Saku Koivu

Ducks’ Koivu, Boudreau aiming for first trip to conference final

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Bruce Boudreau oversaw four playoff runs with the Washington Capitals, but the talented squad headlined by Alex Ovechkin never got past the second round. If they had, perhaps he wouldn’t be in Anaheim now.

His Ducks are just one win away from taking him to a conference final for the first time in his career as a head coach. If Anaheim beats Los Angeles in Game 6 tonight, it will be proof that he is capable of guiding a squad through a deep postseason run, even if he couldn’t make it work with Washington.

Perhaps there’s someone on the Ducks that wants this win even more though. At the age of 39, this might be Saku Koivu’s last chance to finally get to the conference final.

“I think Saku, especially,” Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf said, per NHL.com. “[Teemu] always wants to go out on a high note, I’m sure. Given the opportunity, I’m sure he’d love to. Saku, I know, really wants this. He wants to get to the Finals. He wants an opportunity to play for that Cup, and we’d love to give it to him.”

The Ducks know they can’t get ahead of themselves. The Kings want this too. Koivu, Boudreau, and the rest of the Ducks won’t get past them without earning it.

Andersen out tonight, Boudreau won’t reveal starter

Jonas Hiller
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Anaheim Ducks goaltender Frederik Andersen will miss Game 4 against the Los Angeles Kings tonight because of a lower-body injury. If he was healthy, he would have probably started.

As it is, the decision is down to netminders Jonas Hiller and 20-year-old John Gibson. In other words, the veteran who struggled late in the regular season and lost the starting job in the playoffs or the promising rookie that has just three games worth of NHL experience.

Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau isn’t about to tip his hand.

“(Gibson’s) going to be a great goalie,” Boudreau said, per the Los Angeles Times’ Helene Elliott. “I don’t know if he’s today’s goalie.”

That’s not the only question mark for Anaheim as the Ducks announced that forward Mathieu Perreault (lower body) will be a game-time decision.

Like Andersen, Perreault was hurt during Thursday’s game. Forward Matt Beleskey also sustained a lower-body injury during that contest, but he has been ruled out by the Ducks. Daniel Winnik will make his series debut as a result.

The game will start at 9:30 p.m. ET and air on NBCSN. Los Angeles has a 2-1 series lead.

Boudreau: Kopitar’s line dominated Getzlaf’s line

Ryan Getzlaf, Anze Kopitar
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Anaheim Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf could wind up seeing Los Angeles Kings center Anze Kopitar in his nightmares once the playoffs are over.

Getzlaf and the rest of the Ducks were shut down and shutout by the Kings in Game 2. With Anaheim having home ice in Game 2, coach Bruce Boudreau did his best to get Getzlaf and his line matched up away from Kopitar’s line.

As Boudreau said after the game, his reasoning was simple as Jon Rosen of L.A. Kings Insider shared.

Well, I did it because Kopitar’s line was dominating them,” Boudreau said. “When they’re dominating them, I could be stubborn and leave ’em out there all day, but we had to move something around to get away from it, and maybe his line could get something accomplished.”

Nothing got accomplished, however, as the Ducks weren’t able to beat Jonathan Quick. While Getzlaf’s line with Corey Perry and Matt Beleskey were able to generate plenty of shots, the quality chances weren’t there to be had. As it is, Getzlaf has two assists in the series.

With how Kopitar and his line have played offensively (Kopitar has a point in every game in the playoffs so far), the defensive domination is an added frustration for Anaheim.

With the series moving to Staples Center in Los Angeles, Getzlaf and his linemates better get accustomed to seeing Kopitar and start finding a way to gain an edge.

Tables turned: Boudreau tips cap to Roy for goalie-pulling inspiration

Bruce Boudreau
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The Anaheim Ducks’ stunning comeback in Game 6 was made possible due to coach Bruce Boudreau pulling goalie Jonas Hiller twice for the extra attacker.

The Ducks scored twice in the final 2:10 of the third period to force overtime, something that was made possible by Boudreau pulling Hiller initially with 2:26 to play.

After Bonino’s second of the night sent the Ducks on to the Pacific Division Final, Boudreau gave credit to Colorado Avalanche coach Patrick Roy for the inspiration in pulling the goalie sooner than usual for helping spark the comeback.

I have to thank Patrick Roy. If he didn’t start pulling the goalie so early all year, I don’t think any of [us] would have,” Boudreau said.

Roy’s decision to pull the goalie earlier than normal has paid off well for his own Avalanche team and inspired others to help turn pressure in the other direction to their benefit.

Irony isn’t lost here seeing Boudreau giving credit to Roy after how they had their own run-in early this season in which Roy nearly knocked a glass partition down on the Ducks bench. Considering how Roy and Boudreau didn’t have very nice things to say about each other then, Boudreau tipping his cap to Roy now is rather delightful.

‘Who’s next there,’ says Bruce Boudreau after Capitals fire Oates, let McPhee go

Bruce Boudreau
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On a day when there four Stanley Cup playoff games dominating the Saturday schedule, there was big news from the Washington Capitals, and naturally it grabbed the attention of those in the hockey world.

The Capitals fired head coach Adam Oates and will not renew the contract of general manager George McPhee.

Bruce Boudreau, the head coach of the Anaheim Ducks, spoke on the matter Saturday. He, of course, worked as the bench boss of the Capitals beginning on 2007, with his tenure ending in 2011. In three of those five seasons, the Capitals had 100 points or more in the Eastern Conference standings.

“It’s not a surprise because everybody’s been talking about it,” Boudreau said Saturday, as per the L.A. Times. “I think George is a great GM and he’ll jump right back into it. Just sometimes, people need different spots.

“But he’s I think a truly, really, really good GM so I know he’s going to bounce back. I don’t know Adam at all. But I thought one went with the other. . . . It’s interesting to me now, is who’s next there.”

Already, names have been thrown out there as possible candidates to replace McPhee, who had been in the Capitals organization since 1997.

While speculation of possible replacements is now beginning to fly around, so, too is the blame for what happened in Washington after missing the playoffs this season. Needless to say, Alex Ovechkin, Washington’s star and captain, and the only 50-goal scorer in the NHL this season, is taking a great deal of criticism (see the video below…).