Ducks notes, part III: Ryan will hit gym again.

from Sunday’s Ducks notebook, which didn’t make it to the web in every market…

Bobby Ryan reported to training camp last year having shed 20 pounds after an offseason training regimen.

This summer, he plans on staying in Anaheim to get even more fit.

“I think last summer was a good start,” Ryan said. “I had a good foundation. Now it’s going to be a different kind of training this summer for me. Put on a little more muscle, chip away at the baby fat, and continue to do the things they’re telling me.”

The results were evident in Ryan’s game this season. He led all rookies with 31 goals and 57 points, and was named a finalist for the Calder Trophy. He’s hoping the results of this summer’s hard work will translate to his sophomore season.

“I’m looking forward to it,” he said. “It’s going to be another summer like last one. I’m not going home at all.”

Ducks notes, part II: Murray on chair incident

from Sunday’s Ducks notebook, which didn’t make it to the web in every market…

General manager Bob Murray downplayed reports Saturday he “cross-checked” a Red Wings fan with a chairin the Joe Louis Arena press box after Thursday’s game.

“It was a total accident,” Murray said. “I spoke to her and cleared it up.”

The woman, identified in reports as 55-year-old TV crew worker Rachel Paris, notified police after the incident. But Detroit Police Sgt. Alan Quinn confirmed to the Detroit Free Press that “it was totally unintentional.”

Ducks notes, part I: Hedican close to retirement.

from Sunday’s Ducks notebook, which didn’t make it to the web in every market…

The Ducks head into the offseason with about as many bumps and bruises as you’d expect following 13 gritty Stanley Cup playoff games.

The most serious injury, however, belongs to a player who didn’t appear in the postseason: Bret Hedican. A bad back caused the 38-year-old defenseman to miss the last 19 games of the regular season, plus both playoff series, and he is close to retirement.

“I can say fairly confidently it’s time to move on in my life,” Hedican said. “I think I’ve taken my body to the end of the road as an NHL defenseman.”

Continue reading “Ducks notes, part I: Hedican close to retirement.” »

Murray on Ducks’ “big bad” image.

Asked today if he was tired of seeing his team having a “goon” image, Bob Murray came back with a nuanced response — and simultaneously sounded like he took it personally.

Murray admitted that he and Brian Burke injected an emphasis on physicality in part to sell tickets when they took the reins in 2005. “We were trying to get interest back in the team,” he said.

But it’s gone too far when referees buy in, Murray said: “I think it gets carried to a point where the referes look at you, they see something happen (and say) ‘Well, that’s an Anaheim player, it must be him.’

“I don’t think I want to change the style of how we’re going to play. I like the certain style of how we play. How can people call us — that does irritate me when people call us goons. When you have people like Scotty Niedermayer, that is really disrespectful, and Ryan Getzlaf, Corey, Teemu Selanne. It’s a label we’ve had. We created it ourselves. I’d like it to kinda be changed around a bit. Don’t ask me to what.

“We have some damn good players here. If Teemu and Scotty come back, let’s count how many of every team’s players go to the Olympics. I think people will be quite surprised – “There’s a whole bunch of Anaheim guys, how do those goons get that?’ It’s enough. Enough.”

The post-playoff injury report.

Murray said that the Ducks were actually relatively healthy during the playoffs. The most serious injury (other than Ryan Getzlaf’s flu-like symptoms) he reported was to Petteri Nokelainen, who broke his hand during his second shift Thursday.

As for the rest of them?

“(Erik) Christensen has a shoulder that has to be looked at. Nokelainen had the groin thing going on … Getzy fought the flu. He’s banged up, nothing serious. He played too many minutes. That’s my fault. He didn’t have anybody behind him. … (Bobby Ryan) had a hip pointer way back in the San Jose series; one little thing bounced off the hip. He’s a little sore. He’s fine now. He had no issues in the Detroit series.”

Murray: Niedermayer is ‘key to everything’

On a conference call with reporters, Ducks general manager Bob Murray said today that whether or not Scott Niedermayer retires or re-signs is “the key to everything” he does in the offseason.

“Scotty is irreplacable,” Murray said. “He’s everything to this group. We’re going to have to see where he goes before I see where I go.

“The biggest (priority) is definitely, let’s not kid ourselves, where are Scotty and Teemu going to be? I heard the comment (by Selanne) where I chuckled to myself, we’re going to see what Bob’s going to do. Well, Bob’s decisions are based on what they do.”

We’ll catch up with Niedermayer and Selanne tomorrow and see if we can shed any light on the bigger picture after they’ve met with the GM.

Detroit 4, Ducks 3: How it happened.

The Game 7 that this Ducks-Red Wings series was destined for from the start lived up to the hype. Three goals to each side over the game’s first 57 minutes. Five minor penalties to each side. At least five non-calls to each side. Two teams that may ultimately be counted as the best in the entire NHL when all is said and done.

