Only a few minutes had passed since
But he didn’t need to analyze video to be sure of one truth right away, while the
"We know that it's only going to get tougher," Carlyle said of his team's playoff path. "It's as simple as that. It's only going to get tougher."
Their path might take them to San Jose to face the veteran-led Sharks or to Edmonton to face the speedy young
A break of more than a few days always triggers debates about rest vs. rust. For the Ducks, who are on a 15-0-3 run and last lost in regulation March 10, there’s a risk they’ll lose the rhythm they’ve developed by playing just about every other day for the past month. But with the other playoff series unresolved and Carlyle canceling practice until Sunday, the upside is there is ample recovery time for defenseman
Carlyle said Thursday he expects both players to be available for the second round but wouldn’t say if they’ll be ready for the opener. He also said defenseman Hampus Lindholm is fine after getting bumped and requiring treatment late in Wednesday’s game, as is center
Thompson too will appreciate the time off. "Whenever you can have some extra rest with guys a little banged up, it's only going to beneficial for us," he said.
The Ducks felt Fowler's absence in their penalty killing, which neutralized only 10 of the Flames' 16 advantages, a 62.5% success rate. But their 10-2 scoring dominance in five-on-five, boosted by the poise and puck-moving skills of defensemen Shea Theodore and Brandon Montour, went a long way toward compensating for that.
“Our penalty kill, we got scored on a bit and a couple maybe miscues by us but we’re still pretty confident with that moving forward,” defenseman
Carlyle wasn't ready to declare their five-on-five play the key to their success. "I don't know if we were that great. We tried to simplify our game and get pucks toward the net and drive the net," he said. "Look at the goals that we scored. There weren't too many that were high-energy goals. More dirty goals. Goals that were rebounds, second chance, jam the puck, wraparound."
By going to the so-called dirty areas they were able to capitalize on deflections and bounces, including the intended pass by Ryan Getzlaf that caromed off the foot of Flames forward
"They got the goals when they needed them. They got timely goals and we didn't," Flames coach Glen Gulutzan said. "We didn't get puck luck, either."
The Flames’ biggest problem was weak goaltending from
The Ducks also remained disciplined for the most part, a novel departure from their recent playoff history. With Carlyle managing the bench well, the Ducks took care of business and earned a respite.
"We're a deep team," Bieksa said. "We got contributions every game from different guys and just kind of plugged away and played two good road games and wrapped it up."
Simple as that. And they have a few days to relax until it isn't so simple any more.