Game 7 gives Ducks chance to rewrite last year's story


Game 7 gives Ducks chance to rewrite last year's story

All season, the Anaheim Ducks talked about having a do-over in the postseason after letting a 3-2 series lead slip away to the Los Angeles Kings last year and falling in Game 7 at home.

Now, they'll have a chance to rewrite the story.

The Ducks are headed back to Anaheim with their season on the line after failing to put away the Blackhawks on Wednesday night. And they're going back home more confident than the last time they played in a win or go home situation.

"I think last year's Game 7 we were a bunch of Nervous Nellies," Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said following a 5-2 loss in Game 6. "Hopefully that happened in Game 6 and won't carry over to Game 7."

[SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]

As if the task isn't tough enough, the Ducks will be looking to right the wrong against a Blackhawks team hoping to do the same after coming up a goal short from back-to-back Stanley Cup Final appearances a year ago against those same Kings.

One of the team's endings will turn out differently, and if it aren't the Ducks, they may look back at the missed opportunities early in Game 6.

The Ducks were rewarded with a power play in the opening minutes of the game, and held the Blackhawks — who struggled coming out of the gates for the second consecutive contest — to zero shots on goal in the first seven and a half minutes.

But the Ducks couldn't capitalize, and it came back to haunt them after the Blackhawks poured on three goals in a span of 3:45 in the second period.

[MORE: Duncan Keith's freak' effort lifts #Blackhawks in Game 6 win]

"I thought the tension was there a little bit, and it started with me," Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf said. "I was terrible tonight."

The Ducks eventually got two of them back, displaying the resiliency that has gotten them this far.

But in the end, a three-goal deficit proved to be too much of a hole to climb out of, even for these Ducks.

“I think we chased the game a little bit too much tonight," forward Ryan Kesler said. "I think we let them dictate the second period. They score three quick ones, it’s tough to come back."

It applied to the Blackhawks in Game 6, but now it applies to both teams: it's do or die time. Both teams have been here before — although it's Anaheim's first this postseason — and both teams know what it takes to win.

For the Ducks, they just need to prove it.

"It’s going to take every guy in the room. We just need to go out there and outwork them," forward Kyle Palmieri said. "It’s going to be on our home ice in front of our fans. It is Game 7 to go to the Stanley Cup Final, so if you don’t bring your game then I don’t know what to say."

Getzlaf echoed those sentiments when asked how the Ducks can make sure this year's outcome is different from last year's.

"Get ready to play," he said.

What kind of role will Andrew Shaw have with Blackhawks?

What kind of role will Andrew Shaw have with Blackhawks?

Andrew Shaw is back in Chicago, but things are different from the last time he was here.

His teammates have changed, the practice facility is new and the state of the team recently went through a retooling period. Perhaps most notably, the entire coaching staff has been overhauled and is now led by 34-year-old Jeremy Colliton.

It’s a different system than Joel Quenneville’s and Shaw is trying to get caught up to speed as quickly as possible.

"Watching a lot of tape," Shaw said. "Want to make sure come season time there's no thinking, it's just doing. Just repetition is going to get over that and watching video and really focusing on every drill and every video session as well."

What Shaw’s role will be with the Blackhawks this season remains to be seen, but the early answer is: it could be anything and everything. 

Last season in Montreal he had his best offensive output playing on the wing — right to be exact. But in the first three days of training camp, including the team scrimmage game on Sunday at the United Center, Shaw was centering a line with Patrick Kane.

Colliton is simply experimenting with the idea to see what kind of options he may have during the season, not necessarily how he wants to start on Opening Night.

"It's an option," Colliton said. "We just wanted to try it. He'll probably play wing, too. You'll see him in exhibition, we'll move him around. There's a bunch of guys who we're just looking to see if we can find some chemistry and where they're comfortable and where they can help us and maybe multiple positions, multiple roles, where guys can be valuable. I think that's important as a coaching staff, we want to find that out as early as we can."

Shaw is a player who can and probably will play on all four lines this season. He’s also someone who can play any of the three forwards positions. That’s what makes him a valuable cog in the system because he can be moved around basically anywhere.

"I think that’s part of what we try to build is to have, whether he’s top six or could be on the fourth line, he’s still going to contribute," Colliton said. "We want to have that sort of personality through our lineup. We have a bunch of guys who can move up and down. That’s probably, obviously the lines [Jonathan] Toews and [Patrick] Kane are on, they’re going to be dangerous and are always going to be thought of as Top 6, but we want to keep teams honest no matter who’s on the ice."  

Asked what role he expects to play this season, all Shaw would say is he plans on playing the same way no matter where he's placed in the lineup on a nightly basis.

"Same thing," Shaw said. "Go to the net, go to the dirty areas, get pucks, skate hard, play physical. Same thing. Same thing I've been doing no matter where I play. It's what makes me successful, it's what I'm good at, it's what's going to keep me in the league."

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Blackhawks Talk Podcast: Takeaways from first three days of Blackhawks training camp

Chicago Blackhawks

Blackhawks Talk Podcast: Takeaways from first three days of Blackhawks training camp

On the latest Blackhawks Talk Podcast, Pat Boyle and Charlie Roumeliotis break down the first three days of training camp.

Which players have stood out so far and how will the injuries to Kirby Dach and Calvin de Haan impact the final roster?

The guys also discuss Jonathan Toews being motivated by an NHL Network snub and their feelings about the relationship between Corey Crawford and Robin Lehner.

0:45 - Fan support at Training Camp Festival 

1:45 - Impressions of Wedin-Toews-Nylander line

2:35 - Olli Maatta getting offensive 

4:00 - Aleksi Saarela impact

5:00 - Andrew Shaw at center

6:00 - Will Kris Versteeg get another spin with Blackhawks?

7:45 - Optimism at camp

10:15 - Kirby Dach injury

12:00 - What are Dach’s chances of making the team?

14:00 - Will Calvin de Haan be ready for season opener?

17:15 - Jeremy Colliton teaching D-zone 

19:00 - Adam Boqvist chances of making the team? 

20:15 - Jonathan Toews motivated by snub

24:15 - Crawford-Lehner relationship 

28:45 - Importance of three preseason games in three days

Listen to the entire episode here or in the embedded player below.

Blackhawks Talk Podcast


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