Without a definitive commitment on their availability for the team’s game tonight, Derek Lee of The Sporting Tribune reports that the Anaheim Ducks are nearing the return of defensemen Radko Gudas and Ilya Lyubushkin. Gudas had previously missed the entirety of the team’s last game against the Vancouver Canucks, while Lyubushkin left during the game and did not return to action.
Anaheim could certainly use the reinforcements on the blue line, as they are currently riding a seven-game losing streak, being outscored by a margin of 21 goals in that time. Providing mild offense in their own right, Gudas and Lyubushkin’s defensive capabilities would help the Ducks considerably in keeping the pucks out of their net.
In regards to Gudas specifically, even though he was an integral defensive cog in the Florida Panthers’ run to the Stanley Cup Final last summer, he has arguably become even more important to the Ducks organization. Over the last several seasons, Anaheim has had a difficult time in the defensive zone, but with Gudas’ arrival, he has aided the team with a 91.3% oiSV% through the first 21 games of the season, a higher mark than even his solid career averages in that department.
- Earlier today, it was reported that after leaving Tuesday’s game against the Chicago Blackhawks with a lower-body injury, the Seattle Kraken would be placing forward Jaden Schwartz on injured reserve. In speaking about that directly with reporters today, the head coach of the Kraken, Dave Hakstol, stated that Schwartz’s placement on the IR would be longer than a ’day-to-day’ injury, indicating that Schwartz could be out of Seattle’s lineup for at least the next handful of games (X Link).
- Although being acquired by the Vancouver Canucks a little while ago, there was another team extremely interested in adding Nikita Zadorov to their blue line. Kevin Weekes of ESPN reported that the Toronto Maple Leafs were interested in acquiring both Zadorov and Chris Tanev from the Calgary Flames in one trade, giving the indication that the Maple Leafs will be adding a notable defenseman in some form or another by the trade deadline.