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Upcoming outdoor game distracts Ducks

Jan 22, 2014, 9:16 AM EDT

ANAHEIM, CA - JANUARY 21: Frederik Andersen (R) #31 of the Anaheim Ducks comes on in relief of Jonas Hiller #1 in the second period against the Winnipeg Jets at Honda Center on January 21, 2014 in Anaheim, California. Getty Images

The Anaheim Ducks have been phenomenal, but lately they’ve shown the slightest of cracks in their armor. On Friday they were handed a 4-2 loss to the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks. After bouncing back with a win against the Blues, the Ducks suffered their first home loss in regulation this season.

When you’re 37-10-5, losing two out of three games isn’t a big deal. That being said, the Ducks might be finding it particularly difficult to focus right now as they get ready to participate in the first warm-weather outdoor game on Saturday.

“There are a lot of distractions going on this week with the outdoor game,” forward Ryan Getzlaf admitted, according to the Ducks’ website. “Everyone wants to talk about it, and they have been talking about it for the last two weeks.

“It’s hard to focus in on what you need to do and on the points at end. That’s an excuse, and it’s nothing that our group hasn’t been a part of before or will be part of again. When there are distractions, we’ve got to learn to play through them.”

Jonas Hiller, who was yanked after allowing three goals on 11 shots, also admitted that he “couldn’t block out the distractions.”.

Anaheim will play against Los Angeles on Thursday as a prelude to their match in Dodger Stadium. The Kings have lost three straight games, but they’re obviously in the same boat when it comes to the outdoor game, so that distraction should be a non-factor going forward.

Even still, as Getzlaf said, this is an area the Ducks need to improve on. After this contest, another major event will be looming over them in the form of the Olympics. Plus, they’ll have high expectations put on them once the playoffs start, especially after they lost in the first round of the 2013 postseason despite winning the Pacific Division.

  1. parasolmonster - Jan 22, 2014 at 9:52 AM

    Great focus! Certainly bodes well for the playoffs.

  2. joey4id - Jan 22, 2014 at 10:13 AM

    Sarcasm alert! But! These guys are professionals. How can they let this happen?

    cspsrbums – Jan 20, 2014 at 12:48 PM

    “These are grown men and professional hockey players. You shouldn’t need 1 guy with a C on his shirt to have to get you motivated to play correct. That is what the bench and paychecks do. You all over rate the power of the C.”

  3. joey4id - Jan 22, 2014 at 10:28 AM

    “You all over rate the power of the C.” – cspsrbums

    Scott Stevens (Captained the Devils to four Stanley Cup Finals appearances in nine years, winning three of them)

    “As far as motivating guys, I was willing to do whatever it took to get through to them. The bottom line for me was that I just hated to lose. If things weren’t going well with the team,the best way for me to get a guy’s attention in practice. I was a form believer that practice was where you developed good habits and where you prepared for the competition ahead. So, if I felt that one of my teammates wasn’t pulling his weight, I might address him in the practice. I might get angry and throw some big checks at his way or even try to get in there and mix it up with him, so that I could get his attention. That was my job as the captain, to make sure everybody was on the same page and that everybody was pulling his own weight. That was one of the ways I would show my feelings when thing were good or when things weren’t so good.”

    Source: “Wearing the “C”” Leadership Secrets from Hockey’s Greatest Captains”, by Ross Bernstein

  4. km9000 - Jan 22, 2014 at 11:17 AM

    I think a lot of teams would like to have a 1-2 “slump” after the kind of season they’ve had thus far. And even though their home streak ended, they didn’t exactly roll over in that game, and before then they’d won some games they probably shouldn’t have anyway.

  5. wtfkwp - Jan 22, 2014 at 11:58 AM

    The “first” warm weather outdoor game Saturday? There are others, or is the idea that there hasn’t been one? I direct you to Kings and Rangers in Las Vegas in the 90’s.

  6. djshnooks - Jan 22, 2014 at 12:04 PM

    So, how do they expect to be ready and prepared for a Stanley Cup run?

    Jesus, this is only an outdoor game…1 of many…nothing that special anymore.

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