Thursday, April 7, 2011
Ducks: Mood lightens after big win vs. San Jose
By Dan Arritt
ANAHEIM — The morning after dismantling San Jose, 6-2, to move to within a victory or regulation loss by Dallas of clinching a playoff berth, the Ducks were in good moods following practice Thursday at Honda Center.
Ryan Getzlaf announced Teemu Selanne was no longer retiring after this season. At which Selanne responded he would be opening a “comedian club” next year so Getzlaf would have a place to perform his stand-up routine.
Corey Perry and Getzlaf then reminded their 40-year-old Finnish teammate that they’re called comedy clubs in the U.S.
The tone only slightly lightened when the conversation turned toward the back-to-back games this weekend against the Kings, who clinched their playoff berth Wednesday night with a 3-2 shootout victory against the visiting Coyotes.
Both clubs have never made the playoffs in the same season.
“It’s going to be fun,” Selanne said. “It’s like a mini-playoffs against them now.”
Both teams can still finish as high as fourth in the Western Conference, earning home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs. It wouldn’t be a stretch for one team to finish fourth and the other fifth, setting up an all-Southern California first-round matchup.
“We’re probably just looking at it like six periods of hockey,” said Ducks forward George Parros. “Who’s to say what’s going to happen with the playoff spots and where everyone will end up, and we can’t discount the fact that Dallas can still make the playoffs if they don’t lose. … We need to focus and keep playing the same brand of hockey we have been playing.”
And that means scoring a lot of goals.
The Ducks became even thinner at goalkeeper Wednesday night. Ray Emery left midway through the second period with stiffness in his lower-body injury. Emery and Ducks coach Randy Carlyle would not confirm if the stiffness was related to Emery’s offseason hip surgery.
With former No.1 goalie Jonas Hiller still not making progress from vertigo-like symptoms that have plagued him since early February, the Ducks might need to rely on Dan Ellis this weekend.
Carlyle said he was ready to put Parros in goal if Ellis was also injured against the Sharks, but Emery said he probably would have been able to return in that situation.