Ducks Radio Analyst
NEW YORK – In the wake of a sparkling two-goal, two-assist performance Tuesday night that vaulted him into a tie for fifth place in the NHL scoring race, seemingly ageless Ducks right wing Teemu Selanne
|“I think it’s time for everybody to look in the mirror, be honest if you can be better and what you can bring for the team,” Selanne said. |
At this point in a brilliant career that has long since sealed his eventual induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame, Selanne isn’t the least bit interested in individual achievements. It’s all about winning, and Tuesday’s 5-4 overtime loss to the Washington Capitals at Verizon Center left a sour taste, indeed.
The Ducks, now winless in three consecutive games and six of the past seven, led 3-0 more than halfway through the second period and 4-2 beyond the midway point of the third. Washington’s Nicklas Backstrom scored the tying goal with 42 seconds left in regulation, then notched the game-winner 2:18 into overtime.
“Very disappointing, obviously, for everybody last night,” a more calm but still clearly concerned Selanne told a group of reporters Wednesday after the club’s practice session at Sky Rink at Chelsea Piers.
“I think it’s time for everybody to look in the mirror, be honest if you can be better and what you can bring for the team,” Selanne said. “This is not enough. We all can play better. You have to push yourself. We have to push each other. It’s not time to be a nice guy anymore. Sometimes it hurts, but you have to do it.”
The Ducks, 5-5-2, are 1-2-2 on a seven-game road trip that continues Thursday against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden and concludes Saturday at Detroit.
Coach Randy Carlyle had no problem with the 41-year-old Selanne’s take on the club’s recent struggles.
“You see the passion,” Carlyle said. “It’s one thing to make the statement. It’s another thing to live it. Teemu lives it. That’s what’s important. That’s what you like your leaders to do – live it every day and every game. Some games, he’s not going to have it, but it’s not because of lack of effort. He comes to play every night.”
Defenseman Francois Beauchemin
, like Selanne a veteran of the Ducks’ 2007 Stanley Cup championship team, acknowledged that some of the club’s failure to seize a great opportunity for a victory can be traced directly between the ears.
“When you get those leads, sometimes it’s hard to push yourself to keep going, but that’s what you have to do,” Beauchemin said. “You have to work for that fourth goal, or that fifth goal, and keep going – play a full 60 minutes. Right now, we play a good 10 minutes, then we drop for five or six minutes. To get that win, we obviously have to play a full 60. I’m sure it’s going to come soon.”
|"You’re going to have highs and lows, but it’s a team’s job to find a way to get the job done," Selanne said. "You need everybody. There’s no room for passengers right now, especially when the team is struggling. Everybody has to play their best and the effort has to be there every night. If not, it’s bad news.” |
Selanne, whose rookie NHL season was 1992-93, has certainly been around long enough to know that certain things can take time.
“You have to just learn,” Selanne said. “It’s a long season. You’re going to have highs and lows, but it’s a team’s job to find a way to get the job done. You need everybody. There’s no room for passengers right now, especially when the team is struggling. Everybody has to play their best and the effort has to be there every night. If not, it’s bad news.”
More important than what happened against the Capitals, from a coaching perspective, is what happens against the Rangers.
“We’re embarrassed by what we did last night – it’s unacceptable,” Carlyle said. “We are out to make amends for the way things ended last night. We’ll be judged on our performance (Thursday) night, our energy and our commitment to getting the job done.
“We just have to be stronger in some areas that we’re quite capable of being stronger at. We have to play to a higher level than what we played last night. We did a very good job for 35 minutes, but it takes 60 minutes to win in the NHL.”
Center Nick Bonino
, recalled Monday from Syracuse of the American League, did not practice Wednesday because of a hyperextended knee suffered at Washington. Bonino, who played 11 minutes, 49 seconds against the Capitals, will be re-evaluated Thursday, Carlyle said.