Bruce Boudreau

Ducks coach Boudreau feels ‘pretty whipped’ matching wits with Babcock

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Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau is never a guy to mince words. When it comes to getting into a game of matchups with Detroit coach Mike Babcock, he has a lot of respect for him. He’s also pretty tired of trying to keep up with him.

Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press hears it from the gregarious Anaheim bench boss about working against a tactician like Babcock.

“I know at the end of each of these games, I’m pretty whipped. That tells me I’m having to do more thinking than I really want to do. And besides, when you’re trying to match wits with Mike (Babcock), who has been in every pressure situation in the world, it’s not the easiest thing.”

This series has been anything but easy for the West’s No. 2 seed. They’re in a Game 7 tonight against the Wings and if the games heads to overtime, like four others have, Detroit is 3-1 in the extra session. Boudreau’s going to need to have his brain cardio in tip-top shape tonight to avoid the upset.

Ducks’ coach Boudreau: ‘We need more out of Perry, Getzlaf’

Anaheim Ducks v Calgary Flames
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The Anaheim Ducks finished second in the Western Conference standings, but will be pushed to the limit by the Detroit Red Wings in the opening round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

The Red Wings forced a seventh and deciding game with a 4-3 overtime victory over the Ducks on Friday. The Ducks found themselves down two goals with less than four minutes remaining in the third period, but forced overtime with goals 51 seconds apart.

Henrik Zetterberg scored twice for Detroit, including in the winner.

Zetterberg also had an assist for a three-point night. His teammate, Pavel Datsyuk, also had three points in the win.

Meanwhile, the duo of Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf combined for just one assist, which came on Bobby Ryan’s tying goal that sent the game to overtime.

The Red Wings’ big-name players were simply better than the Ducks’ big-name players, at least on Friday.

“I think we need more out of Corey, out of [Getzlaf]; I mean, we rely on them,” Ducks head coach Bruce Boudreau told NHL.com.

“But we’ve been a four-line team all year long. The Palmieris and the Etems are the guys playing as good as anybody right now. If we can equalize Zetterberg and Datsyuk, I think we’ve got a good chance.”

Ducks’ Boudreau on Game 2 loss: ‘It was awful’

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Game 2 of the Western Conference quarterfinal between Detroit and Anaheim had it all — tons of scoring, a huge comeback and a dramatic OT winner to end it.

And Ducks head coach Bruce Boudreau hated it.

Well, hated the role his team played in the excitement, anyway.

“It was awful,” Boudreau told the LA Times. “I have no answer for you at this point. Four goals in the first four shifts of the game is pretty amazing, and three of them were on the power play.”

Boudreau is referring to his team’s inability to stop Detroit from 1) scoring in the opening minutes of periods, and 2) scoring with the man advantage.

Justin Abdelkader potted the game’s first goal just 48 seconds into the first period. Then Johan Frazen scored 1:04 into the second period.

Franzen did it again to start the third — just 20 seconds in — and Gustav Nyquist scored 1:21 into overtime to win it.

What’s more, three of these goals came with the man advantage, including Nyquist’s game-winner. Detroit went 3-for-6 on the power play all told, this after going 1-for-4 in the series opener.

While the Ducks had to be happy with their resilience —  they scored three goals in a 10-minute span in the third to erase a 4-1 deficit — they weren’t happy with much else.

Especially the penalty kill.

“We can’t keep taking penalties, because their power play was good for them tonight like it was for us in Game 1,” said captain Ryan Getzlaf. “It was tough being shorthanded.

“But we’ll take a look and shore things up defensively and be ready for the next one.”

‘We better be ready’ versus Flames, says Boudreau

Bruce Boudreau
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After watching a Calgary team with nothing but pride on line beat the Red Wings on Wednesday, Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau isn’t about to take the Flames lightly tonight at the Scotiabank Saddledome.

“Calgary’s a great example of a team not throwing in the towel,” said Boudreau, per NHL.com. “To beat a hungry Detroit team in their last game says something to me. We better be ready.”

The Ducks are winless in their last three and a modest 5-7-2 since starting the season with an impressive 22-3-4 record. Two nights ago, they dropped a 3-2 overtime decision at home to Columbus.

Anaheim is still on track to win the Pacific Division and finish with the second seed in the Western Conference; however, Boudreau wants to make that official.

“We’ve got some guys banged up pretty good right now that are still playing through them,” he said. “We’d like to win and be able to, if it’s possible, rest some guys.”

Coach Boudreau ‘concerned’ as Ducks limp towards playoffs

ANAHEIM, CA - APRIL 17: Fedor Tyutin #51 of the Columbus Blue Jackets is swarmed by his teammates after scoring the winning goal in overtime to win the game 3-2 against the Anaheim Ducks on April 17, 2013 at Honda Center in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Debora Robinson/NHLI via Getty Images)
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The danger of gaining a big lead over the competition in the early portion of the regular season is that you might lose steam going into the playoffs.

The Chicago Blackhawks have largely avoided that and the Pittsburgh Penguins haven’t slowed down even after surging past the competition in the Eastern Conference.

The Anaheim Ducks have been a different story. They are 5-7-2 in their last 14 games and lost their third contest in a row on Wednesday.

“I’m concerned,” Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau admitted to NHL.com following a 3-2 overtime loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets.

“I mean, when you want to win all the time, it’s a concern … you can’t use fatigue anymore as an excuse. It’s the same for everybody and these guys – it was their fourth game in six nights. What are you going to do?”

Even factoring in their recent struggles, not much has changed for the Anaheim Ducks from a seeding perspective. They’ve already secured their playoff spot and have a comfortable seven-point cushion in the battle for the Pacific Division. They might slip from the second to third seed, but even that seems highly unlikely.

So they don’t have much left to play for. Certainly not as much as a squad like the Blue Jackets, which are still fighting to get into the postseason. Teams want to stay sharp regardless, but at this point Boudreau hopes that their struggles are simply because they’ve all-but locked up the second seed.

“Deep down, I hope that’s the case,” Boudreau said. “If we’re playing as good as we can possibly play right now, then we haven’t picked it up as much as other teams have picked it up down the stretch.”

The Ducks will play in Calgary on Friday and then in Edmonton on Sunday and Monday. The Oilers and Flames won’t advance to the postseason, so those games will be a good opportunity for Anaheim to regain some lost momentum.