At some point, the question following Viktor Fasth might change from “Is he for real?” to “What took the NHL so long to find him?”
The 30-year-old “rookie” improved his career-opening record to 7-0-0 as the Anaheim Ducks dispatched the Detroit Red Wings 5-2 on Friday. Fasth stopped 26 out of 28 shots against a Red Wings lineup that lacked Pavel Datsyuk.
The Ducks strengthened their grip on the Pacific Division lead to 21 points, placing them second overall in the West behind the even-hotter Chicago Blackhawks. (They’re also tied for second in the NHL with the New Jersey Devils, who also have 21 points.)
What’s especially impressive is that a road swing isn’t slowing them down; they’ve won four out of five contests with one away contest left in the six-game trip (tomorrow against the Predators in Nashville).
While the Teemu Selanne-Saku Koivu-Bobby Ryan remained hot, the scary thing for the rest of the league is that Corey Perry showed signs of breaking out of his early slump. He scored his second goal of the season and added an assist as part of a more varied Ducks attack.
The latest update from the OC Register is that Jonas Hiller still needs time to recover from his lower-body injury. The Ducks might not be too anxious about that, although with a back-to-back game scheduled, Bruce Boudreau might face a tough choice in net.
(If he opts to rest Fasth, they’d start journeyman Jeff Deslauriers.)
Stars place Lehtonen on IR, call up Campbell and Nemeth
Tim Gleason has likely played his last NHL game. The 32-year-old defenseman has informed the Carolina Hurricanes that he no longer wishes to continue his professional tryout.
“Tim informed us today he wasn’t going to continue to pursue his tryout,” said GM Ron Francis, per the club’s website. “He looked and felt good physically, but didn’t feel up to the grind of the NHL mentally.”
“We got outcompeted in the second period, badly,” Mark Letestu told the team’s website. “Whether it was little puck battles or even just executing on systems. It played right into their game. When you get behind a team like this that’s so dominant in the circle it’s tough to generate chances to come back. We didn’t deserve to win this one at all.”
As if things weren’t bad enough, the Oilers also lost Nail Yakupovto injury after a linesman (yes, a linesman) fell on top of him.
After the game, head coach Todd McLellan didn’t hold back:
"That's a really disappointing effort from our hockey club… We weren't a very determined team." McLellan on the #Oilers defeat