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DUCK REPORT

Players See Progress Despite All the Losses

October 19, 2003|Chris Foster | Times Staff Writer

Rarely has an 0-4 team been happier. But, then, the Mighty Ducks were grading on a curve.

They came away from Friday's 3-0 loss to Ottawa saying they felt closer to being the team they want to be. The next step will be winning a game, which the Ducks can do tonight against Boston.

"The first time we played as a team this year was [Friday]," Coach Mike Babcock said. " ... We thought we had lots of good things. The reality is, we didn't win the game. That wasn't based on [Friday] night, that was based what we did to ourselves the last two weeks. So if we want it to turn, we have to apply to same kind of energy and better against Boston."

There are three reasons to like the Ducks' chances tonight.

* The Bruins played the Kings on Saturday and that should leave them a bit tuckered out.

* The Ducks did play with a bit more zip Friday.

* No team has gone 0-82 in a season.

"We played better [Friday], we know that," goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere said. "It was not good enough. We have to find a way to win. We are going in the right direction and are starting to understand what we need to do."

Scoring a goal is at the top of the list.

The Ducks haven't scored in 139 minutes 18 seconds, which includes being shut out in back-to-back games. The only time the Ducks have been shut out in three consecutive games was in 1993-94, their inaugural season.

"Some of these guys have too good a history of putting the puck in the net for them not to do that," Babcock said.

*

Defenseman Keith Carney had his broken right foot X-rayed Friday and said that it is healing on schedule. He also said he hoped to be back playing soon.

"It takes four weeks to grow a new bone," said Carney, who was injured Oct. 2 in an exhibition game against Dallas. "I've been riding the stationary bike and doing all the upper body work. We'll see."

*

TONIGHT

vs. Boston, 5, Fox Sports Net 2

Site -- Arrowhead Pond.

Radio -- XPRS (1090).

Records -- Ducks 0-4-0-0, Bruins 2-1-2-0.

Record vs. Bruins (2002-03) -- 1-0-0-0.

Update -- Forward Andy McDonald returned to the Duck lineup Friday and played well, creating three quality scoring chances. "I felt like I was involved, but I really didn't feel mentally sharp," said McDonald, who hadn't played since Feb. 5 because of a concussion.

Tickets -- (877) 945-3946.

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