Boudreau does the playoff math, and it’s no ‘easy task’ for Ducks

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At 1-6-2, the Anaheim Ducks have already dug a sizable hole in the race for a playoff spot. Tonight in St. Louis, they need a win, and badly.

“The level of urgency is as high as you can be,” coach Bruce Boudreau told the Ducks’ website. “There are only so many points on the table in 82 games. You have to start putting games together. If you have to get 99 points to get into the playoffs, that’s 47 wins for us right now. That’s not an easy task.”

To match the 45-30-7 record the Flames squeaked into the playoffs with last year, the Ducks would need to go 44-24-5 over 73 games.

That’s why Boudreau’s seat is as warm as it’s been during his time in Anaheim. Another loss tonight and all eyes will be on GM Bob Murray.

The Ducks return home after tonight’s game. They host Nashville on Sunday.

Boudreau admits latest Ducks loss is ‘demoralizing’

Bruce Boudreau
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The latest Anaheim Ducks’ defeat – one in which they lost despite going up three goals in the first period – has elicited three types of responses from hockey fans.

1. Some say “Aw, poor Bruce Boudreau.”

2. Others laugh at his misfortune.

3. Many opt for both.

That 4-3 loss to the Dallas Stars, particularly losing even a standings point thanks to Antoine Roussel‘s late goal, could probably be summed up by this.

How does Boudreau feel, though? Is he furious? Maybe he’s making excuses?

No, it seems like he’s a combination of defeated and bewildered.

“It’s a 3-0 lead. You should not lost a game like that,” Boudreau said, according to the Ducks. “We won’t sugarcoat it – it’s demoralizing.”

Despite closing off a back-to-back game tonight (and a third period in which the Stars generated a 17-2 shot advantage), Boudreau insisted that it wasn’t a matter of running out of gas.

This post briefly discusses why Boudreau might deserve more time despite many calling for his head, yet quotes like these do indeed make you wonder if he’s losing his wits.

After a night like this, Boudreau’s seat is likely quite a bit hotter, so we’ll need to wait and see what happens.

For more on the loss, click here.

Boudreau wants the Ducks to realize ‘how great’ their lives are

Bruce Boudreau
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Bruce Boudreau was channeling Annie today as his struggling Anaheim Ducks prepared to face the Blackhawks tonight at United Center.

“Every day’s a new day,” Boudreau said, per the Sun-Times. “The sun’s still coming up even if it is in Chicago in October/early November. You look for the positives in everything, and you’re not sitting around being gloomy. Today, I talked to them about how great it is to be a hockey player. We’re so lucky, so blessed to do this job that we love, rather than doing things that are forced upon you. And we have to play with that. We have to play with that enthusiasm.”

No word if Boudreau has ever “seen a bunch of guys look so [expletive] down when something bad happens,” but the Ducks sure didn’t look too cheerful Saturday in Minnesota, where they were shut out for the fourth time season.

Related: Ducks need way more from Corey Perry

Boudreau’s woes: Predators dominate Ducks 5-1

Bruce Boudreau
AP
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Colin Wilson and Ryan Ellis each had a goal and two assists to lead the Nashville Predators to a 5-1 win over the Anaheim Ducks on Thursday.

Mattias Ekholm, and Mike Ribeiro each had a goal and an assist and Eric Nystrom had the other goal for the Predators, who improved to 6-1.

Pekka Rinne made 27 saves for the Predators.

Jiri Sekac scored for Anaheim. Anton Khudobin made 24 saves. The Ducks have lost five of six so far this season.

Nystrom opened the scoring at 3:40 of the second period.

Austin Watson chipped the puck over a diving Cam Fowler just outside the Anaheim blue line and then chased the puck on the right boards. Watson found Nystrom in front, where he had a tap-in for his second goal of the season.

The assist was the first of Watson’s career.

Ellis made it 2-0 at 12:47 of the second.

Just after a Nashville power play, Ribeiro slid a cross-ice pass to Ellis at the left faceoff dot, where his one-timer beat Khudobin on the short side.

Ellis returned to the Nashville lineup after missing Tuesday’s game with a lower-body injury.

Ribeiro added a goal at 17:00 of the second on a shot from the lower part of the right circle after collecting the rebound of his initial attempt, which was blocked by Fowler.

Ekholm made it 4-0 when he scored his first goal of the season at 3:03 of the third on a slap shot from the left faceoff dot.

Sekac spoiled Rinne’s shutout bid with a power-play goal at 12:15 of the third. The Ducks entered Thursday as the only team not to score a power-play goal this season.

Wilson finished the scoring with a power-play goal at 18:18 of the third.

Notes: Nashville has not allowed a first-period goal this season. … Anaheim LW Andrew Cogliano played his 300th game with the Ducks. … Anaheim won all three matchups against the Predators last season.

Boudreau’s hunch pays off as Khudobin leads Ducks to first win

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Before tonight’s game against Minnesota, Ducks head coach Bruce Boudreau raised some eyebrows when he decided to start Anton Khudobin over Frederik Andersen.

The Ducks came into Sunday’s contest with an 0-3-1 record and starting a goaltender with a 13.97 goals-against-average and a .625 save percentage didn’t seem like a good idea.

Boudreau’s seemingly crazy decision ended up working in his team’s favor, as Khudobin stopped 34 of 35 shots in a 4-1 win over the Wild.

The 29-year-old didn’t always make it look easy, but he was effective enough to be named the game’s second star.

In other positive news, the Ducks actually scored!

Cam Fowler‘s goal in the opening frame was Anaheim’s first since Sami Vatanen scored in the second period of last Monday’s game against Vancouver.

The goalless drought lasted just over 173 minutes.

Less than six minutes later, the Ducks accomplished another feat when Rickard Rakell became the team’s first forward to tally a goal this season.

Mike Santorelli and Hampus Lindholm also found the back of the net while both Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf picked up their first points of the season.

The Ducks will embark on a five-game road trip starting on Thursday. They will travel to Nashville, Minnesota, Chicago, Dallas and St. Louis before returning home to face Nashville on Nov. 1.