Ducks Coach Bruce Boudreau has chatted with Teemu Selanne about the veteran forward’s MVP performance in the Winter Olympics and the ramifications of it with Anaheim.
“I said, ‘You played great, and you’re going to get an opportunity to play great here. Hopefully, it can continue. Hopefully, you’re not too tired,’ ” Boudreau said Friday following the Ducks’ morning skate before the St. Louis Blues visit Honda Center.
Selanne scored four goals and had six points in six games in Sochi, Russia, leading Finland to a bronze medal in the men’s hockey tournament.
The 43-year-old who’ll retire at season’s end said Thursday he was hopeful of having his ice time increased from his average of 13 minutes, 57 seconds, as a result of the Winter Games’ success. He and Boudreau spoke Thursday afternoon.
Selanne said he feels a “boost” that he expects to carry him through the final 22 regular-season games and the playoffs. Boudreau is expected to monitor the veteran’s play and base his playing time on his production.
Boudreau said Selanne will continue to miss one game in each of the Ducks’ four remaining back-to-back games.
“When you’re well rested, you play great,” Boudreau said he told Selanne.
HILLER FIRST OFF: Goaltender Jonas Hiller, who was the first of seven Ducks’ Olympians back from Sochi following Switzerland’s elimination before the medal round, was first off the ice at Friday morning’s skate and should start against the Blues.
The Ducks (41-14-5) have beaten the Central Division co-leading Blues (39-13-6) twice this year in St. Louis with Frederik Andersen in net both times.
Boudreau has praised the energy of Hiller (25-9-4) in practices during the Olympic break.
Tough Ducks forwards Patrick Maroon and Tim Jackman both said they expect to play Friday night against the physical team.
SENTIMENTAL STREET: Maroon was born and raised in St. Louis, attended his first Blues game at the team’s old, demolished home, the Checkerdome, at age 4, and his father once owned season tickets.
“I was a huge fan growing up, it’s pretty cool to play against them,” Maroon said.
Last season, Maroon scored his second career goal at Scottrade Center in St. Louis, and now he renews acquaintances again.
He said his interest in the team the Ducks are battling for the Western Conference lead now “is a wash."
“But it’s exciting to have grown up there, seeing the players who came through there – Brett Hull, Brendan Shanahan, Chris Pronger, Adam Oates. It’s neat for me. I’m excited about tonight.”