From the Anaheim Ducks:
After four grueling days of training camp, the Ducks see their first real game action when they open their 2015 preseason schedule against the Colorado Avalanche tonight at Pepsi Center. Game time is set for 6 p.m. PDT, and you can listen to Steve Carroll and Dan Wood call the action live on AnaheimDucks.com.
Tonight marks the first of six games on Anaheim’s preseason slate, which continues Friday at Honda Center vs. the Los Angeles Kings and Saturday at SAP Center against the Sharks. After a Sept. 29 contest at Staples Center against the Kings, the host the Avalanche on Thursday, Oct. 1 before closing out the preseason at home on Saturday, Oct. 3 vs. San Jose.
While the preseason gives rookies and prospects a chance to prove themselves, especially early on, it’s also an opportunity to build momentum and reinforce good habits heading into the regular season, which, for the Ducks, begins Saturday, Oct. 10 at San Jose.
“We’ve come up short two years in a row, and we want to make sure it doesn’t happen again,” said Jakob Silfverberg. “We all know camp is going to be tough, so we made sure we worked really hard in the summer. It’s been tough, but at the end of the day, it’s going to pay off.”
Regardless of the final score, tonight’s game will feature the new 3-on-3 five-minute overtime format that will be in effect this season. This replaces the old 4-on-4 format in an effort to create more ice and scoring chances in sudden death, which should benefit explosive skaters such as Cam Fowler and Hampus Lindholm.
“You can see if you go down and take a shot and miss the net there could be a three-on-one, two-on-one the other way,” said Fowler. “There are a lot of things that come into play and I’m sure we’ll get some more practice on it so we can learn what to do and what not to do in that situation.”
“It’s a lot of space but I like it,” said Silfverberg, who possesses perhaps the quickest snap shot on the team. “I think it opens up to finish in overtime. You’ve got to make sure you play man-on-man. You can’t let your guy go because that opens up a lot. I think the players are going to enjoy it. I think the fans are going to enjoy it. I think it’s a good change.”
“Now we have one of our good, young goalies going forward locked up for four more years. It’s a young man who wanted to be here. He wanted to be a part of this organization.” – Bob Murray
The Ducks locked up a key piece of their future today, signing goaltender John Gibson to a three-year contract extension. It was a welcome move for both parties, and solidifies the depth in net for Anaheim.
Here’s a video with GM Bob Murray discussing Gibson’s contract.