ANAHEIM – The horrors of minus-29 still ring in the ears of Tyler Bozak.
But for all the tumult of an unseemly sophomore season, which saw him finish amongst the league’s cellar dwellers in plus/minus, the 25-year-old may have been better for it.
“I wish it wasn’t,” Bozak said of his rollercoaster second season, “but for me I think it helped a great deal.
“I think last year when I lost a lot of confidence is when I played my worst, so I kind of learned how to keep that high through tough times and good times.”
Bozak scored twice in a 5-2 win over the Ducks on Sunday night, giving him five goals in the last five games and 11 points in ten games on the top line. Initially just a stop-gap for the injured Tim Connolly, Bozak has stuck alongside Phil Kessel and Joffrey Lupul in first-line duty despite Connolly’s return to the lineup five games ago.
“I’m confident,” Bozak said. “I think I can play with those guys. I think I can play in that position.”
“He’s having some success now,” Lupul added. “When you’re scoring and having some success it always makes the game a little bit easier.
“He took some criticism last year and even at the start of this year. He’s just shown what type of character he has to keep going.”