undeniable chemistry between Ryan Kesler and Jakob Silfverberg. The duo, which played on Team Black in the scrimmage, looked like they were in midseason form as they weaved through Team White. Kesler and Silfverberg connected to open the scoring in what turned out to be a 7-5 victory for Team White.
“If we keep playing like this, I’m sure it’ll turn out pretty good,” said Silfverberg. “He’s such a great player. I’m enjoying every day I’m playing with him.”
The Ducks showed their commitment to the talented Swede by inking him to a four-year contract through the 2018-19 season. With Kesler as his center, Silfverberg earned 14 assists and 18 points with a plus-6 rating in 16 postseason games, ranking third among postseason leaders in assists and tied for seventh in scoring.
Boudreau’s training camps are brisk and demanding, but that’s just fine with Silfverberg. “It’s been a tough couple of days, but at the end of the day, we know it’s going to pay off. We made sure we worked really hard in the summer.”
Training camp continues with scrimmages scheduled for Sunday and Monday (both at noon). In addition, the camp schedule includes group practices on Sunday from 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. and Monday from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. THE RINKS - Anaheim ICE.
Sunday, Sept. 20: Group A & C Scrimmage 12 p.m. on NHL rink; group practices from 9 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Monday, Sept. 21: Group A & B Scrimmage 12 p.m. on NHL rink; group practices from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.