Troy Bodie and Evgeny Artyukhin are a couple of 6-foot-4 heavyweights, standing on the far opposite end of the hockey spectrum of the slick-skating Finns Teemu Selanne and Saku Koivu.
But with Selanne and Koivu injured, Artyukhin and Bodie filled the void in the Ducks’ lineup on Sunday, scoring goals 32 seconds apart in the second period against the Calgary Flames.
Artyukhin, playing his first game since Jan. 7, scored his third goal of the season at 16:59 of the first period. He scored the way he usually does — with a singular mentality of speed to the net — by recovering the puck in the corner of his own zone then driving the length of the ice. He had to get around defenseman Cory Sarich in the Flames’ zone before using a forehanded flick of the wrist to beat goalie Miikka Kiprusoff.
“I just kept skating hard, as fast as I can,” Artyukhin said. “I see the defenseman kind of slow, so like I tried to get him wide. Just what I do, like usual. Nothing fancy – just hard work, take it wide.”
Bodie scored the first goal of his NHL career at 17:31, in his 14th career game, standing in the crease and deflecting in a puck that linemate Kyle Chipchura threw toward the net from the boards.
Because it glanced off the laces of his right skate before going in — using a distinct kicking motion to score is illegal — Bodie wasn’t even sure he would get credit for the goal.
“Oh yeah. I was scared out there,” he said.
“Usually in the American League, I can tell someone I went end-to-end and buried it,” Bodie joked, “but now you can’t get away with that in this league. They’ve got video evidence.”
Bodie made another big play in the victory. In the second period he checked Calgary’s Adam Pardy head-over-heels into the lap of Sheldon Brookbank sitting on the Ducks’ bench. It took a full 11 seconds for Pardy to get back onto the ice, and the clip should be in the “Bumps and Bruises” video rotation at Honda Center for years to come.
But Bodie said the goal was the greater highlight. He and Artyukhin may need to score a few more until Selanne and Koivu get back, though head coach Randy Carlyle said that won’t be expected.
“We don’t expect Troy Bodie to replace Teemu Selanne, but he blocks shots, fights, creates energy and gets in on the forecheck,” Carlyle said. “Those are things that probably don’t get noticed a lot, but as a coaching staff you appreciate those types of things from that type of player.”