Without health, you're supposed to have nothing.
That hasn't been the case with the
Sure, they've more than survived, but for the Ducks, enough is enough.
So, the first thing on their holiday wish list is full health.
And the loss of rookie goalie John Gibson to a groin injury forced
Andersen's 12-4-4 record affirmed his No. 1 spot on the depth chart, but it also leaves the team leery, knowing that last season's top goaltender,
Make no mistake: This team's eyes are on the
On Friday — following his team's tired showing in a 6-2 loss in Ottawa — Ducks Coach
"How big of a list do you want to go?" he asked.
"I'm hoping they're all ready to push everyone else for ice time," Boudreau said. "But we're not putting a guy out there who's not 100%."
That's why the Ducks delayed the returns of Beauchemin and Perry. They missed Monday's 3-2 overtime victory over their nearest
Perry and Beauchemin are due back Saturday in Arizona, but Boudreau said that leads to another holiday wish — avoid the sigh of relief.
"When you start saying, 'Here come the guys back, the cavalry's here,' all of a sudden everybody lets up, and, boom, you don't have success," Boudreau said. "Initially, it's going to be the message: that these guys are back, but that doesn't make it nice and rosy.
"Teams will be trying harder against us again. And the guys that have been in for these [sidelined] guys have been trying very hard."
Another wish is for the newest Ducks to produce as had been hoped. Other than center
It's led to inconsistent efforts. The Ducks lost 6-2 in Toronto, beat Montreal, 2-1, then were routed by the Senators.
"I hate playing really good, then allowing six goals when we should never allow more than three," Boudreau said.
The absent bodies disrupt power-play and penalty-kill lineups, too, and Anaheim ranks in the bottom half of the league in both categories.
"We're struggling on both of them. Sometimes, it's confidence. Sometimes, it's a lack of Corey Perry," Boudreau said. "You're missing the best scorer in the National Hockey League. It hurts your power play."
Practice became a wilted effort this month because the need to rest certain guys reduced the effectiveness of drills.
"In short practices, the special teams take a back seat to systems," Boudreau said.
The Ducks know one present they're getting — the arrival of January.
Not only does Anaheim expect to be far healthier next month, but also they play only 11 games in the 31 days, with eight at home and two others in California.
"We'll have an awful lot of time to work," Boudreau said.