Just drop the puck already.
The Anaheim Ducks know the history, and don’t really want to talk about it anymore.
In the last four seasons they’ve been eliminated from the playoffs at home in Game 7. Now they face the same win-or-go golf scenario Wednesday night against the Edmonton Oilers.
Only four players remain from the start of the streak in 2013: Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry, Cam Fowler and Andrew Cogliano. What was thought to be the key problem for the choking, Bruce Boudreau, is now gone, and replaced by Randy Carlyle.
Carlyle, Getzlaf, and Perry were on hand for the team’s last Game 7 win. It was 2006 in Calgary. The then-Mighty Ducks beat the Flames, 3-0. After sweeping the Colorado Avalanche the next round, Anaheim met up with the Edmonton Oilers in the Western Conference Final. The Oilers beat the Mighty Ducks, only to lose in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final. That was the last time the Oilers were in the playoffs.
ANAHEIM, Calif. — According to Anaheim Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle, Friday’s game against the Edmonton Oilers is the most important game of the season.
“He says that a lot, just so you know,” laughed Ryan Getzlaf after the team’s morning skate. “It’s Game 2. We’re in the playoffs, every game is the most important game.”
The coach’s mantra takes on a bit more meaning now. For the first time in the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs the Ducks are trailing in a series.
In playoffs of season past, Anaheim would hit the panic button when the first signs of adversity came about. Not so much now. A loss Friday night means Edmonton heads home with a two game advantage.
“We’re confident in our game. We’re confident in our ability,” said a monotone Ryan Kesler. “There’s no panic right now. We’ve got to win the next one.”
Following his team’s overtime loss in Game 5, Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan wasn’t ready to evaluate Marc-Andre Fleury’s goaltending performance.
“I’m not going to assess his game right after the game,” said Sullivan in his postgame press conference. “It’s obviously a disheartening game we just lost. I’d rather digest it a little bit before I jump to any conclusions.”
Based on both conference finals, and the goaltending circuses that have accompanied them, is that akin to Ken Hitchcock’s ‘sleep on it’ comment before he decided to start Jake Allen? Just a thought.