A period-by-period recap:

Continue reading “Detroit 4, Ducks 3: How it happened.” »

Seven Ducks-Red Wings Game 7 subplots.

1. If they win, this could go down as the best playoff performance in Ducks franchise history.

2. Kris Draper might play.

3. The Ducks aren’t sure why Todd Marchant got a game misconduct in this brawl at the end of Game 6. The Red Wings have moved onbut haven’t forgotten.

4. Speaking of Marchant, he wants to play until he’s 47 like Chris Chelios.

5. Detroit wants to hate Jonas Hiller, but can’t. He and Ryan Getzlaf are the reasons the Ducks are in Game 7 at all.

6. Chris Osgood is impressed with ex-teammate Chris Pronger’s behavior so far.

7. When the series started I picked the Red Wings in seven games. If the Ducks win tonight (4 p.m., FSN Prime Ticket), I will approve any and all “I-told-you-so” comments.

Postgame quotes.

Jonas Hiller:
I think everybody knew what today’s game was about. We had to win and we had to show a better effort than the last two games. That is what we did and why we won.

All the games were tight, besides the last two we lost. We showed in the first two games that if we play our game there, we always have a chance to win. That is all we can do in the next game. We’re going to try and you never know. Game 7’s are always special. There is a lot of experience in here.

Scott Niedermayer:

We knew we could be better than we were the last two games. There was no question about that. I think we were tonight.

We’ve been around the game a while. We know that we weren’t as good as we needed to be, and we needed to be better. That was our focus going into this game and it will stay the same going into the game in two days.

You try to eliminate your mistakes. You’re not going to eliminate all of them, but the fewer you make the better position you’re going to be in.

(On final seconds): There was a lot going on. I don’t know how it all started. The next thing you know, my gloves are off. That doesn’t happen too often. I took a couple shots. I didn’t even know who it was at first. I took a couple of punches to the face. I guess after a couple, I figured I’ll try a couple myself.

It’s exciting. What a great thrill to be playing a great hockey club like that in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

(On Ryan-Getzlaf-Perry line:) That line controlled the puck and was dangerous out there. They’ve been doing that all year for us.

(On being paired with Chris Pronger:) That’s what the coaches get paid to figure out. You go out there and do your best. They asked Chris and I to go out there, and it worked. You just go out when your called upon, go do your job.

We had an opportunity here tonight, and we took advantage of it.

(On not having a morning skate:) It’s maybe sometimes nice to change things up a bit. (Feel fresher as a result?) No, I don’t think so.

Randy Carlyle

Detroit has a very skilled hockey club and if you don’t stay close to your check, they are going to move the puck and move themselves. If there is a team that does it better, I’d like to know where it is. If you don’t stay close to your check, they can make you look awfully foolish. I thought we played fairly neat and tidy.

We had good backside pressure and we played more of the type of game that is going to be required. I think the most important part for us was the ability to be a little bit more patient with the puck in our end. It gave us better entry into their zone.

Dan Cleary

(On what went wrong): They were better than us tonight, that’s all. They realized the situation that they were in. They played hard and smart defensively. They played a good game.

(On Game 7): It’s going to be fun. It’s going to tight. It’s going to be two teams that know what’s at stake. We’ve played well all season for home ice. Now we have to take advantage of it.

(On having home ice advantage): I think both teams have proven that they can win on the road. We’ve also proven that we’re a good home team. It should be a good atmosphere. It’s something that where we have to come out and play well like we did in Game 5.

Nicklas Lidstrom

(On what went wrong): I think we got that goal late in the game. We needed a goal earlier, especially when they have a two-goal lead to put pressure on them. I think they were desperate tonight than we were. They came out stronger. We still had too many turnovers that created more time in our zone than we wanted to.

(On end-of-game altercations): I don’t really know what happened, but it’s been a battle for both sides and those things happen.

(On not being able to close out the series on the road): It’s disappointing that we had a chance to close the series out, but they’re a good team. They’re not going to give up and we saw that tonight. So we have to regroup and come back and be ready to come in Thursday night.

Mike Babcock

(On Ducks’ defense): I thought tonight they were more desperate at the start of the game. Probably even through 40 minutes. Desperation, it doesn’t have to be huge, but a little bit. You win more puck battles and more puck races. You deflect more people out of the slot. You can kind of sustain pressure. I thought that was the keys tonight. I didn’t think we had a real push until the third period and we were trailing 2-0.

(On third period): We were carrying the play. It’s usually a pretty fair game. You start on time and you compete the whole time and you’re desperate and you find a way to win on most occasions. If you start a bit late sometimes, you don’t get rewarded and tonight I thought that was the key for us. I thought that they were more desperate. They got some bounces, Hiller made some saves, but here we are, we’re going to get ready for a Game 7. It should be exciting. It’s been a good series thus far. I expect it to continue.