Much like their results this season, the Anaheim Ducks continue to have ups and downs when it comes to the health of their players. Though they did gain one back, two more fell to the injury bug and reinforcements have had to be summoned from the minors. A pair of milestones and a season debut were on the helm this week as well.
Henrique Scores 100th Goal as a Duck
The veteran converted on an odd-man rush attempt, ringing one off the post and past goaltender Arvid Soderblom, to give the Ducks a 2-0 lead. While the final result didn’t go the Ducks’ way, the goal marked another milestone in the career of Henrique, who at one point during his Ducks tenure was placed on waivers.
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Henrique was acquired from the New Jersey Devils in 2017 and is now one of the veterans in the locker room. He shoulders responsibility as a leader alongside others like Cam Fowler, Ryan Strome, and Jakob Silfverberg. The forward has just two years remaining on his contract.
Carrick Makes Season Debut
After spending time with the San Diego Gulls in the American Hockey League (AHL) on a conditioning loan while recovering from hip surgery, Sam Carrick made his season debut for the Ducks in their 3-2 overtime win against the Detroit Red Wings.
Carrick had four hits in 4:38 of ice time in his season debut, playing on the fourth line with Mason McTavish and Brett Leason. He was a major fixture of last season’s fourth line and has the chance to be yet again this season after signing a two-year contract extension this past offseason.
Klingberg Scores First Goal as a Duck
It hasn’t been the most bountiful season for John Klingberg thus far after signing a one-year, $7 million dollar deal with the Ducks this past summer.
Perhaps his goal Tuesday (Nov. 15) – his first with the Ducks – can kick start his season, as Klingberg’s tally in the final minute of the third period against the Detroit Red Wings tied the game and salvaged a point for the Ducks. They eventually won in overtime after Tyler Bertuzzi’s errant pass bounced off Trevor Zegras and Ryan Strome converted.
With the way the Ducks’ season has gone to this point, it’s a likely possibility that this year could be Klingberg’s one and only in Orange County. His services will surely be in demand come the trade deadline – if Anaheim’s struggles persist – and the Ducks would be wise to move him when the right offer arises.
Shattenkirk, Beaulieu Placed on IR
The Ducks’ injury list on the blue line is starting to pile up. Kevin Shattenkirk and Nathan Beaulieu were both placed on injured reserve after suffering injuries against the Minnesota Wild last week. Along with Jamie Drysdale, who had surgery earlier this month to repair a torn labrum, that now makes three regulars gone from the Ducks’ defense.
Drew Helleson was recalled from San Diego on Tuesday but was a healthy scratch. Anaheim has other options in the American Hockey League (AHL) aside from Helleson in Olli Juolevi and Axel Andersson, but the extent of their defensive depth is being stretched thin. Another injury on the blue line could prompt general manager Pat Verbeek to scour the trade market.
Ducks Still Winless in Regulation
A regulation loss on Saturday, an overtime win on Tuesday, and another regulation loss – one that came in the final minute of regulation – last night were the Ducks’ results this past week, which means that they are still winless in regulation. That makes it 17 games without a regulation win to start the season. The current record is 20 games, set by the Arizona Coyotes during the 2017-18 season.
The Ducks’ next chance to break that streak will be Saturday against the St. Louis Blues. They will have two shots at avoiding the feat in St. Louis as they play there both Saturday and Monday night before returning home to face the New York Rangers on Wednesday.
The “Tank Hard for Bedard” agenda does appear to be in full swing for the Ducks. Though they can take many positives from some of their defeats, defensive lapses continue to be an issue. A battered blue line doesn’t help matters but one thing’s for sure, they need to be better in their own end to start winning some games.
Derek Lee is a contributor for The Hockey Writers covering the Anaheim Ducks. Derek has spent nearly two decades immersed in the world of sports and has been writing about sports for five years. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Sports Communication in May 2020 from UCCS in Colorado Springs, Colo., where he also spent two and a half years on staff with their on-campus student newspaper–both as a sports reporter and editor. In his free time, he enjoys playing FIFA, curating his Spotify playlists and attending concerts & sporting events