Though the Stanley Cup Playoffs continue to delight and surprise fans worldwide, the Anaheim Ducks’ season has been over for almost an entire month now. Right now is the calm before the storm, the lull, if you will, before the thunderclap of events that will begin with announcing the Calder Memorial Trophy winner in June and continue with the NHL Entry Draft in July.
Dostál Makes IIHF Worlds Debut, Suffers Injury
Lukáš Dostál had quite the season, shuttling up and down the I-5 between the Ducks and the San Diego Gulls in the American Hockey League (AHL). In January, he grabbed his first NHL win with a terrific performance against the Detroit Red Wings in his NHL debut and he also scored an empty-net goal while with the Gulls at the tail-end of the AHL regular season.
His .916 save percentage (SV%) in 40 games was a big reason behind why the Gulls were able to sneak into the Calder Cup Playoffs, even in what appeared to be a season well below expectations for the Ducks’ AHL affiliate. While the Gulls were swept in the first round of a three-game series by the Ontario Reign, there wasn’t much Dostál could do as the team was down several men due to injuries.
Dostál’s strong performances earned him a spot on Czechia’s roster for the IIHF World Championship and he helped backstop them to a 5-1 win over Great Britain in the first game of the tournament. However, Dostál suffered a lower-body injury at some point after that and it’s quite possible that his participation in the tournament is already at an end. Dostál will remain with the team for the time being, but it’s likely that Marek Langhamer and Karel Vejmelka will be the two men minding the net for the remainder of the tournament for Czechia.
Getzlaf Named King Clancy Finalist
Even though his NHL career has already concluded, now former Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf is still being nominated for awards. After being the Ducks’ nomination for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, Getzlaf is now a finalist for the King Clancy Memorial Trophy as well. The King Clancy Trophy is awarded to the player who best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice and has made a noteworthy humanitarian contribution in his community.
Getzlaf certainly fits the bill for these qualifications – hence the nomination – and the selection committee’s decision between him, Darnell Nurse of the Edmonton Oilers and P.K. Subban of the New Jersey Devils should be a difficult one.
Former Duck Manson Gives Avalanche 1-0 Series Lead
Several ex-Ducks have already seen their hopes of winning the Cup this season dashed, but not defenseman Josh Manson, who is now a member of the Colorado Avalanche after being dealt to the Mile High City at this past season’s trade deadline.
Manson was responsible for giving the Avalanche a 1-0 series lead in their Western Conference semifinals matchup against the St. Louis Blues, floating a shot from the point past goaltender Jordan Binnington in overtime and sending the home crowd into a frenzy. The goal was also Manson’s first of his playoff career. Though the Blues have since knotted the series at one apiece, Manson figures to be an important piece on the right side of the Avalanche blue line behind Cale Makar.
Former Duck Perry One Away from 50 Playoff Goals
Another former Duck who is well-accustomed to the rigors of playoff hockey, Getzlaf’s old teammate and good friend Corey Perry is now one goal away from 50 playoff goals after scoring the opening tally of Game 2 between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Florida Panthers on Thursday night.
Thanks to Ross Colton’s last-second finish in regulation, the Lightning hold a 2-0 series lead over the Panthers. There’s a good shot Perry will reach the big 5-0 before the end of the postseason.
Sometimes no news is good news and with little coming out of the Ducks’ organization recently, you can bet that general manager Pat Verbeek and Co. are busy preparing for what should be another full offseason and Verbeek’s first since joining the organization.
Derek has been a hockey fan for over 10 years and a sports fan in general for more than two decades.
Prior to graduating from UCCS in Colorado Springs, CO in May 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in Sports Communication, he spent two and a half years as part of UCCS’ on-campus student newspaper staff–both as a sports reporter and editor. He is now creating Ducks-related content from his home in Southern California.
In his free time he enjoys playing FIFA, watching video essays on YouTube and curating his Spotify playlists.