Hebert’s Happy About His Starts
Goaltender Guy Hebert’s consecutive starts against Calgary on Friday and Tampa Bay last Wednesday marked only the second time he has played in two games in a row this season.
“Hey, how about that?” he said before stopping 28 of 31 shots in defeating the Flames, 4-3, in overtime.
“You’d like to play more, especially when you feel good early in the season. [Mikhail Shtalenkov] will probably tell you the same thing. It’s like when you’re a kid and your parents tell you something is in your best interest. You kind of know it is . . . but it’s natural to want to play every game.
“Maybe somebody has a grand plan and it will work out in the end.”
Coach Pierre Page resumed his goalie rotation Saturday against the Vancouver Canucks, starting Shtalenkov instead of Hebert. Shtalenkov has not played in two games in a row yet this season.
Page told anyone and everyone that his return to Calgary, where he spent the last two seasons as the Flames’ coach, was nothing special. He even went so far as asking assistant Don Hay to address the team between periods.
“I had Donny do the between periods speeches so the team realized it was a team thing and not a Pierre Page thing,” Page said after the Ducks’ victory. “It’s very nice to win here. But I made it a team thing.”
Assistant Walt Kyle on the coaching staff’s approach to young players such as center Matt Cullen and defenseman Ruslan Salei:
“Our theory is you’ve got to play them and feed them what they can eat. Once they feel successful, then you can feed them a little more. We’re really happy with our young guys and the depth they’ve given us. These guys are starting to mature.
“It’s always easy with first-round picks. A first-round pick is supposed to be good. Now you’re seeing our second- and third-rounders coming up big too.”
Salei and Cullen were the Ducks’ first two picks in the 1996 draft.
Going into Saturday, the Ducks had scored 41 goals in 16 games. Teemu Selanne had 14 goal and six assists, figuring in 49% of the team’s goals.
Selanne trailed only Philadelphia’s John LeClair, who had a league-leading 15 goals going into Saturday. The Flyers had scored 54 goals before Saturday. LeClair had 15 goals and 10 assists, figuring in 46% of the Flyers’ goals.
Not in the Duck lineup: defenseman Bobby Dollas (cut tendon in left forearm) and left wing Brent Severyn (herniated disk) and forwards Shawn Antoski, Richard Park and Kevin Todd (coach’s decisions).
Not in the Canuck lineup: defensemen Adrian Aucoin (groin injury), Dave Babych (coach’s decision) and Dana Murzyn (coach’s decision), left wings Martin Gelinas (sprained knee) and David Roberts (abdominal strain) and right wing Lonny Bohonos (coach’s decision).