NHL suspends Artyukhin three games.

Ducks right wing Evgeny Artyukhin has been suspended for three games without pay by the NHL as the result of a slew-footing incident Wednesday night against Dallas Stars defenseman Matt Niskanen, who was injured on the play. The incident occurred at 4:23 of the second period of Dallas’ 4-2 win. No penalty was assessed on the play.

Artyukhin, who was suspended for two games Jan. 19, 2009, is considered a repeat offender under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement. Accordingly, Artyukhin forfeits $34,756.11 in salary based on the number of games (82) in a season, rather than the number of days (193). The money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.

Artyukhin will miss Saturday’s game against Columbus, Oct. 26 against Toronto and Oct. 30 against Vancouver. He will be eligible to return Oct. 31 at Phoenix.

According to Rule 52.1 of the official NHL rulebook, slew-footing is the act of a player or goalkeeper using his leg or foot to knock or kick an opponent’s feet from under him, or pushes an opponent’s upper body backward with an arm or elbow, and at the same time with a forward motion of his leg, knocks or kicks the opponent’s feet from under him, causing him to fall violently to the ice.

Here is the video of the play. Because of the angle, and the proximity of the play to the boards, you can’t actually see the players’ feet make contact on the ice. It looks more like a “slew-kneeing,” which probably falls under the definition of a “leg or foot.”
Continue reading “NHL suspends Artyukhin three games.” »

Stars 4, Ducks 2.

The Ducks nearly rallied to erase a 3-0 deficit, before watching Steve Ott score into an empty net with 9 seconds left.

While the crowd was treated to a tense third period — in which Marty Turco had to work to keep the game at 3-2 before Ott’s goal — it also had to watch Dallas play “pretty close to the best two periods we’ve played throughout most of the year,” in the words of head coach Marc Crawford.

Which, for the Ducks, meant two of their worst periods, on the heels of three of their worst periods in Saturday’s 5-0 loss to the St. Louis Blues. Randy Carlyle’s response?

“I have some things in mind that I’m going to implement,” he said following the game.

Continue reading “Stars 4, Ducks 2.” »

Pogge returned to Bakersfield, Giguere will back up Hiller.

Jean-Sebastien Giguere is on the ice, dressed as the backup to Jonas Hiller, and Justin Pogge has been returned to ECHL Bakersfield, as the Ducks warm up against the Dallas Stars.

The team revealed today that Giguere has been bothered by a groin injury. Also, center Ryan Carter, who blocked a puck with his foot Wednesday morning, will not play. X-rays on the foot were negative.

Stars update: Ott in, Richards out

Head coach Marc Crawford said that Mike Richards (groin) will miss tonight’s game and Steve Ott will be back, following the Stars’ morning skate Wednesday in Anaheim.

“That’s good for us,” Crawford said of Ott’s return from an oblique muscle injury. “He’s an energy guy for us, a little bit of a pain to play against, but also an effective player. Last year he started to show his offensive abilities, his ability to play in different situations and not just be an energy-type guy. …We’ll use him well.”

Crawford said that Richards will be re-evaluated for his availability Thursday against the Kings. “We didn’t think he could play back-to-back,” Crawford said.

Wisniewski update

Defenseman James Wisniewski, still recovering from a sprained shoulder, said Tuesday he’ll be a “game-time decision” for tomorrow night’s game against the Dallas Stars.

“It’s not something where you can hurt it more,” Wisniewski said. “It won’t be a big setback where I’m out two more weeks. It’s just how much threshhold of pain I can handle … and whether it’s going to affect my playing.”

If he doesn’t play tomorrow, the Ducks have another two days off before hosting the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday, and Wisniewski might choose to take the extra time to let the pain subside. If he does play tomorrow, Wisniewski said he’ll attempt to play his “normal playing time.” He had been averaging 25:15 per game.

Wisniewski had four points, all assists, in four games before injuring the shoulder Oct. 10 in Philadelphia.

Giguere injured, may not be available.

Jean-Sebastien Giguere had a finger taped on his right hand when he walked into the Ducks’ dressing room after practice Tuesday. “The finger’s been bugging me,” he said, “but it’s not that.”

Exactly what that injury is isn’t clear, other than it’s something “very minor” that prevented him from finishing practice, and could keep him from serving as a starter or even a backup tomorrow against Dallas.

Here’s what Giguere did reveal:

– He’s been experiencing symptoms for “two or three days.”
– The injury wasn’t aggravated in Saturday’s game against St. Louis.
– He thinks he’ll be available to back up Jonas Hiller, and “hopefully” could start, but “if it’s smarter to make him play because you could use that extra day, maybe we should do that.”

In case Giguere isn’t cleared to play, head coach Randy Carlyle said he had the option of recalling either Justin Pogge or Timo Pielmeier from Bakersfield. The Ducks’ ECHL affiliate is scheduled to play in Victoria, B.C. tomorrow night.

As far as when that decision would have to be made, Carlyle said “that would probably have to happen sometime tonight, for (Pogge or Pielmeier) to be here tomorrow. They’re not that far away, but I don’t think it would make them to come, show up for game time.”

Ebbett: ‘It’s a good time for me.’

Andrew Ebbett is already sounding happier in Chicago than Anaheim. From the Chicago Daily Herald:

“To get picked up by a team like this, I didn’t think this was one of the places I would go,” Ebbett said. “I’m thrilled and excited. It’s such a good, young team here, I think it fits me well. They’re fast and skilled and I think that suits my style pretty well.

“I went to school at Michigan and I love being in the Midwest. This is a good time for me.”

While Ebbett is a natural center, the plan is to play him on left wing on the fourth line and keep Colin Fraser at center.

“I’m fine there,” Ebbett said. “I played a couple games in preseason there and am looking forward to the challenge.”

St. Louis 5, Ducks 0

Andy McDonald scored twice, and got more cheers than the Ducks did in Honda Center.

The Ducks had their chances early but failed to execute, going 0-for-3 on their first-period power play attempts and finishing 0-for-6. St. Louis, meanwhile, went 2-for-6 officially, but also scored their fourth goal with Joffrey Lupul a few steps out of the box.

Jonas Hiller (9-of-12) was pulled from his first start of the season, and Jean-Sebastien Giguere (18-of-20) fared slightly better in relief.

But the Ducks were clearly frustrated by their own shortcomings and a fine night by Ty Conklin (26-of-26), taking an unsportsmanlike penalty and, later, a fight during a commercial break in the third period.

More details in tomorrow’s editions.

Blackhawks claim Ebbett off waivers.

Andrew Ebbett is headed to Chicago.

Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman must have liked what he saw in the 5-foot-9 center from the University of Michigan, who joins a team short on forwards. Marian Hossa, Adam Burish and Ben Eager are currently on injured reserve.

The 26-year-old Ebbett had no points in two games, and was a healthy scratch in the other four, for the Ducks this season. In his longest NHL stint last year, Ebbett had eight goals and 32 points in 48 games.e