The blogs are back up and running, a great way to ring in 2011, and I’ll take advantage of this space to give you the full version of yesterday’s game story. Only a partial version made it online:
The Ducks will begin the new year the same way they ended the last – without their captain and star center, Ryan Getzlaf.
Turns out that’s not the end of the world.
The Ducks took advantage of a tired Philadelphia Flyers squad for a 5-2 win Friday before an announced crowd of 17,103 at Honda Center. Jason Blake and Lubomir Visnovsky scored two goals apiece and Bobby Ryan added another, each of them ending a notable scoring drought.
“He’s irreplaceable,” Blake said of Getzlaf. “He’s our captain, he’s our leader, not only on the ice but in the locker room. So I mean, you can’t replace a guy like that. Guys obviously have to give a little bit more … it was a good team effort.”
It would have been difficult for Maxim Lapierre to ask the Montreal Canadiens to trade him. The 25-year-old grew up in Montreal, was drafted in the second round by the Canadiens in 2003 and had never played for another NHL organization.
Maybe that’s why he didn’t ask for a trade.
“I think since the new coach Jacques Martin came in Montreal, my ice time was going down every game,” Lapierre said in a telephone interview Friday. “It was a tough year last year. I was patient. This year was enough. I didn’t have the ice time I wanted here and every time I had good ice time, I proved that I can do well. Maybe I wasn’t part of the plan anymore, so that’s why I didn’t ask for a trade, but I asked where I figured in the team’s plans.”
The Ducks have acquired disgruntled forward Maxim Lapierre from the Montreal Canadiens for defenseman Brett Festerling and a fifth-round draft pick in 2012.
Lapierre has five goals, eight points and 63 penalty minutes in 38 games. According to the website habsinsideout.com, the 25-year-old center had been complaining about his ice time; he was averaging 11:41 per game.
A second-round 2003 draft pick, Lapierre has one year left on a $900,000 contract. In his best season, Lapierre had 15 goals, 28 points and a plus-9 rating for the Habs in 2008-09. Those numbers dropped to seven goals, 14 points and a minus-14 last season.
One area Lapierre can help with: His 58% success rate in the faceoff circle ranked second on the team. He’s also been slotted in as a right wing.
He is expected to arrive in Anaheim tomorrow and won’t be in the lineup tonight against the Philadelphia Flyers.