Almost unbeatable at home for most of this season, the Ducks have lost three of their last four at the Honda Center — and that’s prompted Bruce Boudreau to make a change, recalling Emerson Etem from AHL Norfolk.
“Quite frankly the one thing the last game [was that] it looked like there was a lack of energy and emotion, whether it be in the building or on the bench,” Boudreau said, per NHL.com. “Emerson’s a guy that can bring both of those things to the front.”
Etem, a 21-year-old speedster, was taken in the first round (29th overall) at the 2010 NHL Entry Draft and had six goals and 10 points in 26 games prior to being demoted in December. He was averaging over 13 minutes per contest, figured prominently on the penalty kill and will likely skate on a line with Saku Koivu and fellow speedster Andrew Cogliano tonight against Chicago.
He’s also hoping to help the Ducks turn things around at Honda. Anaheim started the year 20-0-2 at home before finally losing in regulation to the Jets on Jan. 21. Since then the club has struggled, going just 2-3-0 over its last five home games, including back-to-back losses to Columbus and Dallas.
“For me, being a young guy I just try to keep my mouth shut, bury my head and work hard,” Etem said. “Whatever they tell me to do I’m willing to do. I take pride in being a hometown guy and putting on the Ducks sweater every time I get the opportunity.
“It’s a huge opportunity for me.”