This was the morning featuring Ducks goalies … past and present.
Calgary goalie Jonas Hiller, who spent his entire NHL career with the Ducks before signing with the Flames as a free agent in July, was catching up with old friends from the media. He talked about (relatively) new fatherhood and the challenge of playing his former team for the first time on Tuesday night.
“I hope it helps me,” Hiller said. “It may help them too .… I’ve seen them plenty of time in practice. They’ve seen me …. It definitely makes it a little more special than a regular game.”
Not much later, the Ducks’ Frederik Andersen was talking about his own circumstances having changed, moving into the role of No. 1 goalie. There are new physical and mental challenges.
“Of course it’s a new game every second day,” he said. “Maybe even back-to-back [games]. For me, I’ve got to be in ‘the now’ right away. In every game.
“You can’t make 30-some saves at once. You’ve got to make one save at a time and see what happens at the end of the game. I think maybe this last little stretch, I've maybe been too focused on getting the win and not getting the one save every couple of minutes whenever they come.”
Andersen has hit a bit of a speed bump in the last week or so. He has been pulled in two of his last three starts, on Wednesday against the Los Angeles Kings and Sunday against the Florida Panthers, both games at Honda Center.
“I thought he played really good [on Saturday] in L.A., he got right back at it,” Anaheim Coach Bruce Boudreau said. “He’s had two off-games. People might say it’s inevitable. I don’t see it that way.
“Everybody is going to have a bad game once in a while. But I don’t want Freddie to ever think, ‘Oh, I’m going to have a bad game. It’s OK to have a bad game.’ It’s the same with our team. It’s just an excuse and we don’t want it. Hopefully, he’s back on the ball today and playing as well as he’s capable of.”
Ducks rookie forward William Karlsson (flu) was still scheduled to join the team later in Calgary. But he wasn’t going to fly until he was feeling better, the team said. Defenseman Francois Beauchemin, who recently recovered from the mumps, took part in the morning skate and Boudreau felt confident he would be able to play on Thursday in Vancouver.
“He wants to play today,” Boudreau said. “He always wants to play. It doesn't necessarily mean he's at his full peak yet. Beauch would have played from his bed to come to the rink. He's that kind of guy."