CALGARY, Canada -- Ducks Coach Bruce Boudreau in Tuesday’s practice called his team out to show more commitment to shooting and congesting the area in front of the opposing goalie.
With his team 4-5-2 in the last 11 games before Wednesday night’s game against the Calgary Flames (25-33-7) at the Saddledome and three for 39 on the power play in the last 12, Boudreau issued a forceful reminder of how to correct it.
“You’ve got to get back to doing the simple things: shooting pucks, retrieving pucks, traffic in front of the net and win the battles,” Boudreau told reporters after scolding his team.
He said establishing traffic in front of the opposing goalie is task No. 1.
“It’s what we went with on the video [lesson], it was all about, ‘Look at these shots, we’re making every goalie look like [Hall of Fame goalie] Glenn Hall because nobody’s getting in front of him, nobody’s making it difficult, there’s no rebounds,’ ” Boudreau said. “Until we start doing that, we’re not going to score goals.”
Toronto goalie Jonathan Bernier stopped 43 of 44 shots by the Ducks (43-15-7) in Monday’s 3-1 loss at Honda Center.
Ducks center Ryan Getzlaf said the message has effectively been received.
“You don’t really know until you step on the ice and are able to live it,” Getzlaf said. “But we’re
going to focus on that tonight. The net traffic has been a big focus. Bruce brought a lot of things to our attention. Some guys knew, some guys didn’t know.”
CHASING TOP SPOT: Ducks defenseman Luca Sbisa, who will return to play Wednesday after suffering a Friday knee injury, said being the No. 1 seeded team in the Western Conference come the playoffs “is all we think about right now.”
The candid defenseman said there’s great motivation to answer the team’s recent slide on the heels of last year’s mediocre finish before a first-round playoff exit.
“If you’re not No. 1, you look at the teams and while all eight teams will be good, you don’t want to play the Kings or San Jose in the first round,” Sbisa said. “The team that plays the best going into the playoffs usually goes deep.
“It’s something everyone in this room is looking forward to doing. We want that [to be No. 1], it’s a big accomplishment. [Tuesday], we had a good meeting, the coaches made us realize how good of a chance we have this year. The intensity has to be higher.”
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