Teemu Selanne was in a jovial mood Sunday, which usually isn’t news. But with a groin injury keeping the right wing out of the last three games, it was a welcome sight inside Honda Center. The Ducks host the Kings on Monday night in the first meeting between the Southern California rivals this season, and Selanne wants to be on the ice.
“You know what, I’m counting myself in,” he said emphatically.
Selanne traveled with the team to Glendale for Saturday’s game against the Coyotes and took part in the pregame warm-up, then decided against playing. “I was really tight, so I discussed with our trainer, and decided it’s not worth that risk,” he said. “I’d rather miss one more.”
The 40-year-old, who is always ready with a numerical estimate of his health, said the groin was at 70 percent Friday, up to 83 percent Saturday and 90 percent on Sunday. “Tomorrow I’m expecting 95 and that’s good enough,” he said.
“I had this like three or four years ago, so I knew exactly what kind of injury we were talking about,” Selanne added. “If I played one more shift I would probably pull it bad. By saying that, the schedule we have was too much for me. But I hope I’m going to feel better tomorrow, because I really don’t want this to be any bigger problem than it is right now.”
Lubomir Visnovsky wasn’t as confident he would return from the back spasms that kept him out of Saturday’s game.
Visnovsky was not on the ice for an optional practice, instead electing to to work out off the ice for about 90 minutes and skate tomorrow morning.
“I hope it’ll be good,” Visnovsky said. “Now the doctor (will) help me – magic shot or something.”
Here’s a few notes that won’t make tomorrow’s editions:
Toni Lydman was quick to compliment 18-year-old defenseman Cam Fowler on helping the Ducks overcome the absence of Visnovsky in their 6-4 win over the Coyotes. “He’s on his way. Lubo is one of the best in the league on that point, especially a power-play guy. Cam has really good potential to do the same. It looks like he’s going to do it very soon.”
Randy Carlyle said that winning intradivisional games was “one of the four points that we felt, in order to give ourselves a chance for being competitive for a playoff position, we were going to have to improve.” The others? faceoffs, special teams and discipline.
Joffrey Lupul is making the most of his time in Syracuse. The rehabbing winger scored a critical power-play goal in a 3-2 Crunch win on Sunday. His time in he AHL isn’t up yet. “I think we’ll play it by ear as far as how he comes out of these first two,” Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle said. “And then there will be an assessment from a medical point, from where he’s at. We’ll make a decision after a meeting of the minds, would be the best way to describe it.”