Anaheim Ducks goalie Jonas Hiller, of the Czech Republic, gets water after giving up a goal to Colorado Avalanche left wing Jamie McGinn in the second period of an NHL hockey game in Denver on Friday, March 14, 2014. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Hiller ‘really lacking in confidence,’ says Boudreau

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The Anaheim Ducks have done plenty to try and snap No. 1 goalie Jonas Hiller from his ongoing funk, but nothing seems to be working.

After losing to the lowly Oilers on Sunday — a game in which Hiller allowed three second-period goals en route to a 4-2 defeat — Ducks head coach Bruce Boudreau all but confirmed Hiller was struggling with the mental side of the game.

“I think [Hiller’s] really lacking in confidence,” Boudreau said, per the L.A. Times. “Once the first one went in, he was worried until he regained his composure.”

The Swiss ‘tender is 6-9-3 in his last 18 outings and dropped his last three decisions — two of them to Edmonton — while allowing 11 goals on 67 shots, an .836 save percentage. Boudreau, who noticed Hiller was showing signs of fatigue recently, gave his goalie three consecutive games off from Mar. 29-Apr. 2 in the hopes of providing Hiller a mental refresher…but all it seems to have done is further muddle the situation.

Frederik Andersen, who’s been outstanding for Anaheim this year, played well in Hiller’s absence but suffered an injury on Friday versus Nashville, and didn’t travel with the Ducks on their current two-game roadie (Anaheim plays in Vancouver tonight). That forced the club to bring up 20-year-old phenom John Gibson — you can read more about him here, and here and here — and, given Hiller’s latest setback, it’s very possible Gibson could make his Ducks and NHL debut tonight against the Canucks.

“I’ll talk to the coaches and people and we’ll see what we’re doing,” Boudreau said.

Hiller, who acknowledged his recent struggles, said he’s not getting any puck luck at the moment.

“Seems like now I can’t get a break, like things find a way to hit me and go in,” Hiller said. “Those bounces happen when you don’t work enough.”

Avs, Ducks meet for first time since Roy-Boudreau fireworks

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It was a long time ago, but few have forgotten Patrick Roy’s NHL coaching debut — a 6-1 thrashing of the Anaheim Ducks on Oct. 2, that ended with Roy engaged in a spirited yelling/glass shoving match with Bruce Boudreau:

The Avs and Ducks will meet tonight for the first time since that incident, one Roy says helped forge a relationship with his team.

“All along, I had been talking about partnership with my players, and let them know I’m with them. And when that thing happened at the end it certainly gave me an opportunity to show them that I am with them,” Roy said, per NBC 9 News Denver. “It’s nice to talk, but sometimes talk is cheap. It was an opportunity to show them I am with them in a good and bad situation I’ll be behind these guys.”

That said, Roy admitted the $10,000 fine handed down for his actions wasn’t the greatest.

“Obviously I would have loved to save 10 grand,” he remarked. “But it was part of it.”

As for Boudreau — who, following the incident, called Roy’s actions “bush league” — he considers the yelling match ancient history.

“It’s so far gone, long ago, I have no idea,” Boudreau said, per the OC Register. “This is the first I’ve thought of it. My whole focus is on what our team is.

“Whatever Patrick did or has done, it’s got his team playing fabulous.”

Boudreau is right on that last point.

The Avs are 7-3-0 in their last 10 and have 91 points on the season — two back of Anaheim heading into tonight’s action. Colorado would actually surpass the Ducks in the standings with a regulation win tonight, and put further distance between itself and Chicago in the ultra-competitive Central Division.

Slumping Ducks ‘still make the same mistakes,’ says Boudreau

Bruce Boudreau
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To hear Bruce Boudreau explain it, Monday night’s 3-1 loss to Toronto was deja vu all over again.

“We went over everything,” Boudreau said, per the L.A. Times. “Everything they do, we went over. Then, we still make the same mistakes.”

The 3-1 loss to Toronto was Anaheim’s third in a row and sixth in its last 10. Boudreau described his club’s recent play as a “funk” and, judging by the schedule, it’s easy to see when the funk started (which sounds like a Bootsy Collins lyric, but I digress):

— On Jan. 15, the Ducks pounded Vancouver 9-1 for their eighth straight victory, putting them at 36-8-5 on the year and first in the NHL.

— Since then, the Ducks have gone 7-7-2 and a startling 4-6-2 at the Honda Center, a place where they normally terrorize opponents (remember, Anaheim started the year 20-0-2 at home).

A big reason for this failing? The power play. A unit you’d expect to thrive with the likes of Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry has failed to click of late, scoring just once in its last 19 opportunities. Offense in general has been an issue for the Ducks since the beginning of February, as they have 19 goals in nine games — an average of 2.1 per.

All that said, don’t expect the Ducks to keep struggling.

The schedule maker was very kind to Anaheim with regards to the stretch drive, as the Ducks play the majority of their games against teams on the outside of the playoff picture. That includes five contests against the Alberta teams (Calgary x2, Edmonton x3), two against the Canucks (who the Ducks are unbeaten against and have outscored 16-5) and single affairs against Washington, Florida, Winnipeg and Nashville.

Ducks coach Boudreau fastest in modern era to 300 wins

Bruce Boudreau
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Anaheim Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau joined lofty company in the annals of coaching last night.

When the Ducks knocked off the St. Louis Blues, Boudreau earned his 300th career coaching win. By getting it in his 496th career game, he became the first coach in the modern era to do so before reaching 500 games.

The previous record holder? Hockey Hall of Famer Toe Blake who won his 300th game in his 525th game. Boudreau was also the fastest to 200 wins, but he was fired after losing his next game.

Things are likely going to turn out better this time around for Boudreau, but he was rather humble about his accomplishment last night.

Boudreau has more wins ahead of him as the Ducks are atop the Western Conference and hold a seven point lead on the Sharks in the Pacific Division.

Boudreau happy Ducks won ‘man’s game’ vs. Kings

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The Anaheim Ducks managed to grind out a 2-1 win against the Los Angeles Kings in a game physical enough that you might call it black and … Dodger Blue.

No doubt, Bruce Boudreau was impressed with his team’s play and the highly contested matchup.

“I know every time we play this team, it’s a man’s game,” Boudreau said. “You better be prepared to hit, and be hit, because they’re so good.”

The Ducks coach notes that his team registered 48 hits, which he claims is a franchise record.

“That was a playoff hockey game,” Mark Fistric said.

This served as a preview for Saturday’s 2014 Stadium Series game between the two teams at Dodger Stadium. Let’s hope the two teams aren’t too bloated from this appetizer two nights from now, then.