Reporting from Nashville
Teemu Selanne was the bad cop Sunday. He took the good cop role Monday, a day after the Ducks’ woeful performance in a 4-3 loss to Nashville.
“It’s a new day and there are new opportunities,” Selanne said. “Today’s the day for positive.”
Sunday, on the other hand, was “rock bottom,” Selanne said. He made that clear afterward with a harsh assessment of the Ducks’ play to the media.
“You guys only heard a little of it,” center Corey Perry said. “He said a lot more [to the team] before that.”
As colorfully a picture as he painted for the media?
“I’ll leave it at that,” Perry said.
The rock-bottom line is, “his voice carries a long way,” Perry said.
Selanne’s point was about effort, something that was lacking in a loss that left the Ducks down, 2-1, in the best-of-seven series. Nashville dominated the game well beyond what the score indicated.
“If you play well and lose, hey, that’s hockey,” Selanne said. “Sometimes the other team is better.”
But, he said, “blowing the game last night really bothered me. There is not one guy who can say he played his best.”
Sifting through the rubble required a day off Monday.
“Today’s about ‘whoa,’ and just forget about it … for today,” Coach Randy Carlyle said. “We showed signs of being a very tired hockey team last night. I don’t know if it’s physically or emotionally; mentally we didn’t show signs that we had what was required to compete in a hockey game.”
Selanne made that clear postgame, and was there Monday to remind the Ducks that they have faced this before. They trailed Detroit, 2-1, in 2007, then swept through the next three games on the way to winning the Stanley Cup.
“We had just lost a game, 5-0, and [then-Ducks defenseman] Chris Pronger was suspended,” Selanne said. “We found a way to win.”
McMillan and life
Bobby Ryan will sit out the second game of his two-game suspension Wednesday. His absence led to shuffling on the first line Sunday.
Brandon McMillan started with Perry and Ryan Getzlaf.
“They are two totally different players, and they have been playing together for a long time,” McMillan said. “They have established chemistry.” Of Ryan, he said, “I’m not as patient with the puck as he is and I don’t have gifted hands like he does.”
Carlyle didn’t stick with that plan long. He tried Selanne, then went with Matt Beleskey, who scored a goal when he was knocked down as the puck went off his skate — then ricocheted off a Nashville player’s skate — to tie the score, 3-3.
“He went to the net and made something happen,” Carlyle said.
Selanne scored the fastest two goals in a playoff game in 15 years Sunday, according to Elias Sports Bureau.
Selanne put two in the net in a 30-second span in the second period. It was the fastest two-goal postseason spree since Pittsburgh’s Petr Nedved scored twice in 11 seconds against Washington 15 years earlier to the day.