Mike Halford


Boudreau: There’s a ‘dark cloud’ over Getzlaf this season


To say this has been a tough campaign for Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf would be an understatement.

Just ask his head coach.

“It just seems that this year, there’s that dark cloud,” Bruce Boudreau said in the wake of Sunday’s loss to Detroit, per the L.A. Times. “When he makes a mistake, no matter how well he’s played during the course of the game, it seems to cost us.”

The latest Getz-gaffe?

Check it out:

That’s the Anaheim captain turning the puck over in his own zone, leading to Riley Sheahan‘s game-winning goal with less than four minutes remaining.

Getzlaf admitted he needed to “make a better play” in this instance, explaining that, because the puck was rolling, he tried to control it first rather than quickly whipping it away to safety.

He then took ownership of the error.

“A mistake like that, it hurts,” he said. “Obviously I can’t do those things.”

As mentioned above, it’s been a season of mistakes for Getzlaf. Sunday’s was the latest, but hardly the most egregious — that came against Arizona earlier in the campaign:

At this point, it’s fair to wonder if — not when — Anaheim can turn this thing around. The Ducks are now at the midway point of the season (Sunday’s game against Detroit was No. 41 of 82), and their leader is still making costly, costly mistakes.

What’s more, the offense looks no closer to breaking out than it did before. Anaheim still sits dead last in the NHL in goals per game, at 1.85 per, and has scored just 11 goals in its last seven games.

Leafs lose leading scorer van Riemsdyk (broken foot) for 6-8 weeks

James van Riemsdyk
Getty Images

Not a great last couple of days in Leaf land.

Following a dismal 7-0 blowout loss at the hands of San Jose, the Leafs learned on Monday that leading scorer James van Riemsdyk would miss the next 6-8 weeks with a broken foot.

Van Riemsdyk, who has 14 goals and 29 points through 40 games this season, has been one of the most durable players on Toronto’s roster over the last few years. He’s missed just two of the last 254 games and was on pace to come within striking distance of his career high in points (he had 61 during the ’13-14 campaign).

With van Riemsdyk sidelined, the Leafs have recalled Josh Leivo from the AHL Marlies.

It’s hard to say just how profound this loss is for Toronto, but it’s clear it’s a big one.

The Leafs are not an offensive juggernaut, sitting just 23rd in the NHL in goals for, and van Riemsdyk was one of only three double-digit goalscorers on the roster, along with Leo Komarov and P.A. Parenteau.


Trade: Canucks acquire Etem from Rangers for Jensen

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 28:  Emerson Etem #96 of the New York Rangers skates against the Philadelphia Flyers at Madison Square Garden on November 28, 2015 in New York City. The Flyers shutout the Rangers 3-0.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Looks like those Emerson Etem trade rumblings finally cracked the surface.

The Canucks have acquired Etem from the Rangers in exchange for Nicklas Jensen, per Sportsnet. The Rangers will also reportedly receive a late-round pick in the deal as well.

(Update: sixth-round pick in 2017.)

Etem, 23, was Anaheim’s first-round pick (29th overall) in 2010, and dealt to the Rangers at the ’15 draft in exchange for Carl Hagelin. A speedster with good skills, Etem has struggled to become a regular contributor at the NHL, despite showing flashes of promise (like his wonder goal against the Jets in last year’s opening playoff round.)

In Vancouver, he’ll be reunited with former junior coach Willie Desjardins. Etem scored 37 goals as a 17-year-old rookie for WHL Medicine Hat in 2009-10, the same year he got drafted.

As for Jensen, he’s also a former first-round pick: also 29th overall, but in 2011.

He’s similar to Etem in that he’s high on skill and skating ability, but has yet to see it translate to the big-league level. In 24 career games with Vancouver, he’s scored three goals and six points — and has spent all of this year with the Canucks’ AHL affiliate in Utica.

It’s worth noting that Jensen played under Canucks bench boss Alain Vigneault in Vancouver, so there’s some familiarity there. No word yet if he’ll report to New York, or AHL Hartford.

Goalie nods: After getting hurt versus Leafs, Gibson right back in for Ducks

John Gibson

Anaheim’s in desperate need for wins and, as a result, is rolling the dice a bit in goal tonight.

John Gibson, who exited Wednesday’s ugly 4-0 home loss to Toronto after a collision with Nazem Kadri, will be back in net when Anaheim hosts St. Louis at Honda on Friday.

Gibson, who made his first-ever NHL All-Star Game earlier this week, returned to practice yesterday, with Ducks head coach Bruce Boudreau declaring his health “100 percent.”

It’s a little surprising the Ducks wouldn’t give Gibson a night off to rest, especially with a capable goalie like Frederik Andersen waiting in the wings.

Of course, Gibson is 8-5-2 with a 1.75 GAA and .929 save percentage since his recall, helping Anaheim force itself back into the playoff picture in the lowly Pacific Division. So maybe it’s not surprising Boudreau is going this direction.

No word on a Blue starter yet.


— Looks as though Jonas Gustavsson will give Tuukka Rask a night off as Boston plays in New Jersey. The Devils, as per usual, are going with Cory Schneider.

— After a strong outing on Tuesday (29 saves on 31 shots in a loss to Minnesota), Anton Forsberg gets the start again for Columbus. Cam Ward‘s in goal for the host Hurricanes.

Chad Johnson for Buffalo, Corey Crawford for Chicago as the Sabres take on the ‘Hawks at the United Center.

— No rest for Semyon Varlamov tonight, as he’ll continue to start for the Avs during their lengthy homestand. He’ll likely be up against Pekka Rinne, who looks to have the start for Nashville.

Cam Talbot gets another start when the Oilers host the Bolts in Edmonton. No word yet on a Tampa Bay starter.

As trade rumors swirl, Rangers send Etem for conditioning stint

EDMONTON , AB - DECEMBER 11: Emerson Etem #96 of the New York Rangers puts on the brakes against the Edmonton Oilers at Rexall Place on December 11, 2015 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.(Photo by Dan Riedlhuber/Getty Images)

Plenty of smoke coming from the Big Apple on Friday.

Officially, the Rangers sent forward Emerson Etem to AHL Hartford on a conditioning stint, per the Daily News.

Blueshirts head coach Alain Vigneault said Etem’s stay in the minors will be three games long.

But that’s not the whole story about the 23-year-old forward, who was acquired from Anaheim in the Carl Hagelin trade at the draft. It also sounds as though he’s smack in the middle of some serious trade rumors:

Almost immediately, Etem’s name was linked to Vancouver. Back in 2009-10, Etem starred as a rookie in WHL Medicine Hat under now-Canucks coach Willie Desjardins.

Etem scored 37 goals as a 17-year-old and, following the season, was taken 29th overall by Anaheim at the draft.

Though the speedster has shown flashes of real talent over his career, Etem has struggled to maintain consistency at the NHL level. He’s appeared in just 19 games for the Rangers this year, going goalless with just three points.