Normally, you wouldn’t think the loss of a 37-year-old stay-at-home defenseman who missed half the season with a broken leg would hurt a team too badly. Especially not a team that earned the top seed in the Western Conference, most of the work done without his help.
But the loss of Stephane Robidas (again with a broken leg) will be a challenge for the Anaheim Ducks. To say otherwise would be to downplay how well he performed after joining the club in a late-in-the-season trade with Dallas Stars, who just so happen to be the Ducks’ first-round opponents.
“It’s a huge loss because he was playing great,” Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau said.
Indeed. Robidas suited up in 14 games for the Ducks during the regular season, scoring once with four assists while logging just over 20 minutes per contest.
On Apr. 9, in an important game against the San Jose Sharks, Robidas played a team-high 22:49, including 5:49 while shorthanded. The Ducks won 5-2, clinching the Pacific Division in the process.
A “real steady force back there,” according to Boudreau, Robidas will now have to replaced, possibly by Luca Sbisa or Mark Fistric, neither of whom played much this season.
Game 4 of the Anaheim-Dallas series goes tonight at American Airlines Center, and it comes on the heels of a 3-0 victory for the Stars that cut the Ducks’ series lead to 2-1.
Boudreau, though, remains confident.
“The thing about this team is we’ve rebounded from injuries all year,” he said. “The first half of the year we had the most injuries and we just kept playing through it because we had good depth.”
That depth is about to be tested again.