BOSTON — Judging strictly by the standings, the Anaheim Ducks don’t look like much.
Sure, they’re less than a year removed from an appearance in the Western Conference finals and have been a perennial playoff team, but a sub-.500 record? Tenth place in the West at the All-Star break? That doesn’t sound very intimidating at all.
Well, in the case of these Ducks, the numbers don’t nearly tell the whole story.
Anaheim won six of its final eight games heading into the break, and Tuesday’s might have been its most impressive of the bunch. The Ducks rolled into TD Garden and torched the Boston Bruins — who had won five of their previous six — by a final score of 6-2.
Bruins winger and ex-Duck Matt Beleskey said before the game his former team should not be taken lately, and B’s coach Claude Julien reiterated that fact in his postgame news conference.
“The biggest mistake that we didn’t want to make — and maybe some of you (reporters) have made — is you look at the standings,” Julien said. “And that team doesn’t belong there at all. They are a much better team, and everybody knows that.”
Some additional notes from Tuesday night:
— Goaltender Tuukka Rask was forced to come on in relief of Jonas Gustavsson, who left the game with an illness after the first period and was transported to Massachusetts General Hospital. The team offered no update on Gustavsson’s condition after the game.
Rask, who said he feels “really good” after missing Saturday’s game with an undisclosed ailment of his own, surrendered three goals on 22 shots in the loss.
— Julien utilized just three lines for the majority of the night, with fourth-liners Landon Ferraro, Max Talbot and Jimmy Hayes each logging fewer than six minutes of even-strength ice time.
— Bruins defenseman Zach Trotman opened the scoring with his first goal of the season. Dennis Seidenberg now is the only player on Boston’s active roster who still has a goose egg in the goals column.
— Legendary Boston College hockey coach Jerry York was honored before the game after earning his 1,000th career win last Friday. He was the first coach in Division I history to reach that mark.
Following a video tribute, York dropped the ceremonial first puck, with Hayes, who played three seasons at BC, replacing Bruins captain Zdeno Chara at the faceoff dot.
— Julien before the game was asked about the status of defenseman Adam McQuaid, who has been sidelined since Jan. 5 with an upper body injury.
“I don’t know,” Julien said. “As far as injured players go, when they’re not on the ice, I don’t deal with them. They just tell me if he’s ready to go back on the ice. So, I’ll leave that to them. I don’t know what the situation is with the All-Star break and all that stuff, so it’s a headache I don’t need.”
— The Bruins coach also reiterated his stance on the NHL’s on-ice replay system, which had burned the B’s the night before against the Philadelphia Flyers.
Thumbnail photo via Michael Dwyer/Associated Press