Cam Fowler

Getty

Ryan Getzlaf out two months after surgery to repair fractured cheekbone

4 Comments

The Anaheim Ducks have been crushed by injuries so far this season and the news did not get much better for them on Tuesday.

General manager Bob Murray announced that center Ryan Getzlaf underwent surgery to repair a fractured cheek bone that could sideline him for two months. Getzlaf has only appeared in six games this season for the Ducks.

Along with him their list of injured players this season has included (and in some cases still does) Cam Fowler, Hampus Lindholm, Ryan Kesler, Sami Vatanen and Patrick Eaves, who is currently sidelined after he was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre syndrome.

Getzlaf was injured back on Oct. 29 when he was hit in the face by a puck in a game against the Carolina Hurricanes.

When healthy this season Getzlaf has been his usual productive self for the Ducks with seven points (one goal, six assists) in the six games.

That list of injuries has obviously had a negative impact on the Ducks season and is a big reason they are sitting at 6-6-2 through their first 14 games and has them in sixth place in the Pacific Division.

Along with the update on Getzlaf, Murray also updated the status of Fowler and Kesler.

Fowler, who has been sidelined since October 20 with a knee injury, is still on his original six week timeframe while Kesler (sidelined since offseason hip surgery) is still expected to return sometime around Christmas.

With Getzlaf and Kesler injured the Ducks’ center depth is obviously depleted at the moment.

Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.

NHL on NBCSN doubleheader: Capitals vs. Sabres; Kings vs. Ducks

Getty
6 Comments

NBCSN’s coverage of the 2017-18 NHL season continues with a doubleheader on Tuesday night. In the early game, the Buffalo Sabres host the Washington Capitals at 7:00 p.m. ET. To watch the game online, click here.

The Capitals will be playing their second game in as many nights. They’re coming off a 3-2 overtime game against the Arizona Coyotes that saw them trail 2-0 in the opening period.

But thanks to Alex Ovechkin‘s game-tying goal and John Carlson‘s game-winner in the extra frame, they were able to save the day on home ice, where things have been a little rocky for Washington.

After a slow start to the season, the Caps have now rattled off three straight wins over the Isles, Bruins and Coyotes. Things are starting to look up.

“I think we’re just kind of finding our way and figuring out what’s working for us,” Carlson said, per the Washington Post. “We’ve got to put a couple of these together. We didn’t start [the season] like we wanted to, so we’ve got a lot of work to do, but just keep finding ways to win.”

Things haven’t really been going as well for the Sabres, who are in the basement of the Eastern Conference. They also own the worst goal differential in the East and the second-worst goal differential in the league (ahead of Arizona) at minus-18.

“We think a couple little changes here and there and we’re going to be better, but we all have to demand more out of ourselves,” Ryan O'Reilly said, per the Buffalo News. “It feels like we are a little fragile right now. When things don’t go well, it’s tough to climb back.”

This is a really important stretch for the Sabres, as six of their next nine games will be played on home ice. If they’re going to salvage their season, it will have to come before the end of November.

In the late game, the Anaheim Ducks host the Los Angeles Kings at 10:00 p.m. ET. To stream that game live, click here

This will be one of the Kings’ few upcoming road games on their schedule, as they’ll begin a five-game homestand over the next couple of weeks.

Before they can start enjoying some home cooking though, they’ll need to take care of business against their state rivals, who are off to a rocky start in 2017-18.

“Yeah, it’s always fun,” Kings defenseman Drew Doughty said of playing the Ducks, per LAKingsinsider.com. “Good team. They’ve been probably better than us in the last three years or so. … I’m not sure what the head-to-head match has been, but they’re a division team, a division rival, they’re only just down the road there. Have a lot of support there from our fans in their building. I feel like we always show up to play there and play well.”

Unlike the Ducks, Los Angeles has enjoyed a terrific start to the year. They come into tonight’s game in top spot in the Pacific Division and they have a 4-1-1 record in their last six contests.

In fairness to Anaheim, their 6-6-2 record is a little deceiving. After all, they were without Ryan Kesler, Sami Vatanen and Hampus Lindholm to start the year (Cam Fowler is also out of the lineup). Now, Lindholm and Vatanen are back, which should eventually help boost their record.

 “Obviously now you get a couple extra minutes because Cam is out,” said Lindholm, per the OC Register. “Even when he’s in the lineup, we usually get to play up to or close to 24, 25 (minutes). I think we both have proven we can handle it.

“Right now, we kind of have a couple of injuries. For me, I just feel that I want to bring as much as I can to the table and do as much good as I can out on the ice to help the team win some hockey games.”

Unforunately, Lindholm’s return hasn’t really sparked the Ducks into winning more games. Anaheim also has a ton of home dates this month, but they haven’t gotten off to a great start.

They opened November with a pair of home losses to Toronto and Nashville before dropping shootout decision in San Jose on Saturday night. Still, they have a great opportunity to get themselves back on track with seven of their next eight games coming at the Honda Center.

