There was some buzz around Honda Center on Friday regarding what the Ducks would be missing without their 6-foot-5, 250-pound ball of thunder and lightning known as Evgeny Artyukhin.
Another logical question: When will the guy rein in his game?
Thursday’s three-game supension by the league was the second of Artyukhin’s 3-year NHL career. And neither of the suspension-inducing plays was an example of Artyukhin at his most fearsome. That would be this 14-second clip of Artyukhin, then a member of the Tampa Bay Lightning, ripping off Antoine Vermette’s helmet and using it to hit Vermette over the head.
Todd Marchant addressed both topics Friday.
“He’s our strongest skater,” Marchant said of Artyukhin. “You put him on the line, I think he can beat just about anybody. He’s that fast, and he’s that strong. For him, he has that difficulty in walking that line because he is so big – he can go out and run people over constantly.
“When I go out and hit somebody, regardless of what situation they’re in, it’s not going to result in (as much damage) physically. He outweighs me by 80-some pounds. But I think that for him, he’s trying to find where he fits in on this team with respect to what Randy wants.
“When you first come here it is difficult. Randy wants things done his way. There’s a learning curve, certainly. But (Artyukhin) works hard every day. It’s just a question of, hopefully when he comes back, fine-tuning everything and hoepfully we can pick up some success on the offensive side as well.”