Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Venerable Flash needs his rest

Cautious Ducks will give Selanne plenty of it

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It's not like Teemu Selanne will need a team of masseuses and the aid of a walker to get him ready for tonight's game against the Winnipeg Jets.

But the Anaheim Ducks are being cautious about how they use the 43-year-old this season. That's why he was to sit out Saturday night's game in Minnesota against the Wild and why head coach Bruce Boudreau plans to rest Selanne in at least one of the Ducks' 12 back-to-back games this year.

"Winnipeg might be a pretty big night for him," Boudreau told NHL.com. "They love him there and rightfully so. They should love him."

Earlier this week Selanne, in an interview with Scott Burnside of ESPN, spoke of what will be a season of goodbyes and farewells.

"This time when I announced right away (he was retiring) it almost felt like a big thing in my chest just disappeared," said Selanne. "You can just enjoy every day and have approach that you don't get this day back anymore.

"In the past, I tried to live the same way and I think that really helped me. By the same hand, you were still thinking, 'when is going to be the last one?' But right now, I have a really good feeling."

QUOTABLE: "I doubt I'll keep that pace... Maybe if half of them are empty-netters." -- Jets' centre Bryan Little when it was noted that with two goals in the first two games, he is currently on pace for an 82-goal campaign.

NOTABLE: Olli Jokinen's goal against Los Angeles Friday night was the 300th of his NHL career.

"It means I've been playing a long time," said Jokinen. "I've been playing with really good players. But at the end of the day it's just a number. Any time you score it's all about your linemates and the people around you. I think it just shows that I've been blessed to have good linemates through my career."

FYI: The last time the Jets opened a season 2-0 was 2009-10 as the Atlanta Thrashers. In 2006-07 the Thrashers opened with a shootout loss before banging out three straight wins, but never in the franchise's history have they piled up three straight victories at the start of a campaign.

"There's a lot of confidence in here right now, but we've got a lot of work to do," said Little.

Added Noel:

"There's a couple of things I've liked. We've played two different teams with two different styles. We had a fairly long way to go from the first game... there were a lot of breakdowns because of a lot of different factors. The second game was a way different game. L.A. plays in straight lines and more physical and I thought we responded well with the way we played. We did some things way better from a breakout and support-the-puck standpoint. We adjusted in getting more shots to the net and made some adjustments that we got rewarded for.

"But I liked the fact that we tried to change our body of work foundation-wise. And that would be trying to become a hard team to play against. We're a ways to go yet, but we've taken some steps."

OUCH REPORT: D-man Toby Enstrom did not skate on Saturday -- Noel called it a "maintenance" day -- but it's expected he'll be good to go against the Ducks. Meanwhile, defenceman Grant Clitsome returned to work on Saturday and will be evaluated again today.

ed.tait@freepress.mb.ca Twitter: @WFPEdTait

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 6, 2013 B5

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