Joey Alfieri is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @joeyalfieri.

Puck to face lands Getzlaf on IR as Ducks’ bad luck continues

Getty
1 Comment

The Anaheim Ducks have already been dealing with injury issues this season, and now an errant puck to the face lands Ryan Getzlaf on injured reserve.

He’ll be reevaluated on Monday, according to the team, which means that Getzlaf will miss at least the next three games for the Ducks. They host the Maple Leafs on Wednesday, the Predators on Friday, and then face the Sharks in San Jose on Saturday. After that, they’ll begin a five-game homestand on Tuesday, Nov. 7.

Here’s that unfortunate moment from the Ducks’ eventual 4-3 shootout win against the Carolina Hurricanes:

Give the Ducks credit; they won that game, and head coach Randy Carlyle is taking a matter-of-fact approach:

True, but it’s understandable if the Ducks are a little frustrated.

They finally got Ryan Miller into the mix on Sunday. Sami Vatanen is back to some extent, as he played on the weekend but didn’t suit up for back-to-back games. Cam Fowler‘s knee injury looks foreboding, and it remains to be seen when Ryan Kesler can return (and how long it will take the hard-working two-way center to approach full health). Kevin Bieksa is banged-up, while Patrick Eaves deals with a legitimately frightening ailment.

Speaking of frightening aliments, John Gibson seemed to avoid anything, um, too severe:

Despite these injuries, the Ducks have won four of their last five games to improve to 6-4-1. That’s resilient work, yet you wonder if they’ll cave under the pressure with their captain sidelined for at least the next three contests.

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

Injury-addled Ducks monitor Getzlaf after puck to face

Getty
4 Comments

The Anaheim Ducks already had plenty of injuries to deal with heading into Sunday’s game against the Carolina Hurricanes. Now they must be concerned about captain Ryan Getzlaf after he was clearly shaken up by a puck to the face.

The Ducks used the phrasing that Getzlaf “continues to be evaluated” regarding an upper-body injury. To little surprise, they also noted that he would not return to Sunday’s match against the Hurricanes.

Sportsnet tweeted a GIF of the unfortunate bounce for Getzlaf and the Ducks:

Getzlaf, 32, came into Sunday on a high note. He generated three assists in the Ducks’ somewhat-surprising win against the Tampa Bay Lightning, and had seven points in his last four contests.

On the bright side, the Ducks have an opportunity to rest, as their next game doesn’t come until Wednesday. They play nine of 11 games in Anaheim to begin November, so having Getzlaf on hand certainly would help them make the most of that stretch.

Again, this is far from the only issue for Anaheim. Sami Vatanen was believed to be ready to play, but that fell through tonight. Cam Fowler and Ryan Kesler aren’t expected to play again anytime soon, Kevin Bieksa is day-to-day with an issue, and Patrick Eaves is dealing with some frightening health problems. Ryan Miller just made his debut tonight.

The Ducks seemed aware that this might be a tough start to the season thanks in part to injuries, so potentially losing Getzlaf for some time could be a problem. We’ll see if there are any updates tonight, as the game is currently in the third period.

Update: Anaheim managed to fight back for a win in this one, edging Carolina 4-3 via a shootout.

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

Ducks receive good and bad news on injury front

Getty
1 Comment

First, the good news: Sami Vatanen is expected to make his season debut on the Ducks’ blue line tonight against the surging Tampa Bay Lightning, per Eric Stephens of the Orange County Register.

The 26-year-old Vatanen had shoulder surgery in May after his team was eliminated from the Stanley Cup playoffs by the Nashville Predators and was initially expected back in the lineup some time around November, along with Hampus Lindholm.

The latter has already returned to game action for the Ducks, making his debut Tuesday against the Philadelphia Flyers. To get Vatanen and Lindholm back is a boost for Anaheim’s blue line, as this team looks to get on a hot streak after a 4-4-1 start to the season.

Another positive development is the fact Ryan Miller has also reportedly been activated from the injured reserve list and is expected to back up John Gibson tonight.

That’s the good news.

The bad news? It once again has to do with another injury to another key member of the Ducks defensive group.

Per the Ducks, Cam Fowler is expected to miss the next three to seven weeks because of a knee injury, which has already kept him out of the lineup for the last week. He initially suffered the injury on Oct. 20 versus the Habs, playing less than two minutes of that game before leaving.

That’s a significant loss for Anaheim considering Fowler leads the team in ice time, averaging just under 23 minutes per game, including duties on the penalty kill and power play.

The club also added that Kevin Bieksa will be re-evaluated for a hand injury he suffered Tuesday in Philadelphia. Bieksa was involved in a quick fight with Radko Gudas, though he caught the Flyers defenseman with a right hand, ending the scrap.

————

Cam Tucker is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @CamTucker_Sport.