From Long Beach to a Stanley Cup Final?
Ducks forward Emerson Etem said he'll be re-inserted in Anaheim’s lineup Wednesday night in Game 6 of the Western Conference Final, getting a chance to contribute to a series-clinching victory with his team leading the Chicago Blackhawks three games to two.
“It’s awesome. It’s great for kids who grow up in California and non-traditional hockey areas to see my story,” Etem, 22, said following Wednesday’s morning skate at United Center, where he was positioned on the right wing with fourth-line center Rickard Rakell and left wing Jiri Sekac.
“It’s possible to make it if you work hard and you can end up in a situation like me. I’ve dreamt of this moment and what’s to come. We’ve just got to focus on tonight though.”
Etem, after deflecting in a goal with his upper body in Game 4 with four shots on goal, was made a healthy scratch for Game 5 with veteran Tomas Fleischmann playing 10 minutes, 14 seconds without a shot or point.
Rakell doesn’t have a point in 11 games since scoring the game-winning goal in Game 3 of the first-round series at Winnipeg. Sekac is point-less this series.
“We’re getting opportunities, doing everything we need to do to get chances,” Etem said. “It’s just about being ready. We’ve been making good plays, sustaining pressure, now we’ve got to take it to the net more.
“We’re good enough with our three lines performing. First and foremost is the defensive side of the game – getting pucks out, creating energy. That’s our No. 1 job. It’s a chance to regroup. We have our minds cleared. We know what we need to do. Get after their ‘D,’ create turnovers.”
Rakell and Sekac are also 22.
“This is the position we want to be in. We really want to get the win tonight,” Rakell said.