The Anaheim Ducks and coach Bruce Boudreau might as well be looking into a mirror when they scout the Calgary Flames, their opponent in the Western Conference Second Round.
Anaheim has made a living on resiliency this season, but so has Calgary.
The Ducks were an NHL-best 12-23-0 in the regular season when trailing after two periods while Calgary was third at 10-20-4. That carried into the first round, when the Ducks won three of their four games against the Winnipeg Jets when trailing after two periods while Calgary was 2-1 in such situations against the Vancouver Canucks.
"They've been doing it all year," Boudreau said of Calgary on Sunday. "They're a team that never quits. The minute you think you've got them they apply an awful lot of pressure … we know their capabilities and we know the fact they never quit. It's going to be a 60-minute game on both sides."
How that dynamic will play out will be a major talking point of a series in which each game might come down to the last few minutes. Calgary erased deficits of 3-0 and 4-3 when it eliminated Vancouver in Game 6 on Saturday with one of the best comebacks in franchise history.
"We're hoping that if we get a lead we'll hold on to it," Boudreau said. "But we're looking around the League and there's been a whole lot of leads that [teams] haven't been able to hold on to. … In today's age and rules you can't just sit back and play defence when the puck is in your zone."
Boudreau didn't think Calgary was as big and physical as Winnipeg but said they skate and compete just as well, if not better. He called Calgary's defence one of the most active in the League and said it will present a challenge for Anaheim's forwards.
The Ducks will face former teammate goalie Jonas Hiller, although Boudreau said he's preparing to see goalie Karri Ramo as well. Their familiarity with Hiller will help, but it works both ways.
"He's seen all of our shooters," Boudreau said. "I don't think anybody has an advantage on that."
Anaheim, the only team to sweep its first-round series, will have been idle for at least a week before the second round starts. This will allow some of their injured players to recover but there always is a question of rust.
"Who knows?" Boudreau said. "I think the team has practiced really well, has stayed motivated. Whether we start Thursday or Friday or whenever, I think our guys will be ready."
Author: Curtis Zupke | NHL.com Correspondent