Reputations also hang in the balance.
Eight of the Ducks who played Wednesday in a 5-2 loss in Game 6 of the
Although beating the
Is the desire to flip that script a motivational button the coach would press?
"I'm not bringing that up to them at all," Boudreau said Thursday in a conference call with reporters. "To me, quite frankly, every year is a different entity. The guys that have been here for the three years know what's happened.
"If we have to draw on extra motivation for a Game 7 … I think we've got the wrong guys. … We have the right guys."
Questions nag because the Ducks blew 3-2 series leads to the
It would be difficult to classify losing Game 7 at home in the conference finals this season as progress, even though the Ducks advanced a round further.
"Our goal wasn't to get to the conference final," defenseman
"It takes pride. Losing those last two Game 7s has been hard on everybody. Now we have a chance to regroup and get ourselves a chance to win that game at home, in a good series that we've played pretty solid hockey at times. We just have to be doing it for a full 60 minutes Saturday and things should go well."
Getzlaf, Perry and Beauchemin had a combined minus-nine rating in Game 6 as the Ducks suffered their first regulation loss of the postseason. Getzlaf said he played "horrible," and Perry had just one shot on goal.
Although Getzlaf and Perry experienced a Stanley Cup championship in 2007 as youngsters and played together on two of Canada's Olympic gold medal-winning teams, this season is different. It's their team. Win or lose, they'll wear this.
"I … hope that the response is that this is why they've won a Stanley Cup in the past, two Olympic medals, a World Junior Championship — draw on those experiences and play the game of their lives," Boudreau said.
Asked if his team is healthy, Boudreau said, "I'm sure everybody has ice bags on, both teams. But I've got to believe that everybody's going to play."
Beauchemin insists his team will respond in front of a rabid home crowd the way it has throughout the season, when adversity typically has been followed by success. And the players believe.
"We're a different team," said forward
The Ducks have surrendered 14 goals in the past three games, but the consensus is goalie
Andersen said the chaos in front of him in Game 6 was costly as the Blackhawks scored three goals in a 3-minute, 45-second stretch in which defenseman Duncan Keith assisted on all three.
"We started hesitating a little bit, didn't make the simple plays," Andersen said after the game. "We needed to calm things down, so they kept going at us and we didn't respond quick enough. We were running around too much, didn't get it out of the zone to make a line change. ... We've got to take care of each other. When we get it deep, we have to make a change and get fresh people in there."
Television ratings for the Ducks-Blackhawks series have increased 4% to 2.8 in the Los Angeles market from last season's Kings-Blackhawks conference final, NBC announced. Game 7 will be televised by Channel 4 at 5 p.m.
Should the Ducks advance to the Stanley Cup Final, they will open the series Wednesday either at home against Tampa Bay or in New York against the Rangers, depending upon who wins Friday's Game 7 in the
Whoever advances, the team with the most regular-season points will play host to Games 1 and 2 and potentially Games 5 and 7. The Rangers finished with the most points (113), followed by the Ducks (109), Lightning (108) and Blackhawks (102).