You could say it was creative, take-your-foot-off-the-pedal coaching methodology leading up to the last playoff game between the
Old-school and the often-crusty coach Randy Carlyle decided to cancel Ducks practice and took the lads to a pool hall in Calgary the day before Game 7 of a first-round series in 2006. On a TV was a "Classic
Carlyle was playing defense for the
Can't say the tactic didn't work. Anaheim won, 3-0, the next night in Game 7 with goalie
"I got hurt in Game 7," said the Ducks'
With more than a week between playoff rounds, the Ducks have had plenty of time to rest, recharge and even skate down memory lane before Thursday's Game 1 at
Heck, they had enough time for a best-of-seven competition at a local pool hall. Luckily for the Ducks, they have grown accustomed to these long breaks.
"We did it at the end of the season," Perry said. "We had a lot of days. I think we only had one game the last week, the last week and a half. It's kind of the same thing. You've got to go out and get ready, get prepared to play hockey."
"I think the hunger of the players is going to make it not rusty; that's what I'm hoping," he said Wednesday after practice. "There might be the odd missed pass early because we haven't played in game situations with guys that don't like playing against us. But I think the enthusiasm, the will and the want is going to overtake the so-called rust."
Much has been made about the Ducks facing their former goalie, the Flames'
"It's nice to see him go and have success elsewhere," Ducks defenseman
"But I don't think come game time, either one of us are going to be thinking about our past history."
The same holds true for the historical lock the Ducks have on the Flames at Honda Center. They lost to Calgary in Game 3 in the first round of the playoffs in 2006, but the Flames have not won in Anaheim in the regular season since Jan. 2004, a run of 20 games.
"When that puck drops, nobody is thinking about the previous games at the Honda Center," Fowler said. "It's a whole new series."
Especially considering many of the Flames' top players were not around for much of that streak. Their top line features rookie Johnny Gaudreau, second-year center Sean Monahan and veteran
The dynamic trio combined for 10 points in the series-clinching Game 6 against Vancouver.
"I don't think a whole lot changes from series to series, from trying to shut down their top guys," Fowler said. "It's trying to make life difficult on them and not give them time and space to make plays. That's obviously a challenge no matter how you say it or how you word it."
Said Perry: "They're a great skating group. You can't give them time and space. If you eliminate that, hopefully you don't allow them to gain that blue line."