Welcome to issue #3 of Chasing the Ducks, your weekly Anaheim Ducks round up.
Hockey is finally back in the world of the NHL and its been an unexpected week for the Ducks…
It’s definitely safe to state that it’s been a very unexpected start to the season for the Anaheim Ducks. With the unfortunate news regarding injuries to key players, most will have not predicted the great start the Ducks have had in their two opening games thus far, both road wins.
During the Ducks game against the Coyotes, Captain Getzlaf left the ice injured, never to return to the game with it being reported that he’s suffered a lower body injury. Though it may come to nothing and having him not return might just have been a precaution.
In other news, the Nick Ritchie contract hold out is still under way with neither side coming to an agreement. Both parties will have until December 1st to agree to a deal and at present it looks as if neither side is any closer to reaching a conclusion.
Our AHL counter parts, the San Diego Gulls did not have the season opener they had hoped for, falling 6 – 4 to the Tucson Roadrunners with Sam Carrick getting two in the net and both 2016, round 4 pick Jack Kopacka and summer signing Chase De Leo also getting themselves on the score sheet with a goal a piece but not enough to pick up the win.
Both Antoine Morand (2017 ANA 2nd Round) and Benoit-Olivier Groulx (2018 ANA 2nd Round) have both had great starts to their season with the Halifax Moosheads with Morand netting 4 goals and picking up 4 assists in 5 games, and Groulx earning himself 6 assists in 5 games.
Ondrej Kase suffered a concussion in the Ducks last pre-season game against the LA Kings and was a blow the Ducks did not need. As of right now, there is no timetable on his return.
Ryan Kesler has been placed on the non roster injured reserve list but is still practising with the team whilst Patrick Eaves is still recovering from his surgery to fix a torn labrum with no exact timetable on his return.
Lastly, Korbinian Holzer is expected to be sidelined until February with a wrist injury.
On 01/10 the Ducks picked up Pontus Aberg on waivers from the Edmonton Oilers a move that was most likely made due to the injury of Ondrej Kase.
Leaving the Ducks is Anton Rodin. Rodin was signed on a 1 year one way this Summer but was released before the NHL season was under way and has re-joined with HC Davos of the NLA in Switzerland.
The Ducks have opened up their 2018-19 NHL campaign in the best way possible, though game stats may suggest that it’s all down to luck, and that would be a fair assessment however, in the situation the Ducks find themselves in, I don’t think anyone will argue.
GAME 1: vs San Jose Sharks / DUCKS WIN 5 – 2
5 goals from 5 different goal scorers, with the most notable goal coming from Ducks rookie Max Comtois netting his first NHL career goal.
GAME 2: vs Arizona Coyotes / DUCKS WIN 1 – 0
Gibson would show yet again why he is worthy of an 8 year contract continuously keeping the Ducks in the game facing Shots and earning himself a well deserved shutout in the process. The lone goal of the night would come from rookie Max Comtois who is quickly showing that he is here to battle for his spot on the Ducks roster.