With all the Olympians home from Vancouver, the Ducks have very little transition time for the final stretch of 20 games. No time to revel in their gold, silver and bronzes. Now is the time to focus on making up the three point difference in the standings to get into the playoffs.
“It’s not going to be easy to push these emotions away and get focused right away,” said Saku Koivu. “I think the key for the team to make the playoffs right now is we have to do well in the first two weeks, in the next five or six games. You can have as many medal guys on this team, but if you don’t show up as a team and compete well together, we’re not going to make it. At the same time, we realize if we put little pieces together and we start playing well as a team, we have enough talent to finish strong this season. It’s really up to us to find that team chemistry and play well as a team defensively.“
Adding to the chemistry will be Dan Sexton. Sexton was sent back to Bakersfield briefly but received the call back to Anaheim after Evgeny Artyukhin was traded to Atlanta. That made room on the roster for the diminutive winger, who was more than happy to be back in Anaheim.
GM Bob Murray made a couple other minor tweaks as well. He traded defensive prospect, Steven Kampfer, to Boston for a draft pick. Murray said that it was nothing against Kampfer, but the depth chart for defense left no room for him in the system.
Defenseman Nick Boynton also was traded to Chicago for “future considerations.” Boynton had been playing with Manitoba in the AHL after being waived earlier in the season.
The trade deadline looms at noon on Wednesday. By the time the Ducks hit the ice against Colorado, personnel will be set in stone. Just in time for the team photo on Thursday. The question remains – who will not be in the picture?