Viktor Fasth

Doubted all season, Ducks finally facing adversity

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Paper tigers.

A house of cards.

All of the above have been used to described the 2013 Anaheim Ducks.

Mostly, it’s been advocates of hockey’s advanced statistics (see: Corsi, Fenwick, and PDO) that have been waiting for the Ducks to collapse.

Anaheim, the stats guys say, has benefited from an unsustainable shooting percentage and an unsustainable save percentage.

Or, to put it another way, the Ducks were lucky to start the season 22-3-4.

Now, after three straight losses, Anaheim is facing some adversity.

“There’s always peaks and valleys, and we’re trying to get out of this valley as quick as possible and start climbing back in the right direction,” forward Corey Perry said after Monday’s 5-3 home loss to the Sharks. “We didn’t start well, and eventually it caught up to us. You don’t like losing at home, but if we play the same way we played in the second half of the game, we’re going to be successful.”

The Ducks kick off a four-game road trip tonight in San Jose, to be followed by stops in Chicago, Columbus, and Dallas.

Per the LA Times, defenseman Sheldon Souray is confident his team will “respond to this adversity and keep going.”

Others, obviously, aren’t so sure.

Tough start: Lehner knocked out of Sabres debut, won’t return

Matt Puempel, Alex Chiasson, Robin Lehner
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Chances are Robin Lehner won’t look back fondly on his first game as a Sabre.

Midway through Buffalo’s season-opener against Ottawa, Lehner — facing his old team for the first time since getting traded this summer — suffered a lower-body injury, and was forced from the contest.

During the second intermission, the Sabres ruled out Lehner for the night.

It was a difficult turn of events for 24-year-old, who admitted he was keen to go up against the Sens. He had a bit of a chip on his shoulder about his time in the Canadian capital; Lehner felt he never got a full opportunity to run with the No. 1 gig, and probably wasn’t thrilled GM Bryan Murray opted to keep Craig Anderson and Andrew Hammond instead of him.

As for tonight’s injury, details are scarce. All that’s known is the ailment was serious enough for Lehner to leave and not return, forcing backup Chad Johnson into duty.

Prior to getting hurt, Lehner had stopped 11 of 12 shots faced.


‘Canes lose Wisniewski (lower body) 47 seconds into debut

Phil Kessel, James Wisniewski
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James Wisniewski‘s time as a Carolina Hurricane is off to a troubling start.

Wisniewski, acquired by the ‘Canes at this year’s draft, exited Thursday’s season-opener against Nashville early in the first period with a lower-body injury.

Shortly thereafter, the team ruled out his return.

Wisniewski, 31, was expected to play a fairly significant role on Carolina’s defense this year.

It’s unclear what the injury is or how severe it might be, but initial reports don’t sound good; Wisniewski appeared to be in significant pain and had to be helped off the ice.