After Tuesday’s practice at Anaheim Ice, Ducks defenseman Keith Carney spoke about the new rule changes in the National Hockey League. Carney is expected to be in the lineup when the Mighty Ducks take on the San Jose Sharks at 7:30pm at the Arrowhead Pond.
Does Keith anticipate much difficulty adjusting to the new ways of doing things?
“No, I don’t think it will be that difficult of an adjustment,” said Carney. “You go out and play hockey. The referees have a job to do. We hope that they continue to be consistent all season. As players, you just go out and play hard and try to play by the rules.”
“In the past we tried it and we talked about it,” added Carney. “We want to make a better product on the ice. More room for skill players and open up the game. Create more scoring chances. This time around, I think you have to stick to it, try to carry it out and be consistent. Carry it through the season and into the future.”
During the last two days of practice, the Ducks have spent a lot of time covering aspects of the power play and specialty team’s work.
“I thought today was better than it was yesterday,” mentioned Carlyle. “Or at least there was more production from it. But to say that transfers to results, we’ll have to wait and see. When you design a few things and try to implement some things, it might take more than one or two days to convince people that that’s what they have to do to have success on it.”
“At some point, you always have to allow the player’s individual skills to come to the forefront, too,” said Carlyle. “It’s a lot easier from where we are than from where they are. It looks easy from where we are because we get to watch the video. We can say they should have done this or done that. Maybe there was a stick in the lane. Maybe the penalty killer did a good job in putting a guy in a situation where he didn’t see the open man or couldn’t get the puck through. All those kind of things you have to take into consideration.”
With the new rules for the coming season, special teams will be even more important than they have been in the past.
“Never more than this year, specifically in the pre-season,” added Carlyle. “From everybody’s point of view, those things are going to continue.”
I asked Coach Carlyle if there’s a sense as to when players will adjust to the way the game is being called now.
“I think as a coaching staff, we can never quit selling it,” says Carlyle, a former NHL defenseman. “It’s going to be an ongoing process. I would say that it’s going to take more than the six month season. I think it’s going to take a longer period of adjustment.”
“Guys have been taught to play this a certain way,” says Carlyle. “Now they are asking you to change and you’ve done it a certain way for perhaps five to ten years. You’ve made your mark. They are asking you to change something that’s been inbred or taught or that comes natural. And that’s difficult.”
Carlyle says you have to look at Sergei Fedorov as our go to guy.
“He’s going to play a tremendous amount of hockey,” said Carlyle. “And he’s going to continue to play in pre-season. With a player like that, he thrives on a lot of ice time.”
“Sergei Fedorov is a very talented player, a very talented player,” added Carlyle. “We have to find and create as many situations as possible for him to have success. On the other hand, he has to continue to display the work ethic that he’s provided us with through the first week of training camp. It’s a give and take situation and it’s one of those
that I think hopefully can develop into a strong, positive relationship for him and us. That’s what I’m looking for.”
It’s the Ducks and Sharks at the Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim at 7:30pm on Wednesday night in the pre-season home opener.