The Anaheim Ducks got some good news today as Ryan Getzlaf skated for the first time since suffering a groin injury in the third period of their game against Arizona on Oct. 6. While he skated effortlessly, his appearance on the ice was a short one and isn’t expected to play in either game this weekend, according to Elliott Teaford of the Orange County Register.
Regardless, the Ducks and Getzlaf have high hopes that he’ll be back soon, which is much better than the original estimate that he could miss as much as a month, although the veteran refused to commit to a return date.
“It’s hard to say because you talk to the doctors and originally it was going to be 2-3 weeks, 3-4 weeks, those kinds of thing,” he said. “Obviously, we’re ahead of schedule. We can’t put a timeline on it because everybody’s body is going to heal differently. We’ll make our adjustments. If the leg progresses faster, then I’ll be back faster.”
Getzlaf has posted two assists in the two games he’s played this year. He scored 11 goals last season in 56 games.
- Paul Gackle of The Mercury News wonders whether the San Jose Sharks made a mistake putting all of their faith in a Stanley Cup run when much of their center-line depth relies on 39-year-old Joe Thornton, who suffered an infection in his surgically-repaired knee and is currently out. While it is not considered to be a serious injury, the scribe writes that the Sharks are weak up the middle as even head coach Peter DeBoer admits that Joe Pavelski isn’t a real center when Thornton isn’t in the lineup. If the team loses Thornton for any significant time this season, the team may have trouble competing with other teams in the Pacific Division that are much stronger at that position.
- The Edmonton Oilers picked up their first win of the season today when they defeated the New York Rangers 2-1, but the Edmonton Journal’s Kurt Leavins, in grading the performances of several different players, suggests that 20-year-old Kailer Yamamoto hasn’t shown much in his stint with the team so far this year and while he showed some potential early in the game, he disappeared after the second period and might need to be moved off the team’s second line.
- Richard Morin of The Arizona Republic writes that the Arizona Coyotes success this year may come down to the success of their penalty kill unit. The Coyotes are just one of four teams that hasn’t allowed a power play goal this season as they’ve stopped seven power plays going into Saturday’s play. The team, which is focused on playing defense and limiting their opponents chances, believe that an impressive penalty kill will be whether the team has success or not. “Our special teams is something we’re really going to rely on this year,” head coach Rick Tocchet said. “Our PK (penalty kill) and power play have to be better than they were last year because it can win you hockey games. Saying that, I think anytime you have a commitment to defense and playing a pursuit style to limit the other team’s chances, you have a better chance at winning.