Just a little bit of non game news today. Huskins gets more coverage about him and his first goal and the Ducks have some new wallpapers.
The OC Register has an article on Huskins as well as covering Marchant's and Bertuzzi's injures.
Around this time last year the NHL was still a dream for Kent Huskins. The defenseman had toiled in the minors for five years and wasn't showing much in his second training camp with the Ducks.
Coach Randy Carlyle, who coached Huskins with the AHL's Manitoba Moose, put it bluntly when asked what he saw in the previous two training camps.
"I saw that he couldn't play in the league," Carlyle said.
Now beginning his first full season in the NHL, Huskins is growing into the role of solid second-tier defenseman that the Ducks hoped he would assume when they signed him as a free agent in 2005.
His first NHL goal Monday gave him three points in eight games, which equals his point total in 33 games last season. And his confidence has grown since he was called up in December.
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The LA Times has an interview with Huskins and an update on Marchant and Schneider
Kent Huskins hasn't had time to think about where he wants to put it, but he figures to keep a close eye on the puck he received Monday night.
Not only did the defenseman score his first NHL goal in the Ducks' 6-3 victory but it came against the Detroit Red Wings. And he put the puck past future Hall of Fame goalie Dominik Hasek.
Perhaps the biggest thing about the goal is that Huskins had the confidence to jump into the play without fear of making a mistake. That was something Coach Randy Carlyle didn't see during Huskins' initial training camps with the Ducks.
"For whatever reason, the two previous training camps . . . were terrible," said Carlyle, who also coached Huskins while with the Manitoba Moose of the American Hockey League. "And he can't explain that. He was at a loss to pinpoint why his performance in training camps were so poor.
"I was perplexed because I'd had him as a player in Manitoba and both he and Joe DiPenta played together there. And in a lot of ways, he was a higher-level player than Joe DiPenta and Joe DiPenta has played two years in the league here. You're wondering why, why, why."
The reasoning was simple. Huskins often pored over any mistake he made and it eventually affected his overall game. And with five years in the AHL, the window to make an impact was closing.
"You get to your fourth or fifth year and in your mind, it kind of becomes a do-or-die situation," Huskins, 28, said. "This might be my last chance. I've kind of learned since then to just take it shift to shift and just concentrate on working hard every time I'm out there."
Huskins earned a recall midway through last season when the Ducks' defensive corps was hit hard by injury. He impressed the brass with his solid play and his ability to carry the puck out of his zone but was eventually returned to the Portland Pirates, their minor-league team in Maine.
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New Ducks wallpaper available in a variety of sizes here - Link