When Hiller was put on IR back on February 16, it was reported that he’d miss the next three games. After those 3 games have come and gone, the entire Ducks organization would probably give up part of their salary to make that original prognosis a reality. Instead, Hiller will miss his fourth straight game tonight and is no better now than he was a week ago.
So what happened in those three games he missed? 7 goals allowed at home against the Capitals. 5 goals allowed in St. Paul against the Wild. And then, the hammer: the Ducks laid a 9 goal egg against the Blues. That’s 21 goals in three games for those of you playing at home.
The worst part of the entire situation is the fear of the unknown.
“They’ve kind of ruled it out, the concussion thing,” Hiller said after the Ducks’ morning skate in which he was not part of. “They’re saying its kind of vertigo. They couldn’t really tell me where it’s coming from or whatever.
“That’s kind of the tough part, to kind of like just accept it and not knowing where it’s coming from. Just work with that and try to desensitize my brain with all the input that I get from my body.
“The game in Edmonton was kid of so-so,” he said. “I was hoping to feel better the next few days. It kind of went the other way. I definitely felt worse in that practice. I didn’t feel good at all.”
As a temporary remedy, the Ducks have sent back-up Timo Pielmeier back down to Syracuse and have recalled
noted pugilist veteran goaltender Ray Emery. The original plan was for Emery to ease his way back into the swing of things for about two weeks and then bring him up to Anaheim as needed. Apparently, management has decided that three starts in the AHL enough of a conditioning stint. Desperate times call for desperate measures and Emery’s already been recalled.
The plan is for Jonas Hiller to be the all-world starter like he’s been all year with Ray Emery serving as a capable back-up. Those are the plans. But for now, it’s Ray Emery’s job to help the Ducks right the ship and Curtis McElhinney’s job to stop giving up a touchdown every time he’s in the net. With the Ducks currently tied for 9th in the Western Conference playoff race, they can ill-afford to waste any opportunities to earn points.
Tonight, there’s a big Metropolitan Division showdown at Consol as the Pittsburgh Penguins host the New York Rangers. You can catch the game on NBCSN (8 p.m. ET), or watch live online with NBC Sports’ Live Extra.
CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE
Some relevant linkage for tonight’s affair:
Rangers ‘are doing a lot of good things’
‘I wonder if that’s Crosby, what happens?’ — AV upset after McDonagh concussed by Simmonds
Malkin (lower body) to miss rest of week
Crosby, Karlsson and Trocheck are NHL’s three stars of the week
PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.
Calgary Flames head coach Bob Hartley seems pretty chill about healthy-scratching Sean Monahan, Johnny Gaudreau and Lance Bouma. That goes for Monahan and Gaudreau in particular, noting that they’re “great kids.”
Besides … it’s not like they robbed a bank. (NHL.com)
Uh oh, did Nazem Kadri make the throat-slashing gesture to Mark Giordano? See for yourself in the video above. (Puck Daddy)
What should the New York Islanders do with unrestricted free agent Kyle Okposo, who’s enjoying a productive contract year? (The Hockey News)
What a playoff berth would mean to the Florida Panthers. (Sportsnet)
Checking in with various teams as the trade deadline looms. (NHL Numbers)
On the Canucks using those Pavel Bure-era jerseys. (Greatest Hockey Legends)
The Minnesota Wild put together the kind of effort that would beat a lot of NHL teams on Tuesday. Unfortunately for that beleaguered group, it wasn’t enough to edge the Dallas Stars.
Despite generating 40 shots on goal and generating 1-0 and 2-1 leads, the Wild lost to the Stars 4-3 in overtime. With that, they’ve lost six straight games.
(The view doesn’t get much prettier if you pull away a little further, either, as Minnesota’s only won once in the last month, going 1-9-2 in their last 12.)
Ultimately, the Stars’ big guns were too powerful. Tyler Seguin generated two assists and so did Jamie Benn, who set up John Klingberg‘s overtime game-winning goal.
Again, the effort sure seemed to be there for the Wild, even if they’re far beyond the point of accepting moral victories.
As frustrating as this must be, Minnesota’s not that far from a playoff spot. Still, it has to sting to see “Close, but not good enough” as a prevailing theme as of late.
The Boston Bruins welcomed Milan Lucic back on Tuesday. Maybe they shouldn’t have extended such a warm welcome to the Los Angeles Kings overall, however.
You won’t see many games as lopsided as this one, at least in 2015-16, as the Kings walloped the Bruins by a humbling score of 9-2.
Lucic wasn’t just there, either, as he scored a goal and an assist in his quite triumphant return to Boston.
Tuukka Rask had a short night in Boston’s net, yet it wasn’t as if Jonas Gustavsson enjoyed his time. It was a pretty sound beating by all accounts.
This dominant win is a heck of a way for the Kings to begin an imposing seven-game road trip, which continues against the New York Islanders on Thursday. The Bruins probably want to burn the tape on this one themselves, as they’re about to head on a six-game road trip.