No doubt about it, the Anaheim Ducks were glad to have their big and talented captain Ryan Getzlaf back last night.
But for the rest of the NHL, the Ducks welcomed back yet another power forward with a considerable mean streak, making them a very difficult team to play against. That point became clear after Getzlaf laid out Vancouver Canucks defenseman Dan Hamhuis behind Vancouver’s net last night. (Video is not yet available of the hit, but you can find it on Youtube among other places.)
Here’s a quick explanation of the hit: Getzlaf hit Hamhuis at an awkward moment, after the Canucks defenseman released the puck and turned his back. It seemed like Getzlaf tried to deliver a shoulder-to-shoulder check, but Hamhuis hit his head against the glass.
Hamhuis laid on the ice for several minutes and needed his teammates to help him off the ice, but coach Alain Vigneault indicated that he seemed fine “other than a large red mark on his face.”
Let’s hope that Hamhuis ends up being OK, because the Canucks are in a tough spot with defensemen dropping like flies.
Keith Ballard is out three to four weeks with a sprained MCL in his right knee after being taken down from behind early in Monday’s game against Ottawa.
Vancouver is already missing top defenseman Alex Edler, who had back surgery last week and rookie Lee Sweatt broke his foot in practice Saturday.
“I didn’t really see the hit but it was scary to see him on the ice,” Vancouver goaltender Cory Schneider said. “(Hamhuis) has been a big part of our core since we starting losing guys and logging big minutes. Hopefully it’s nothing too serious.”
Veteran Sami Salo was on his way back Wednesday from a three-game conditioning stint in the American Hockey League after missing the entire season with a torn Achilles’ tendon. Vigneault spoke with Salo before Wednesday’s game and said Salo will practice on Friday with the plan that the veteran will return Saturday against Calgary.
It doesn’t sound like Getzlaf will receive any discipline from the league, especially if Hamhuis isn’t injured as it currently seems. Yet the question is: should he be suspended or fined? Let us know how you feel in the comments.