Tag: Anaheim Ducks

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)

Boudreau, Ducks considering lineup changes ahead of Game 5


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.

PHT Morning Skate: Barber cuts portrait of Lundqvist into fan’s hair

Screen Shot 2015-05-25 at 7.37.49 AM

PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Earlier this month a New York Rangers fan had a portrait of Chris Kreider shaved into his head. Ahead of Game 5 barber Joe Barajas was at it again this time shaving a portrait of goaltender Henrik Lundqvist into a fan’s head. (Puck Daddy)

The Anaheim Ducks’ three-goals in 37-seconds on Saturday night presented an opportunity for Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville to reflect on his playing days. Quenneville was a part of the 1979 Toronto Maple Leafs, which scored three times in a 23-second span. (Toronto Sun)

Entourage star Kevin Dillon took in Game 5 of the Lightning-Rangers series on Sunday night at MSG. (Sportsnet)

Don Cherry believes the Leafs should strip Dion Phaneuf of the captaincy. (Sportsnet)

Former NHLer Glen Murray developing reputation for developing talent. (The Boston Globe)

A Rangers fan had quite the jersey foul Sunday night at MSG. (Sporting News)

The NHL on NBC crew breaks down the keys to Ben Bishop’s success in Game 5:

Blackhawks’ Bickell says wear-and-tear goes both ways

Anaheim Ducks v Chicago Blackhawks - Game Three

Plenty has been made about the Anaheim Ducks’ bigger bodies and perceived superior depth allowing them to grind down the Chicago Blackhawks. Still, it’s not as if playoff hockey is a walk in the park for the Ducks, either.

Ryan Kesler once again hammered the issue of hammering the Blackhawks, but his opponents largely dismissed any disadvantage to the Chicago Sun-Times.

“I think it goes both ways,” Bryan Bickell said. “They are wearing us down, but they’re getting tired from wearing us down.”

That must be true, especially since both teams played a similar amount of games heading into this series.

Sure, laying on the body can grind down an opponent, but the team delivering a lopsided amount of hits traditionally finds itself chasing the puck more than their “victims.” With that, less puck possession can often mean being forced to block more shots.

Whatever the cause may be, it’s clear that the Ducks are blocking a lot of Blackhawks shot attempts. Here’s the game-by-game count:

Game 1: Ducks blocked shots:22 Blackhawks blocked shots:9
Game 2: Ducks:35 ‘Hawks:29
Game 3: Ducks:27 ‘Hawks:9
Game 4: Ducks:34 ‘Hawks:20

Through four games, the Ducks have blocked 118 shots compared to just 67 for the Blackhawks. Anaheim has generated a 220-158 hit advantage so far … is that a wash, then?

This is not to say that postseason hockey is any less of a grind. Instead, the point seems clear: both teams are ending up with plenty of bruises.

Related: Kesler thinks Ducks are wearing Blackhawks down

Kesler on wearing down Chicago: ‘No human can withstand that many hits’

Ryan Kesler, Jonathan Toews

Last night, the Chicago Blackhawks showed their resiliency in becoming the first team to win four multiple-overtime games in a single postseason. The Anaheim Ducks seem to believe that they can grind Chicago down, though.

On the subject of wear-and-tear, Ryan Kesler reiterated his plan to NHL.com’s Curtis Zupke.

“No human can withstand that many hits,” Kesler said.

With some help from a stat tweeted out by the Los Angeles Times’ Helene Elliott, it looks as though the Ducks have generated a lopsided hit differential of 220-158 (Game 4 was pretty even, as Anaheim delivered 60 to Chicago’s 50 hits).

Combine the sheer body contact with the fact that the Blackhawks are needing to lean on top players more than the Ducks – one can debate how stark the difference is, as Joel Quenneville certainly has – and one can see where Kesler & Co. are coming from. Especially when you consider how many lengthy playoff runs the Blackhawks have been through in recent years. Perhaps that mileage adds up?

Of course, it’s also true that this isn’t Chicago’s first rodeo. The Blackhawks are accustomed to the challenges of the postseason, so perhaps the Ducks’ aggressiveness doesn’t make the sort of impact that Kesler may believe.

Ultimately, we’ll have to see how this series progresses, as hindsight may tell which side is “correct.”

Related: Kesler acknowledges the plan earlier in the series

Toews didn’t want to show ‘any frustration’ after going without a goal before Game 4

source: Getty Images
Getty Images

After going without a goal, and held to only one assist, through the first three games of the Western Conference Final, Jonathan Toews finally scored for the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday.

And what a beauty it was, as Toews showed plenty of patience as he roofed the puck over a sprawled Frederik Andersen. That gave the Blackhawks the lead in the third period. They would cough it up, allowing three Anaheim goals in 37 seconds, before coming back and winning in double overtime to even the series.

The pressure had been mounting on Chicago’s top forwards.

Toews has had to go up against Ryan Kesler throughout this series, with the two jousting and slashing and chirping during various moments in Game 4. His line that includes Marian Hossa and Brandon Saad had some dominant shifts, too, and was rewarded in the third period.

“I kind of feel that pressure all the time. I know it’s there. Most of it I put on myself. Just in some ways got to stay patient and not show any frustration or show any sign of anything snowballing in the wrong direction for my own game,” Toews told reporters.

“I think as a line with Hoss and Saad, we generated a lot. Finally got a bounce. That’s what I was waiting for. Made a difference in the game. Hopefully can continue that confidence that scoring gives you. Continue to make big plays. Whether on the goal score, contributing on the play, whatever the situation might be, you know, to try to get our team on the board, but be responsible on the defensive side, as well.”