Bruce Boudreau

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

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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.

Anaheim’s lack of work ethic has ‘been the eye-opener,’ says Boudreau

Bruce Boudreau
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Bruce Boudreau thinks he knows why his Anaheim Ducks — who were one win away from the Stanley Cup Final last year — are 0-3 to start the year, and have only mustered a single goal.

“The work ethic, that’s been the eye opener,” Boudreau said, per the OC Register. “We’ve been out-worked. The other teams are quick that we’ve played. But they’re quick because they’re working hard to be quick. And we’re waiting for things to happen. We’re coasting back in the zones.”

This is not the start many envisioned from the Ducks.

After losing to the eventual champion Blackhawks in last year’s Western Conference Final, Anaheim went out and loaded up this summer, acquiring the likes of Kevin Bieksa, Carl Hagelin, Shawn Horcoff, Chris Stewart and Mike Santorelli. The moves were designed to upgrade the club in a number of areas — toughness, veteran experience, size and, in the case of Hagelin, pure speed — but nothing seems to be clicking.

Yet.

The Ducks have an opportunity to right the ship tonight at home against Colorado, a team that’s in a state of flux itself. The Avs will reportedly start backup netminder Reto Berra this evening, in place of struggling No. 1 Seymon Varlamov, so the Ducks could use this opportunity to not just break out offensively, but also salvage the rest of their current four-game homestand, which ends on Sunday with a date against the Wild.

After that, Anaheim heads out on a grueling five-game road swing through the notoriously tough Central Division, with stops in Nashville, Minnesota, Chicago, Dallas and St. Louis.

Ducks hire Preston as Boudreau’s assistant

Calgary Flames v Colorado Avalanche
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ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) The Anaheim Ducks have hired Rich Preston as the third assistant coach on Bruce Boudreau’s staff.

The Ducks announced the hiring Monday.

Preston is a veteran coach with NHL experience as an assistant in Chicago, Calgary and San Jose. He also has been a head coach in the WHL for Regina and Lethbridge, where he also served as general manager from 2009 to 2013.

The 63-year-old Preston played for Chicago and New Jersey in the NHL after starting his pro career with Houston and Winnipeg in the WHA.

Preston will work alongside Trent Yawney and Paul MacLean on Boudreau’s staff. Scott Niedermayer is expected to do more scouting than coaching in his hybrid role for the Ducks this season.

The Ducks open the regular season Saturday in San Jose.