Teemu Selanne was asked what most influenced the Ducks' run to the Western Conference No. 2 seeding in the Stanley Cup playoffs that probably begin Tuesday against the Detroit Red Wings. “Pride,” the Ducks' legendary, 42-year-old wing said after practice Friday. Selanne's reference was to the grisly 6-20-6 start last season that got a coach fired and sat badly with a veteran group that included members of the franchise's 2007 Stanley Cup champion team. “The disappointment of last season carried over to this year,” Selanne said. “We started … with everybody doing their jobs. That's the only chance you have.” Indeed, six Ducks have scored 10 or more goals for a team that improved its winning percentage more than any team in the NHL. The Ducks (30-12-6) wrapped their lockout-shortened regular season Saturday night at Honda Center with a 5-3 loss to Phoenix as Coyotes right wing Radim Vrbata had a hat trick. Paced by captain Ryan Getzlaf and first-line teammate Corey Perry's 15 goals apiece, the Ducks were unbeaten in regulation for 12 games from Feb. 27 to March 20 and set a team record with 13 consecutive home wins from Jan. 26-March 20. They also had a knack for come-from-behind victories during those runs, finishing with 12 victories and two overtime losses after trailing. “We won some games we shouldn't have won,” Perry said. “That's a testament to the character in our locker room. There's faces in there who want to win, and they know what it takes to win.” Coach Bruce Boudreau's point is success starts with good goaltending, and the team surged thanks to 30-year-old rookie Viktor Fasth's 8-0 debut as a starter in the NHL. Fasth's goals-against average before giving up four goals Saturday was 2.10, better than incumbent Jonas Hiller's 2.36, making Boudreau's selection of a Game 1 playoff starter a compelling point of intrigue. Fasth said he was not amazed by his success, labeling it a continuation of his work in Europe. “That's the game that took me here,” he said. The Ducks were mired in a 5-8-2 slump March 22-April 19 before closing a trip to Canada last week with three consecutive wins to clinch the Pacific Division title.
Ducks found motivation in last season's disappointment
Los Angeles Times | Apr 28