Ducks downplay rough patch
BY MARK LAZERUS email@example.com March 29, 2013 11:18PM
Updated: May 1, 2013 3:40PM
When the Ducks scored three times in the last six minutes to stun the Blackhawks 4-2 on March 20 in Anaheim — their second victory over the Hawks in as many tries — it appeared to send a signal that they were a serious threat to take the top seed in the Western Conference.
But since then, the Ducks have dropped four in a row — two to the Red Wings, two to the Sharks.
Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau is obviously concerned, but he pointed out that when his Capitals finished as the top seed in the East in 2010-11, they lost eight consecutive games in December.
“It happens,” he said. “I worry about it all the time because coaches worry about every loss. But I’ve got to believe the first 29 games were not a fluke.”
When he was asked if playing the Hawks — a big-time opponent that’s easy to get up for — was a good thing, Boudreau agreed. Sort of.
“It is a big game,” he said. “The environment is great. But I would much rather play a junior team than the Hawks. It’s not like we’re saying, ‘Yeah, let’s go, we got the Hawks tonight.’ That’s not the case. They’re the best for a reason. And they’re good. But the fear of getting beaten badly if you’re playing badly is a great motivator.”
Daniel Carcillo was in the lineup for the second straight game, skating on the fourth line with Marcus Kruger and Jamal Mayers, after being a healthy scratch for four of the previous five games and playing only three shifts in Anaheim.
“Danny came back after a couple of ordinary games,’’ coach Joel Quenneville said. ‘‘He got to watch a few games, and I liked his response the last game. I thought that line was effective, I thought his attention to positioning was strong, I thought he had some physicality, some scoring chances and I like the energy he brought. We like the way he played, and we’re hoping to continue along those lines.”
Marian Hossa was moved to injured reserve retroactive to March 19 as a procedural move. The Hawks hope he can return Sunday at Detroit. Michal Rozsival and Brandon Bollig were healthy scratches.