The Mighty Ducks of Anaheim were back to work on Monday morning after a day off on Sunday.
The Ducks lost a 4-2 pre-season contest to the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday night. Head Coach Randy Carlyle had these thoughts on what he saw at Staples Center.
“Our transitioning of the puck from the neutral ice left us for a period in the game,” said Carlyle. “We knew when we had the manpower advantages that we enjoyed in the first period; it would even out at some point in the hockey game. They took better advantage of it than we did. That was the difference in the game. We gave up a shorthanded goal.”
“It was an experience for some of our younger players to be in that environment,” says Carlyle. “I don’t think it was a non-emotional exhibition game. There were emotions in the game. I think it is a good eye-opener and test for them.”
For the Ducks, it is a busy week with Anaheim playing two pre-season home games and two road contests through Sunday. On Wednesday night, the Ducks host San Jose at 7:30pm. This Friday night, September 23rd, Anaheim will tangle with the Phoenix Coyotes at 7:30pm.
The Ducks take to the road on Saturday, September 24th when they visit Vancouver at 7:00pm. Then on Saturday, September 25th, the Ducks visit the San Jose Sharks.
“It’s a learning curve for me and the players,” says Carlyle. “If you asked every coach, they would rather make sure they’ve done everything that they possibly think they have to do in preparing their team for that first game. There’s no better opportunity to do that than game situations.”
With regard to the performance of goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov against the Kings over the weekend, Carlyle said the young goaltender gave the team a chance to win.
“I don’t think you can say anymore than that,” mentioned Carlyle. “I think that’s what our expectations will be for our goaltending. He’s playing in a very difficult position as the goaltender is the last line of defense. They are subject to criticism more often than the other players by media, coaches with the scrutiny that’s involved with that position.”
“I like to make sure that I provide all our goaltenders with a comfort zone that they don’t always have to win you the hockey game,” added Carlyle. “But they have to provide you with a chance to win it. That’s all you can ask from a goalie, to give you a chance.”
Ducks defenseman Jason Marshall needed four stitches under his right eye after being cut in a fight with Kings forward Ken Belanger. When asked by the media after Monday’s practice about a timetable for his return to the ice, Marshall’s reply was “Good to go”.
“I think at this point we are going to go day-to-day with Jason,” said Carlyle. “And until we get an assessment back from the doctor on the severity of the damage that’s there, it’s very iffy for Tuesday.”
Defenseman Jordan Smith, who took a stick to the eye and played just one shift in the American League contest on Saturday is due to miss a about a week of activity on the ice.