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Teemu Selanne says depth is key for the Ducks

April 29, 2013|By Lisa Dillman
  • "This year, the depth we've had has been the key for us," Teemu Selanne says of the Ducks.
"This year, the depth we've had has been the key for us,"… (Stephen Dunn / Getty Images )

What will happen if the Ducks’ top threats and the Red Wings luminaries simply cancel one another out, a star-power playoff standoff?
 
On the Ducks' side, you have captain and leading scorer Ryan Getzlaf and one-time league MVP Corey Perry. And Detroit can counter with the compelling Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg.
 
Draw.
 
So what’s the next move?
 
“I’ve always said: One line, you can’t win,” said the Ducks’ Teemu Selanne on Sunday. “Two lines, you can make the playoffs and have some  success. But three lines, you’re going to be a championship team, at least give yourself the opportunity. That’s our goal. This year, the depth we’ve had has been the key for us. Every night there’s some new guys stepping up, and that’s what this team needs.”
 
The intriguing first-round series between Anaheim and the Red Wings could well be decided by secondary scoring. Detroit is not exactly an ordinary No. 7-seeded team, its low seeding nothing but a faint disguise, masking a team with high-end talent.
 
That’s where the third and fourth lines come into play, and Selanne recalled precisely how the Ducks won the Stanley Cup in 2007.
 
“In the playoffs, I’ve always said, you’re exactly as good as your weakest link,” Selanne said. “[You're trying] to raise that bar as high as you can.... The third and fourth lines, if they’re better than the other team’s third and fourth lines, that’s how you’re going to win.
 
“I remember 2007, [Sami] Pahlsson, [Rob] Niedermayer and [Travis] Moen, a lot of nights they were our best line. That was the depth we needed.”
 
Selanne went on to make another point, a continuation of a thread he raised recently in Calgary and again on Saturday after the regular-season finale against Phoenix. He played close to 18 minutes against the Coyotes, and compared it to logging 12 minutes per game.
 
“I don’t care who you are, you can’t succeed,” Selanne said Saturday night.
 
He expanded upon that on Sunday, explaining his thinking. Selanne cracked 14-plus minutes of ice time just once in six games before the season finale.
 
“I always say if you don’t get those shifts, one shift every five minutes, that’s not enough,” Selanne said. “You almost need one more shift to get going again. That’s what I’m talking about, you need everybody and getting those quality minutes is important for everybody.
 
“That’s why it’s important we don’t take too many penalties, some guys play too much, some guys not enough. “It’s always the same story. As a player, the more you play, the better you play.”
 
He also made the distinction between “quality shifts and leftover shifts.”
 
“That’s a big difference and you want to be in that quality shifts part,” Selanne said. “I’m saying, I don’t care who you are. If you play 12 minutes a game, you can’t be good. That’s how it works.”

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