The Los Angeles Kings can lean on their past success in Game 7s when looking for guidance ahead of tonight’s game. For the Anaheim Ducks, it’s just the opposite: They’re looking to their failures for motivation.
Anaheim secured the second seed in 2013, but lost to Detroit in the first round in seven games.
“I think the guys in this room have used Game 7 against Detroit, and the entire series against Detroit, as a teaching point this entire year,” Ducks defenseman Ben Lovejoy said, per NHL.com. “We know we did not play our best against them. We wanted to prove to ourselves and prove to the rest of the League that that was a fluke, and we have another opportunity to do that (tonight).”
Ducks forward Andrew Cogliano felt that the team was nervous against Detroit and coach Bruce Boudreau agreed that there was a mental component to the team’s shortcomings last year.
Anaheim has already made it further this time around by defeating the Dallas Stars in six games. The Ducks have also shown their perseverance by coming back in this series after dropping the first two games at home. There are reasons for them to feel good going into Game 7, although that doesn’t change the fact that the Kings are an remarkably difficult team to finish off.
Mike Babcock admitted that there might be a painful transformation as he tries to fix the Toronto Maple Leafs.
His old friends made that abundantly, painfully clear on Friday.
As of this writing, the Detroit Red Wings are up 4-0 on the Buds. Justin Abdelkader just completed a hat trick with James Reimer in net, so the subplot isn’t just about Jonathan Bernier having another tough start.
The big story might just be Detroit’s varied new line of Abdelkader, Dylan Larkin (who scored his first career goal) and Henrik Zetterberg. At the moment, they’ve combined for seven points.
This post will be updated if Detroit’s tribute video to Babcock surfaces.
Really, though, this beating has been about as ugly as this blanket so far.
It wouldn’t be a regular season game without a Columbus Blue Jackets injury, right?
OK, the Blue Jackets hope that 2015-16 looks different from the medically challenged mess of last season, but at least one player is banged up tonight.
Alexander Wennberg suffered an upper-body injury and won’t return on Friday, as the team noted.
There’s no word yet regarding how serious the issue might be. It looks like he might have suffered an injury thanks to a Chris Kreider check:
Naturally, the Blue Jackets must hope that this doesn’t begin another trend.