On playing to the game plan:
I don’t know if you can say that it was a perfect hockey game on our part, by any stretch of the imagination. We took far too many penalties, the number one thing. We gave ourselves a taxing even on the penalty kill. We took consecutive penalties, really wore our penalty killers out, some of the players who play that role, specifically it’s really tough on your goaltender if you’re going to continue to take penalties. A couple of them were in the offensive zone, which were a big no-no. I think we’ve talked and talked and talked and talked about taking penalties. We’re slow learners, I guess.
Set your TiVos, Ducks fans …
Sometime over the course of his 527 games in a Ducks uniform, it became a foregone conclusion that Samuel Pahlsson would be asked to defend the opposing team’s best center. So much so that, it was a question you didn’t bother asking Randy Carlyle.
Whenever the Ducks played the Sharks, Pahlsson put the Thorn in Joe Thornton. But now he’s playing for the Chicago Blackhawks. So who will draw the assignment against San Jose’s dangerous center in the Ducks’ first-round series against the Sharks?
At Monday’s morning practice, Todd Marchant was wearing one of the short-lived “FOCUS” T-shirts that he put together prior to last year’s first-round playoff series against Dallas. He was unbothered by the superstitious reprecussion that, just maybe, wearing the shirt he rolled out before an early playoff exit last year might have the same effect this year.
Marchant was also unconcerned with coming up with a new T-shirt for this year, a task which has unofficially fallen upon his torso after what happened during the 2007 playoffs.
Here’s how the Ducks and Sharks did in their six regular-season meetings (with a Sharks slant)…
With the Iowa Chops’ season dead and done (two points out of the West basement), one-third of the team will join the Ducks for the first round of the playoffs.
Centers Petri Kontiola and Petteri Wirtanen, left wings Josh Green and Matt Beleskey, defensemen Brian Salcido and Brett Festerling, along with goaltender Jean-Philippe Levasseur have all been recalled.
Kontiola was acquired in the Samuel Pahlsson trade from Chicago; Levasseur was up briefly in December but did not appear in a game. Wirtanen, Beleskey, Salcido and Festerling all had cups of coffee with the Ducks recently. Green did not, but has 322 NHL games under his belt, mostly with the Kings.
It’s the first-ever Stanley Cup playoff series between two teams in California since 1969 (that classic Seals-Kings matchup). Go figure how it took so long.