Bruce Boudreau

Boudreau mulls line changes ahead of Game 7


Though he wouldn’t commit to anything, Ducks head coach Bruce Boudreau is contemplaing mixing up his bottom-six forward group for tomorrow’s Game 7 of the Western Conference Final against Chicago.

Right winger Kyle Palmieri — who has spent most of this series on a line with Andrew Cogliano and Nate Thompson — was replaced by Jiri Sekac on the third line, moving Palmieri onto the fourth with Rickard Rakell and Tomas Fleischmann. Fleischmann had taken the place of Emerson Etem on the bottom line, which has happened on a few occasions this postseason (including Game 5 of this series).

The moves were a chemistry test, according to Boudreau, who suggested he might use these new units as Anaheim looks to advance to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time in eight years.

“I wanted to see it in practice today,” Boudreau said, per “We tried that a little bit. I wanted to make sure that if that’s the route we’re going to go, then I wanted to see if they at least had sort of some good chemistry together. We talked about it and we’ll talk about it again [Saturday] morning.

“By no means are those set in stone, those lines today.”

Boudreau: Ducks were ‘nervous Nellies’ in last year’s Game 7 versus Kings

Calgary Flames v Anaheim Ducks - Game Five

The last time the Anaheim Ducks hosted a Game 7, they came out of the gates and fell flat on their faces.

The Ducks would go on to lose 6-2 to the Los Angeles Kings in last year’s second-round series-decider. It was 3-0 before the first period had even ended.

Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau is hoping to avoid a repeat of that performance on Saturday when the Ducks host the Blackhawks in Game 7 of the Western Conference Final, with a chance to play for the Stanley Cup on the line.

“I think last year’s Game 7, we were just a bunch of nervous Nellies,” he said. “Hopefully that happened in Game 6 and won’t carry over to Game 7.”

As you might have inferred, Boudreau did not think his team played with much poise in last night’s 5-2 defeat at United Center.

“We lost our composure for the first time I thought in the playoffs,” he said. “They scored the one goal. It was like, ‘Ah, what’s going on?’ We started scrambling all over. They got the momentum. We lost our composure.”

Related: Getzlaf: ‘I was terrible’ in Game 6

Boudreau isn’t worried about Andersen after Ducks ‘bailed him out’


In the waning moments of regulation during Game 5, it looked like Frederik Andersen might be fitted with goat horns. His Anaheim Ducks teammates ended his tension pretty quickly, however, as Matt Beleskey scored the game-winner just 45 seconds into overtime.

That’s the funny thing about the playoffs. Sometimes a big gaffe can linger in the greater consciousness, yet sometimes a player gets absolved – more or less – by victory.

Andersen’s had many moments when he came through for his teammates, yet in a 5-4 OT win against the Chicago Blackhawks, it was clear that the shoe was on the other foot last night.

The young goalie noted that captain Ryan Getzlaf was quick to lift his spirits.

“[Getzlaf] came down right away and tried to pick me up; he’s a great leader,” Andersen said, according to “Told me whatever matters now is the next shot; that’s all I can worry about it. That was my mindset.”

Interestingly enough, the 25-year-old didn’t even need to make a save in overtime, as the Ducks fired all four shots on goal in that very quick bit of extra hockey.

With that, some wonder if the young goalie might get in his own head, but Ducks head coach Bruce Boudreau doesn’t seem worried.

“Well, you know what, he’s played so many good games in a row, and he’s bailed us out so often,” Boudreau said. “You know, he had an unfortunate couple of goals against him today. Freddie will be the first one to tell you he should have had them. But it was time that we bailed him out. He’ll be back to his normal, regular, great self in two days.”

“It was good to see if he had a bad game, we were able to help him out a little bit.”

He really has been great, too.

While you could chalk some of his regular season success up to his team (35-12-5 record despite a fairly standard .914 save percentage), he’s really elevated his play in the postseason with an impressive .925 save percentage. It’s easy to see why his teammates rallied around him on a tough night, then.

The NHL on NBC crew discusses Andersen’s rocky night and wonders if there will be any lingering effects:

Boudreau, Ducks considering lineup changes ahead of Game 5

ANAHEIM, CA - MAY 19:  Bruce Boudreau of the Anaheim Ducks stands behind his team as they play the Chicago Blackhawks during overtime of Game Two of the Western Conference Finals during the 2015 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Honda Center on May 19, 2015 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)

With the Anaheim Ducks dropping Game 4 5-4 in double-overtime on Saturday night coach Bruce Boudreau admitted he’s considering possible lineup changes for Game 5 tonight at the Honda Center.

“We’re mulling it over,” Boudreau said on Sunday. “I mean, (Chris) Wagner is an energy guy that would do good in a series like this. (Tomas) Fleischmann is a good veteran that we’ve had a great record when he’s in the lineup.”

Wagner has not played since Game 2 of the Ducks’ first round series against the Winnipeg Jets. The 23-year-old rookie has averaged 5:33 in time on ice in these playoffs. Wagner appeared in nine regular season games with the Ducks registering a minus-2 rating while averaging 8:47 in ice time.

Fleischmann, who was acquired by the Ducks from the Florida Panthers in February, has not played since Game 5 of Anaheim’s second round series against the Calgary Flames. In four postseason games this spring the 31-year-old has one assist while averaging just over 10 minutes of ice time.

Boudreau is even considering changes to his blue line.

According to Lance Pugmire of the Los Angeles Times, it could mean an appearance from James Wisniewski who has yet to play this postseason.

Wisniewski, who was acquired from the Columbus Blue Jackets at the trade deadline, appeared in 13 games for the Ducks following the trade registering five assists and a minus-3 rating while averaging over 20 minutes in ice time.

“Even on defense, we’re thinking, Okay, is this the time? But we don’t want to make anything rash,” Boudreau said. “We’ll meet again tomorrow morning. I told the guys to all sleep on it.

“Except for three goals in the third period, defensively our team has been pretty darn good in the playoffs. So, I mean, it’s not a time to panic, it’s a time to believe.”

Puck drop tonight is at 9 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

Boudreau: There’s ‘no doubt’ Perry will play in Game 1 of West finals

Los Angeles Kings v Anaheim Ducks - Game Five

There are plenty of questions heading into the Anaheim Ducks’ upcoming series against the Chicago Blackhawks. Bruce Boudreau’s putting a big one to rest, as he told the OC Register that he’s sure that Corey Perry will play in Game 1.

Boudreau said as much even as Perry skips a skating session or two.

“With the time we have off, there’s no rush to get Corey Perry back on the ice,” Boudreau said. “He’s going to get a couple practices before the game and he’s going to play Sunday. There’s no doubt in our minds about that.”

Many had their doubts considering how he left the ice in Game 5 against the Calgary Flames:

He looked tentative when he returned. Of course, he also scored the goal to send them to round three:

Now, Boudreau didn’t say that Perry will be 100 percent, but many would argue that few are at full-strength during this time of year.