Kyle Calder had plenty to complain about.
He arrived to a less-than-ideal NHL situation: The Ducks had lost three straight and made it four with a 5-2 loss to the defending Stanley Cup champs.
But Calder isn’t complaining.
“That’s the way the league is,” he said. “You have to be professional about it and go to work.”
Though far from perfect, it was an opportunity the 30-year-old had been waiting for since he was released from training camp. Though Calder had “a couple” opportunities to play elsewhere this season, “I felt like Anaheim was where I wanted to play. It was a goal of mine to play here. I stayed working hard, and when the opportunity came I jumped on it.”
In Pittsburgh, Calder logged 17 shifts spanning 11:37, even playing on a line with the Ducks’ top pairing of Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry, and joining Teemu Selanne and Joffrey Lupul on the second power-play unit.
“I thought he was OK,” head coach Randy Carlyle said of Calder. “It’s never easy for a player to travel from Anchorage, Alaska to get to Pittsburgh. He’s a veteran guy. Our expectations are for him to come in and be solid, and I thought he was OK.”
Calder’s assessment was even more blunt: “I thought it went all right, but it’s a loss and that’s the bottom line. It’s a team effort, and we didn’t come away with the two points we wanted.”