Yes, it looks like we’re getting the Anaheim Ducks team many expected to run wild over the NHL in 2015-16. Or … at least something close to it.
The Ducks flexed their muscles against the Boston Bruins (who may not have been at the top of their games), generating a 6-2 win.
This wasn’t a one-night thing, either.
Since beating the Ottawa Senators 4-1 on Jan. 13, the Ducks have won six of seven games, including three straight. Their only loss came in a narrow 3-2 defeat to the Los Angeles Kings.
You could arguably trace better times back to Dec. 27, but the point remains the same: we might be witnessing Anaheim getting its groove back.
Of course, for all that, it’s sobering to also note that the Ducks would be out of the playoffs if the NHL postseason began today.
Other West bubble teams are probably hearing those footsteps (waddling as they may be).
John Tortorella will not be behind the bench for the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday. But it appears Matt Calvert and captain Nick Foligno will return to the lineup versus the Boston Bruins, according to the team’s website.
Calvert, who has six goals and seven points in 39 games this season, hasn’t played since Dec. 29 after he was placed on injured reserve with a lower-body injury.
Foligno has been out since Jan. 8 after he took a high hit from Carolina’s Brad Malone, which the Blue Jackets leader was still taking umbrage with weeks after it occurred, calling it a “joke of a hit.”
Meanwhile, associate coach Craig Hartsburg will take over for Torts behind the bench. Tortorella suffered two broken ribs after being involved in a collision with Rene Bourque during Friday’s practice.
“He’s hurtin’,” Hartsburg told the Columbus Dispatch of Tortorella.
“I talked to him briefly. He didn’t get much sleep. He basically said he can’t move. It’s a tough thing for him, and obviously for us. His health is the most important thing.”
John Tortorella isn’t expected to be behind the bench for the Columbus Blue Jackets when they face the Boston Bruins on Saturday, after suffering two broken ribs in a collision with Rene Bourque during an outdoor practice Friday, the club announced on its website.
According to the Blue Jackets, Tortorella didn’t travel with the team to Boston.
From Aaron Portzline of the the Columbus Dispatch:
He was skating with speed up the left wing during a drill and clipped Tortorella, who was standing along the boards with his head turned. Tortorella twisted in the air and landed on his backside, remaining on the ice for several minutes as medical staff attended to him.
“You never like seeing anyone in pain and that was so unfortunate,” said Nick Foligno, as per the Blue Jackets website.
“I felt so bad for John and for (Bourque). The one thing about Torts is he’s tough – he’s a lot tougher than all of us. When you see him down like that, you know he’s pretty hurt. It was scary.”
This means associate coach Craig Hartsburg will assume the coaching duties, with Torts expected to be out.
As written earlier, this kind of sums up the season in Columbus.
PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.
–The Boston Bruins had a pregame ceremony for Denna Laing prior to yesterday’s game against the Canucks. She also had a special message for the Bruins organization and their fans. (Above)
–The St. Louis Blues could benefit from the departure of the NFL’s Rams. (Post-Dispatch)
—Justin Abdelkader remembers what it was like to score the game-winning goal in the NCAA Championship game. (The Players’ Tribune)
–Find out how Panthers forward Jaromir Jagr stays in shape.
–The Hartford Whalers logo is as popular now as it’s ever been. (ESPN)
–With Jonathan Drouin in the middle of a dispute with the Lightning, SI looks at the most famous contract holdouts. (Sports Illustrated)
The Boston Bruins aren’t denying it: there’s a chance they might need to trade Loui Eriksson.
Bruins GM Don Sweeney addressed the rumors during a NESN interview on Thursday, admitting that the two sides have entered in discussions, and the “first priority” would be to re-sign the pending unrestricted free agent.
Yes, there, is a “but” …
Sweeney acknowledged that the Bruins may need to shop Eriksson around if they realize that they can’t find a compromise.
As far as what the Bruins want (beyond the vague “improving our team” note, which may or may not mean that they want a roster player rather than a prospect and/or pick)? Well, that’s left up to your fertile imaginations …
Click here for the initial post about the rumors.