Kukla's Korner Hockey
ANAHEIM, Calif. - The Anaheim Ducks announced today that the National Hockey League (NHL) club has acquired left wing David Perron and defenseman Adam Clendening from Pittsburgh in exchange for left wing Carl Hagelin.
Perron, 27 (5/28/88), has scored 20-plus goals three times in his NHL career, including a career-high 28 in 2013-14 with Edmonton. He has appeared in 542 NHL games with St. Louis, Edmonton and Pittsburgh, scoring 133-179=312 points with 412 penalty minutes (PIM). The 6-0, 200-pound left wing played 43 games with Pittsburgh this season, scoring 4-12=16 points with 28 PIM. His 105 hits this season ranked second on the club.
from Jeremy P. Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
The facts are the facts: the Blues blew another two-goal lead Friday night in Anaheim, fell 4-3 to the Ducks in a shootout and are now winless in their last five games.
But you can't leave out all the facts. They played much of the game without Paul Stastny, Jay Bouwmeester and Jake Allen — who each left with injuries — and after engaging Anaheim in an extremely physical matchup, the Blues tired out in what was their third consecutive overtime game and fifth in their last eight games.
The Blues are now 0-2-3 on their skid, but Blues coach Ken Hitchcock was emphatic afterwards in saying that this loss was different.
"Both teams poured their hearts out," Hitchcock said. "Both teams played as well as they could play. We ran out out of bodies. They had more in the tank at the end. This was a playoff hockey game, a sudden-death one.
"This point feels so much different than any of the other ones. The other ones were heartbreaking because we gave it up late. But this one was, this one feels good. Great point."
Below, watch the game highlights including how the injuries occurred...
from Eric Stephens of the OC Register,
So far, the Ducks have a bunch of forwards aside from Corey Perry who aren’t scoring. Right there on the market is Drouin, a 20-year-old former junior star taken third overall by the Lightning in 2013 who wants out.
Drouin is now in the minor leagues after two seasons of being cast in a more limited third-line role by Coach Jon Cooper. His assignment to Syracuse of the American Hockey League prompted his agent, Allan Walsh, to make public a trade request made to Tampa Bay general manager Steve Yzerman in November.
The indications are Yzerman won’t rush into making a deal, even for an unhappy player. But what if the right offer came along? The Ducks have some assets to pull it off for a player with promise. And he'll be far more affordable for the foreseeable future than high-priced Eric Staal, Jordan Eberle or Kyle Okposo.
Tampa Bay is seeking a right-shot defenseman. The presence of rising prospect Brandon Montour could make Sami Vatanen expendable, especially when left-shooting Shea Theodore has looked the part of an NHL regular while Cam Fowler recovers from a knee injury.
The Ducks want to re-sign Vatanen, their top offensive threat from the blue line. But a deal obviously hasn’t gotten done. Vatanen, 24, might reach 35-plus points for the second straight season and could at the very least triple the $1,275,000 he’s making this season.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
Maybe because it was published on Dec. 23 right before the NHL's holiday break, but Eric Stephens' story in the Orange County-Register on the Anaheim Ducks should have received more attention than it did league-wide.
For starters, it was a hard-hitting take on a preseason Cup contender, which was in last place in the Pacific Division at the time.
But what I really took from it was how general manager Bob Murray, who first criticized himself in the piece for some of his offseason moves, also took a healthy swipe at his core, long-time players for not being in good-enough shape at the start of the season. You don’t see that every day, to be sure.
Whether or not the GM’s comments had an impact in his dressing room, it just so happens that the Ducks since that story was published have earned nine out of a possible 10 points.
They’ve done so by playing more of a stifling, defensive game. It’s not the Ducks’ normal offensive game of the past few seasons, but Anaheim will take it no matter how it comes at this point.
from Eric Stephens of the OC Register,
“If you look at the teams that make the playoffs, a lot of times you would say you’re out of it if you’re under .500 at Christmas time or even coming into the new year,” Vancouver winger Jannik Hansen said. “But I don’t think you can really say that any teams are out of it right now.
“You win three or four games and you’ve got home-ice advantage right now. And it definitely gives you a sense of hope.”
The Ducks have done just that. Three months of inconsistent and even underwhelming hockey at times will likely end their run of division titles at three. But a convincing 4-1 win over Winnipeg on Sunday was their fourth in five games, moving them into a playoff spot for the first time.
And they were thankful that other teams did not follow the lead of the Kings and go off into the distance while they started out 1-7-2 or were in last place at the league-wide holiday break with a 12-15-6 mark – which left them just four points out of third.
“When we were really struggling, it gave us hope that nobody was winning,” Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said. “We kept saying, we’re still only this, we’re still only this. If it had been the Central Division and all of a sudden you’ve got to make up 14 points, it might have been a little different, more daunting task.
“We were always just out of range, even though we were not doing well.”
from Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province,
The polarizing one was booed enthusiastically and relentlessly throughout the game while scoring the only Ducks' goal, catching Brandon Prust with a knee and taking a penalty in the third period. He celebrated his second-period goal with a prolonged celebration in front of the Canucks' net.
"Just savouring the moment," he said afterwards.
"He said before he was going to try to get everyone to hate and he did a great job of it," Bieksa said. "It's nice when he scores that goal and throws it right back at the fans."
And if you were waiting for him to break character after the game, well, you're still waiting.
"Obviously, they're still bothered by the whole thing," Kesler said. "My job's to play hockey. I've moved on and found a home in Anaheim."
And maybe the Ducks are finding something, even though you hope that's not the case.
The NHL's lowest-scoring team counted three measly goals in their three-game swing through western Canada and, incredibly, took five of six points. Kesler, while pausing to bite the head of a baby bird, said this is part of their new identity and promised more of the same in the second half of the season.
"We're going to run with it," he said.
more on the Canucks 2-1 shootout win over the Ducks
Watch the game highlights below...
Brad Marchand doing what he does...
Oh wait, more videos below...
“From me, coaching the way I try to be an aggressive coach, and be an offensive-minded guy, it’s been pretty frustrating. I know there’s no stat for it, but I bet you we’ve hit more posts than anyone in the league. It’s just one of those things. Everybody – right from the start, no one could put the puck in the net, so they all hold the sticks a little tighter. And consequently, it’s hard to get going. But the last few games, I think we’ve played a lot better.”
-Bruce Boudreau, head coach of the Anaheim Ducks. More on the Ducks from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail.
from Mark Whicker of the LA Daily News,
The NHL ignores all programming and entertainment needs and takes a three-day respite at the holidays. Bravo. But such a short break isn’t enough for the Ducks to forget 12 wins in 33 games. Or 61 goals, which comes out to an average of 1.84 per game.
Leicester City averages 2.05 goals in the English Premier League. That’s soccer. The Ducks, who play Philadelphia in Anaheim Sunday, might do better just using feet and helmets.
“We felt we could come in this year and pick up where we left off,” said Andrew Cogliano after Saturday’s practice. “Clearly we weren’t ready. The thought was that we’d be hungry. We had all the right intentions but we haven’t done it. We can talk all we want. We’re at a point where we’re way beyond thinking that we’re something we’re not.”
No statistic in the wide, wide world of sports is more baffling than Ryan Getzlaf’s total of one goal, and that was against air. He had 25 goals last season, 33 the season before.
But Patrick Maroon had nine last year, Cogliano 15, Ryan Kesler 20 and Jakob Silfverberg 12. Currently they have one, three, four and three.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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