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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Anaheim Ducks News for Wednesday

I am officially declaring this black October for the Ducks. We have two players who cannot make up their minds about retirement, we have had multiple players down with injuries and when we get them back somebody else gets injured. I am looking forward to November. Any ways, here is today's news.

Preview of tomorrow's game against Phoenix

No team has been busier in the first month of the season than the Anaheim Ducks. That heavy workload has been reflected in their play.

The Ducks looks to make it 11 straight home wins over the Pacific Division rival Phoenix Coyotes on Thursday night when the teams meet for the first time this season.

After starting the season with two games in England on Sept. 29-30, the Ducks have had a very busy October, playing a league-high 11 games to this point.

Anaheim (4-6-1) continues to be a very good home team but has yet to win on the road. A 4-2 loss Tuesday at St. Louis dropped the defending champions to 0-5-1 away from Arena.

The Ducks looked like a fatigued team Tuesday, getting outshot 33-16 while going scoreless on five power-play opportunities.

"It was a hard-fought battle," coach Randy Carlyle said. "This is the type of game we've been involved with for a while here. I thought our guys reached back and gave us everything they had. I've got to be proud of their effort."

Already missing defenseman Mathieu Schneider (ankle) and right wing Todd Bertuzzi (concussion), the Ducks could be without top center Ryan Getzlaf and forward Rob Niedermayer on Thursday.

Read the rest here - Link

Official Ducks update on the Ducks return to Anaheim and an update on the status of Rob and Ryan.

With fire blazing through much of Southern California, the Orange County home the Ducks returned to early Wednesday morning was markedly different from the one they departed last Friday for a two-game road trip.

Starting on Saturday, fires ripped through seven counties in the Southland, claiming several lives, thousands of homes and hundreds of thousands of acres in its path. Playing in Dallas on Saturday and St. Louis on Tuesday, all the Ducks could do was watch the destruction from television screens and offer family and friends encouragement over the phone.

“It’s difficult not knowing what’s going on, the uncertainty of everything,” Ducks captain Chris Pronger said. “You’re on the road and you can’t really do anything to help. You can’t do anything to support your family.”

Coach Randy Carlyle noted after Wednesday’s practice that the families of two Ducks players had to be evacuated as a result of the fires. As of Wednesday, the properties of the two Ducks have not been damaged and their families are doing okay.

Read the rest here - Link

Update on Bert via the OC Register and on the guys who had to evacuate their families

The Ducks returned to Anaheim banged up and still winless on the road, but Todd Bertuzzi offered a silver lining to their recent woes.

Bertuzzi skated for the second consecutive day Wednesday and appears to be moving closer to a return. The big winger said he has been symptom free from a concussion for a couple of days and hasn't had any recurrences of headaches or loss of peripheral vision associated with the head injury.

Bertuzzi did not have a target date for his return but was optimistic about his progress. He is scheduled to meet with a doctor Thursday. The club won't put him in a game until he is symptom free for four or five days.


Coach Randy Carlyle held an optional skate with his team tired and missing healthy forwards. Ryan Getzlaf has a strained forearm, Carlyle said, and Rob Niedermayer rested a pulled groin muscle. Both are day to day.

An optional skate perhaps was appropriate amid the fire crisis in Southern California. Todd Marchant and Shane Hnidy had to evacuate their families from their homes in the Irvine area because of the Santiago fire.

Only seven players and goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere took to the ice Wednesday. Carlyle thought it was necessary to take a breather even a day before a game.

Read the rest here - Link

OC Register Ducks blog on the injuries and personnel moves

There likely are going to be some young men headed for Anaheim from Portland, Maine, on Wednesday. The Ducks were caught short one forward Tuesday night in St. Louis when checking-line right wing Rob Niedermayer did not play because of a sore groin muscle, and the situation became compounded early in the second period of a 4-2 loss to the Blues when top-line center Ryan Getzlaf left the game because of an unspecified upper-body injury. Things appeared to be even worse when rugged left wing Brad May missed the final 8:26 of the second period after a fight with Blues defenseman Barret Jackman, but May returned to action in the third period.

Read the rest here - Link

MVN coverage of the injured ducks

The Ducks continue to be hit hard by injuries. Yesterday Rob Niedermayer missed his first game of the season after experiencing groin soreness in the morning skate. That left the Ducks one man short on their bench against the St. Louis Blues. During the game, Ryan Getzlaf left after only 2 shifts in the second period with an “upper body injury.” That description does nothing to narrow down the injury. Both he and Niedermayer were to be evaluated further in Anaheim today.

Brad May also hurt his hand during a fight with Barrett Jackman. Jackman suffered quite a few stitches to close a cut that left a good deal of blood on the ice. A cut face doesn’t stop one from skating, but a hurt hand makes it tough to hold your hockey stick. May took only a couple of shifts in the third period but that was it. During the fight he was shaking the hand vigorously leading the tv announcers to ponder if he was trying to shake off his elbow pad. However, considering the grimace on his face, you knew May was hurt.

Read the rest here - Link

The LA Times coverage of the personnel issues

The Ducks reduced their logjam in goal Tuesday by sending Jonas Hiller down to their American Hockey League affiliate in Portland, Maine.
Hiller gave up one goal in defeating the Kings in his first start and gave up five goals in a loss to Pittsburgh. The move was probably made now because the team is at last confident that Jean-Sebastien Giguere is fully recovered from hernia surgery.
Giguere made 29 saves Tuesday, allowing two goals to Brad Boyes and one to Keith Tkachuk in a 4-2 loss. Ilya Bryzgalov remains the primary backup.
Meanwhile, the Ducks could dip into Portland for some help up front if the injuries to forwards Rob Niedermayer and Ryan Getzlaf keep them out of the lineup for Thursday's home game against Phoenix.
Among those who could be considered for recall are center Petteri Wirtanen and winger Jason King.
Coach Randy Carlyle followed through with his plan to juggle the lines and it worked to some degree against the Blues.

Read the rest here - Link

Saint Louis Today interview of Chris Pronger

The remnants of Chris Pronger's nine seasons with the Blues are nearly gone.
Pronger, 33, has sold his house in St. Louis. His No. 44 Blues jerseys are only occasionally spotted in the crowd. Few mention his name anymore in relation to how rebuilding the Blues could have been different. Even his trips to town aren't met with the same emotion that awaited him after he was traded to Edmonton more than two years ago.
With Pronger now on his second team since leaving St. Louis, the only difference between his visit tonight with the Anaheim Ducks and his trips to other cities is that his family — wife Lauren and sons Jack, 5, and George, 3 — are with him to visit Lauren's parents.
"We come back to see the in-laws and let them see the grandkids," Pronger said.

Other than that, all ties are cut. Pronger is now a West Coast guy, a neighbor of former Cardinal Mark McGwire, and a hockey star who may be forever remembered in NHL history as a Duck after winning his first Stanley Cup last season.

Read the rest here - Link

Ryan Getzlaf gets a cameo in a commercial - Link