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DUCKS REPORT

Hartsburg Parks Ronnqvist on Bench to Jump-Start Him

November 09, 2000|ELLIOTT TEAFORD

Hoping to give struggling forward Jonas Ronnqvist a chance to catch his breath and, perhaps, find his game, Coach Craig Hartsburg scratched the first-year player from Sweden for Wednesday's game against the Vancouver Canucks.

"I think he's become a little frustrated and down," Hartsburg said of Ronnqvist, who has two assists in 14 games. "It's a little like a driving a car on ice. You press down on the gas, the wheels are spinning, but you're going nowhere. Once you slow down a little bit, then you get going."

Hartsburg used a similar tactic in 1999-2000 with defenseman Niclas Havelid, another Swede who was in his first NHL season. Havelid regained his confidence and became a productive member of the defense corps by season's end, recording two goals and nine points in 50 games.

"It's more for him to recharge his batteries, not to punish him," Hartsburg said of Ronnqvist.

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Winger Andrei Nazarov, another unproductive member of the Ducks' third line thus far, replaced Ronnqvist in the lineup after getting scratched for Sunday's 4-2 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks. Nazarov had one goal going into Wednesday.

"I just think he's a better player than what we've seen," Hartsburg said of Nazarov, acquired during training camp from the Calgary Flames for unsigned defenseman Jordan Leopold.

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