Steve McCarthy, a veteran defenseman who spent last season in the KHL, was traded to Atlanta for future considerations a day after clearing waivers.
The 28-year-old appeared in two preseason games as a Duck, collecting one assist and seven penalty minutes. His trade leaves the team with five defensemen (Brendan Mikkelson, Jassen Cullimore, Sheldon Brookbank, Mark Mitera, Luca Sbisa) in the running for two roster spots.
Randy Carlyle on Saku Koivu and Teemu Selanne, who finally connected in the third period Monday when Koivu assisted Selanne’s power-play goal:
They were better tonight. They didn’t turn the puck over nearly as many times. They simplified it. That’s the key, especially now for this group, to simplify and get the staples of our structure down pat. And the expectations, what you do in this situation, what you do in that situation, and learn those things. We’ve got a fairly large group of people that are new to us. It’s not like we’re the same team we were last year. It’s probably 7 or 8 new faces, that’s almost 50 percent of the team.
The Ducks have sent forward Matt McCue to Manitoba of the AHL, trimming its training camp roster to 32: 18 forwards, 11 defensemen and three goaltenders.
The 6-5 converted defenseman left a mark with his fists, pummeling the Vancouver Canucks’ Alexandre Bolduc in one of two fights last Thursday at Honda Center, and was held scoreless in two preseason games. McCue (career stats) went undrafted in June out of the Western Hockey League.
Some writers have suggested that, when general manager Bob Murray revamped the Ducks’ roster this past summer, he was abandoning the penchant for pugilism that Brian Burke brought to Anaheim in 2005.
Anyone who saw Monday’s game at Honda Center saw that little has changed.
Even when Jonas Hiller was starting the final seven games of the 2008-09 regular season, and Jean-Sebastien Giguere wasn’t, Randy Carlyle called his goaltenders “1-A and 1-B” and left you, the fan, to decide your preferred alphabetical order. Not until playoff time was there a distinct number 1 (Hiller) and number 2 (Giguere).
Asking the Ducks’ coach to nail down a starter at this point in the preseason, then, might be as appealing as pulling teeth – something hockey coaches are historically familiar with. Especially when Giguere stopped 23 of 25 shots in a 3-2 Ducks’ win Monday, bringing his two-game total to 37 stops on 41 shots. Meanwhile, Hiller has stopped 40 of 44 in his two appearances.
With three preseason games left to decide the team’s most prominent position battle, there doesn’t seem to be a clear favorite.
Corey Perry, Teemu Selanne and James Wisniewski scored goals, and Jean-Sebastien Giguere looked solid again in a 23-save effort as the Ducks beat the Sharks, 3-2.
Selanne’s one-timer on a power-play rush broke a 1-1 tie at 5:41 of the third period. The shot beat Evgeni Nabokov top-shelf and provided the first unofficial NHL assist from linemate Saku Koivu, who made the initial pass in the defensive zone.
Wisniewski scored a short-handed goal just over four minutes later, putting another one-timer past Nabokov. But Perry had the prettiest goal of the three, single-handedly spinning Nicholas Petrecki around in his tracks behind the net, then flipping the puck up at the last second to beat Nabokov. That goal tied the game at 1 with 2:45 left in the second period.
The Ducks were 2 seconds away from going into the locker room when Benn Ferreiro received a pinpoint backhand from Joe Thornton and beat Giguere for a power-play goal to make it 1-0 late in the first period.
Considering that Brett Festerling and Brian Salcido were among the last defensemen assigned to the American Hockey League in training camp a year ago, it’s worth noting they were among the first on Saturday.
Salcido, who had to pass through waivers first, will start the season in Winnipeg with the AHL’s Manitoba Moose. Festerling will join the San Antonio Rampage.
“We felt people here had outplayed the players we decided to reassign,” a diplomatic Randy Carlyle said Monday. “We’re going to put the best players on the ice … we felt the other players were ahead of them.”
Ducks center Ryan Getzlaf, progressing in his recovery from off-season sports hernia surgery, was scheduled to take part in light contact drills for the first time Monday.
Getzlaf has been skating with teammates since the beginning of training camp, but hasn’t appeared in a preseason game or scrimmage. The center, who was due to skate after the players in tonight’s lineup, said he would also do “some pushing and pulling stuff” as a strength test.
“Things are moving the right way,” Getzlaf said. “It’s still looking good for one of the last two preseason games.”
We have a lineup, but no official line combos, for tonight’s game against the San Jose Sharks.
(Just to repeat: We know who’s skating at forward, defense, and goaltender, but I’m using my imagination on the linemates. Feel free to use yours …)
LW Matthew Beleskey, GTimo Pielmeier and RW Dan Sexton are headed to San Antonio of the AHL in the latest round of training camp cuts, announced Sunday.Anaheim now has 33 players remaining on its 2009 Training Camp Roster – 19 forwards, 11 defensemen and three goaltenders.
Sexton, 22, may have had the most eye-popping camp of the three, registering a goal and two assists in two preseason games. The 5-10, 170-pound right wing was an undrafted free-agent signee out of Bowling Green. His speed and dangerous wrist shot made him an offensive threat in both games.
Pielmeier, 20, also had a pair of standout efforts. In the Ducks’ preseason opener last Wednesday, Pielmeier stopped 27 of 28 against the Phoenix Coyotes at Honda Center. He was also the unfortunate goalie Friday when the Phoenix Coyotes took 30 shots in the first period to the Ducks’ 2. Pielmeier saved 28 of the 30, then stopped the final five shots he faced in the game, before giving way to J.P. Levasseur.
Pielmeier was a third-round draft pick of the Sharks in 2007 and came to Anaheim in the Travis Moen/Kent Huskins trade.
Beleskey, 21, was held scoreless in two appearances. The 2006 fourth-round draft pick didn’t show the same scoring touch that allowed him to register 11 goals and 35 points in 58 games for Iowa (AHL) last season.