Owning the NHL's best record, the Ducks aren't feeling the pressure of Wednesday's trading deadline like others trying to get in the playoffs, climb toward Anaheim's lofty perch or rid themselves of a pending free agent.
Yet, a final piece that could help clinch home-ice advantage through the Western Conference playoffs and further improve their chance at a Stanley Cup might be out there, and the Ducks are equipped with the depth to deal.
Whether it be one more shutdown defenseman, an elite scoring forward or another center, Anaheim owns two first-round and two second-round picks in this year's draft, and a wealth of goaltending depth — such as Viktor Fasth — with young forwards who might also emerge as bargaining chips.
Ducks General Manager Bob Murray isn't going to tip his hand right now, and Coach Bruce Boudreau said, "Don't even go there," when asked whether he has a hunch whether the Ducks will act.
"It's up to Bob to assess, but we match up good with most teams," Ducks forward Andrew Cogliano said after scoring the only goal in the Ducks' 1-0 victory over their nearest conference pursuer, St. Louis, Friday night at Honda Center.
"We play a good team game, with good depth from the young guys who've been brought up through the system. Either way, we'll be prepared and push on no matter what happens."
St. Louis fired a shot across the bow earlier Friday by acquiring standout goalie Ryan Miller from the Buffalo Sabres.
Although the depth of the Ducks' roster is impressive with many producing career years, another quality player to complement 60-point stars Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry would add an exclamation point to the postseason plans.
"It's the start of an exciting five days," Boudreau said.
Tampa Bay wing Martin St. Louis, New York Rangers wing Ryan Callahan, New York Islanders wing Thomas Vanek, Buffalo wing Matt Moulson and others are reportedly available for the right price.
Boudreau said he's "excited" about Wednesday morning, when he'll find out whether he has another weapon or whether he's staying the course with the league's best team through the first week of March.
Once in a lifetime
Jeff Tyni was on his way to his part-time job as Ducks clubhouse attendant Friday afternoon when a telephone call came: Could he instead serve as the St. Louis Blues' backup goalie?
Tyni, 30, who played college hockey for Cal State Fullerton at venues such as The Rinks in Anaheim while continuing to play in a recreational league, jumped at the chance set up by Jaroslav Halak's trade to Buffalo for Miller.
"Best job on earth, right?" Tyni said late Friday after St. Louis starter Brian Elliott remained in net all game, leaving Tyni to cherish the bench time and ask for autographs from his short-time "teammates."
"Too bad it never lasts," he said.
Was he dreading the call to play, or pleading inside for the chance?
"You do this because you want to play," Tyni said. "If you're given the opportunity, take it to the next level."
The Ducks awarded tough forward Tim Jackman with a one-year contract extension through the 2014-15 season for $637,500 on Saturday. Jackman, with two goals and an assist, has 89 penalty minutes in 30 games.
Ducks forward Matt Beleskey not only used his body to contribute three of the Ducks' 27 blocked shots Friday, but also he blew off the idea of using a face shield earlier in the day as teammates fired shots toward him in the "tip drill" to close the morning skate.
"I trust them not to hit me in the face," Beleskey said after further proving his comfort by deflecting at least half of the blasts into the net. "I always try to get in front of the net, especially on the power play."
Beleskey said he's learned the key is "keeping your eye on the puck," and said Perry is the best on the team at it.
When: 5 p.m. PST.
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Etc.: By claiming his 300th career win Friday in just 496 games, Boudreau reached the landmark faster than any NHL coach in history, better than Montreal's Toe Blake (525 games), former Ducks coach Mike Babcock (526) and Edmonton's Glen Sather (528). The Hurricanes lost to the Kings, 3-1, on Saturday for their fourth loss in a row.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun