The Syracuse Post-Dispatch reported Tuesday that Matt Beleskey will need 2 to 3 weeks to rehab a shoulder injury, and that the forward might need surgery if the rehab doesn’t go well. Beleskey sustained the injury Saturday when he was hit by Hugh Jessiman in the Syracuse Crunch’s win over the Rochester Americans.
Even though he was passed over for Dan Sexton the last time the Ducks reached into the AHL, Beleskey had three goals and five points in seven games prior to Saturday. Based on those stats, it’s conceivable that Beleskey would be a candidate for a March recall once NHL rosters expand (or earlier, depending on injuries at the NHL level). That could change depending on the severity of the injury.
Beleskey had three goals and 10 points in 27 games with the Ducks this season, and nine goals and 21 points in 23 games with the Crunch.
Looking ahead to tonight’s game against the Kings, here are some facts and figures provided by the Ducks’ communications department about the head-to-head matchup:
Continue reading “Matt Beleskey injury update; Kings-Ducks bullet points.” »
Ray Emery improved to 2-1 in his first three AHL starts Tuesday, earning the win in the Syracuse Crunch’s 4-3 win over the visiting Charlotte Checkers.
Emery stopped 34 of 37 shots between regulation and overtime, then stopped 3 of 4 in the shootout to preserve the win. Veteran forward Josh Green told the Syracuse Post-Standard after the game that “Ray’s an NHL goalie right now.”
That’s up to the Ducks to decide, and there was no indication at Tuesday’s practice that Emery was in the pool of candidates to start Wednesday night against the Kings. Aside from the logistical constraint of having the goalie fly across the country on short notice, Emery would have to make back-to-back starts for the second time in less than a week after not playing a game in 12 months. Emery already started consecutive games Friday and Saturday — and at least those were in the same time zone.
So the question before the Ducks probably isn’t if Emery will start tomorrow, but rather, is Josh Green right?
Here are the facts on the table: Emery has a 2.62 goals-against average and .925 save percentage to go with his 2-1-0 record. The Wild visit Anaheim on Friday and the Avalanche visit Sunday. The Crunch have home games Friday and Saturday. Jonas Hiller is recuperating from another bout of dizziness, and Curtis McElhinney is recuperating from three bad starts. If neither goalie has resolved his issues come Friday — and if Josh Green is right — it makes sense that Emery would be on his way to Anaheim.
Curtis McElhinney and Timo Pielmeier were the only two goalies on the ice when the Ducks got back to practice Wednesday. No Ray Emery – he is still in Syracuse – and no Jonas Hiller, either.
Hiller is eligible to come off injured reserve prior to Wednesday’s game against the Kings, but that won’t happen. There seem to be mixed signals about just how long Hiller’s return from his latest ailment will take.
Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle sounded cautiously optimistic when he said of Hiller, “when he’s available to go on the ice, I haven’t got a timeframe for that, but we expect that to happen in the next little while. We don’t feel it’s going to be an extended period of time.”
Hiller has only played one full game since he first experienced symptoms of dizziness and light-headedness following the All-Star Game on Jan. 30. Recently, Hiller has been meeting with a therapist to deal with what the team is calling a “treatable balance issue.”
On Tuesday, he worked out off the ice then left Anaheim Ice just before his teammates finished practice. When asked for an update on his condition, the goalie didn’t offer any specifics, saying only that things are “not going the way I’d like them to.”
Still, Carlyle said it’s a “positive sign” that Hiller is being encouraged to work out and stay active, rather than completely refrain from any physical activity.
Continue reading “Hiller still out; Koivu a game-day decision.” »
I’ve accepted an invitation to participate in a live chat, hosted by HockeyPrimeTime.com, during today’s Heritage Classic game between Montreal and Calgary (starts at 3 p.m.). I’m extending the invitation to you – and to make it even easier, you can hop in the room right here, without leaving the comforts of insidesocal.com. The game is going to be televised locally on Versus. Come back at 3 and chat it up:
In a battle of field goals, the Ducks got their rear ends kicked.
The final scoresheet tells the story: The Blues wasted through Curtis McElhinney (11 shots, 7 saves) and Timo Pielmeier (12 shots, 7 saves) — who closed out the final two periods in his NHL debut — with equal fervor.
Goals by Jarkko Ruutu and Teemu Selanne in the game’s first 6:41 gave Anaheim an unmemorable 2-0 lead. The Blues scored four more before the first period was over, interrupted only by a Ryan Getzlaf wrist shot that ended Ty Conklin’s evening. The bleeding continued as Chris Stewart, T.J. Oshie and Andy McDonald all wrapped up two-goal efforts. Alex Steen, Carlo Colaiacovo and David Backes scored one apiece, and backup backstop Ben Bishop (20 shots, 20 saves) was perfect in relief of Conklin (5 shots, 3 goals).
The question now for the Ducks is, who can stop the bleeding?
A backup throughout his four-year NHL career, McElhinney clearly has hit the ceiling in his short time as a starter. In losing three consecutive starts, he’s allowed 16 goals on 68 shots — a miserable .765 save percentage and 6.90 goals-against average. Pielmeier wasn’t much better, though the 21-year-old was probably only viewed as an emergency option when he was recalled earlier in the week from AHL affiliate Syracuse.
Consider this an emergency.
Continue reading “Blues 9, Ducks 3.” »
The Ducks’ momentum officially took a turn for the worse Friday.
If the excuse of a back-and-forth game against a high-scoring Washington Capitals squad served as an excuse in Wednesday’s 7-6 loss in Anaheim, it was tougher to justify a 5-1 loss on the road to Minnesota. Corey Perry deflected a Bobby Ryan shot past Niklas Backstrom 3:30 into the game, but the Wild answered with five straight – including two on the power play and one short-handed – to ice the game.
Curtis McElhinney stopped 21 of 26 shots and looked no less vulnerable Friday than he did two days earlier. He allowed goals on consecutive shots by Eric Nystrom and Kyle Brodziak 27 seconds apart in the second period, making it a 4-1 game, and prompting Randy Carlyle to call timeout. Carlyle allowed his goalie to stay in, but one has to figure that the leash on McElhinney is a bit shorter now. Timo Pielmeier served as the backup for the second straight game, and he might well be the starter tomorrow night when the Ducks visit St. Louis.
Former Duck Matt Cullen, Martin Havlat and Mikko Koivu also scored for Minnesota. Koivu scored at 5:01 of the first period, then blocked an Andy Sutton shot at 7:09 and didn’t return. But the Ducks (32-23-4) couldn’t take advantage of a Wild squad (31-22-5) missing its best player.
The back-to-back losses mean the Ducks are still stuck in the same 68-point logjam at the bottom of the tight Western Conference playoff picture.
A few more notes:
Continue reading “Minneosta 5, Ducks 1.” »
The Ducks acquired Ottawa Senators tough guy Jarkko Ruutu in exchange for a sixth-round pick in the 2011 draft Thursday. The Finnish left wing will not be able to join the team right away until he obtains a work visa.
In the meantime, Ruutu told reporters on a conference call that he’s just happy to be joining a playoff-contending team. The rebuilding Senators, mired in last place in the Eastern Conference, have also traded veteran forwards Chris Kelly and Mike Fisher in the past week.
“I’m excited to go to Anaheim,” Ruutu said. “They have a good team, a couple Finnish guys, too. … When you re out of the playoffs, you’re not really playing for anything. Suddenly you get traded to a team that’s been plaing really well lately, it’s really exciting for me.”
Continue reading “Ducks acquire Ruutu from Ottawa. Updates with Ruutu comments.” »
Alex Semin’s third goal of the game, with 1:47 left in the third period, sent the Ducks to a wild 7-6 loss to the Washington Capitals at Honda Center.
Easily lost in the 13-goal outburst was the fact that the Ducks squandered a golden opportunity to take over first place in the Pacific Division.
The Dallas Stars suffered their second loss in as many days, 4-2 to the Calgary Flames, creating a five-way logjam in the Western Conference standings. The Ducks (32-22-4) are mired in the middle with the fourth through eighth-place teams all tied at 68 points. The entire Pacific Division is separated by two points, from first-place Phoenix (30-19-9, 69 points) to fifth-place Los Angeles (32-22-3, 67 points).
Just easily overlooked was the postgame announcement of a trade.
Continue reading “Ducks lose a wild one, trade Mara to Montreal.” »
The strange symptoms that shelved Jonas Hiller earlier this month — and perplexed the Ducks — have landed the goalie on injured reserve again.
Hiller was placed on the
injured list with light-headedness after the goalie reported symptoms at
Tuesday’s practice. He will miss at least the next three games and is
eligible to be activated on Monday. Timo Pielmeier was recalled from ECHL affiliate Elmira and figures to back up Curtis McElhinney tonight against the Washington Capitals.
The Ducks play back-to-back games Friday and Saturday in Minnesota and St. Louis, respectively.
Continue reading “Hiller goes back on IR, Pielmeier recalled.” »
Nine is a good number of personnel to have if you’re managing a baseball team, but if you’re counting defensemen on an NHL team, it’s best to stop at seven or eight.
Virtually unprompted, Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle was quick to note this morning that his blue line numbers nine (Carlyle had been asked where Francois Beauchemin will ultimately land in the lineup, and we’ll get to that in a bit). When the topic was brought up again later in his post-practice presser, Carlyle said that he has never dealt with that many defensemen as an NHL head coach.
The closest comparison he could draw was from his days as head coach and general manager of the Manitoba Moose, preparing for the AHL and IHL postseasons with a surplus of blue-liners.
“Some days the coach’s job is expanded a little bit, and changes on a day to day basis,” he said. “Sometimes you don’t have enough, and when you have a wealth of them it’s a pain at times, but it’s one of those pains that you’d rather have too many than too little.”
Continue reading “The Ducks’ defensemen dilemma; evaluating Beauchemin.” »