Friday, May 16, 2014
Selanne avoids talk of Game 7 being the last
By Pierre LeBrun
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Is this it for No. 8?
Teemu Selanne, who has said he will retire after this season, was doing his best not to think about the end Friday morning, trying to stick to his normal routine.
After all, he’s hoping to play for another month.
But the text messages were flooding his cell phone (which he says he’s trying to ignore) as he prepared for Game 7 between his Anaheim Ducks and the Los Angeles Kings.
"Obviously it’s something that you know, but that’s not the focus now," Selanne said after the morning skate at Honda Center.
"I try to look at this as a big game. It’s funny how it works. When we were down 2-0, had somebody said there would be a Game 7, we would have taken it."
The 43-year-old Finnish legend was doing his best not to talk about the possibility that it was his final NHL game. He didn't speak with the media Thursday because he didn't want that to be the focus on the eve of such a big game.
When asked how his afternoon nap would go Friday, Selanne responded: "I don't know about that."
As for whether a pregame speech was coming from him for his teammates, Selanne hesitated.
"I don’t know," Selanne said. "In these situations, I don't think you need much. In these situations, usually less is more."
Both teams had full morning skates Friday at Honda Center. The Ducks showed a tweak to their forward lines, with Daniel Winnik swapping with Patrick Maroon. Head coach Bruce Boudreau noted that Maroon played with Nick Bonino and Kyle Palmieri in their AHL days as a very good line.
The forward lines:
Devante Smith-Pelly-Ryan Getzlaf-Corey Perry
Andrew Cogliano-Saku Koivu-Jakob Silfverberg
At the Kings’ morning skate, Willie Mitchell skated for the first time with the full group, but head coach Darryl Sutter ruled him out for Game 7.
Mitchell has been out since Game 6 of the first round. Robyn Regehr also remains out.
The Kings’ lines are always a mystery these days, but here’s what they showed last game:
Marian Gaborik-Anze Kopitar-Dustin Brown
Tanner Pearson-Jeff Carter-Tyler Toffoli
Trevor Lewis-Jarret Stoll-Justin Williams
Kyle Clifford-Mike Richards-Dwight King
And finally, interesting answer from Boudreau when asked about what he saw from other Game 7s of late, particularly Pittsburgh, Boston and Colorado, all losing at home to end their seasons.
Boudreau said that in the team meeting with players, they talked about how those home teams looked tentative in Game 7, and the message clearly is to not hold back tonight, to not be scared to make a mistake.
Drop the puck! The Battle of SoCal gets a winner tonight.