Tag: Anaheim Ducks

Via AP

Anaheim’s Lindholm on the verge of big things


When the Anaheim Ducks drafted Hampus Lindholm sixth overall in 2012, it was somewhat surprising in the sense that NHL Central Scouting had him ranked behind three European skaters — Filip Forsberg, Teuvo Teravainen and Sebastian Collberg — and the young defenseman from Sweden was taken before all three of them.

Heck, even Lindholm was surprised. “It’s like, whoa, so early,” he said at the time.

Safe to say, the pick has turned out all right for the Ducks. Lindholm has been excellent in these playoffs, paired with veteran Francois Beauchemin, who believes the 21-year-old has the ability to become one of the elite blue-liners in the NHL.

“He certainly does have the potential of becoming that type of defenseman,” Beauchemin said, per ESPN.com. “In five years from now, I’m sure Hampus will be if everything goes well and he keeps improving, obviously he’s got the capability of becoming [among] the top defensemen in the league.”

Lindholm isn’t quite in the elite category yet. He doesn’t play huge minutes like Duncan Keith or Drew Doughty. But for a franchise that won its only Stanley Cup with Chris Pronger and Scott Niedermayer patrolling the back end, and for a GM, Bob Murray, who’s been searching for “that guy” ever since those two moved on, Lindholm is clearly being groomed for big things.

Oh, and Lindholm isn’t the only talented young blue-liner in Anaheim. There’s also Cam Fowler, Sami Vatanen, and Simon Despres, all three just 23 years old.


‘There’s nobody that wants to fight Jamie Benn,’ says Stars GM

Francois Beauchemin, Jamie Benn

There’s been plenty of praise for Jamie Benn recently. After capturing the NHL’s scoring title with a final-night flurry — on what was later acknowledged to be a serious hip injury — then earning a nomination for the Ted Lindsay Award, it seems people can’t say enough about good things the Dallas captain.

Like his boss, for example.

“There’s nobody that wants to fight Jamie Benn,” Stars GM Jim Nill said, per the Dallas Morning-News. “I’ve seen it in so many buildings.

“The game gets a little bit rough, he kind of looks at somebody and the fire is put out.”

Benn, 25, is a pretty tough customer. He’s listed at 6-foot-2, 210 pounds, racked up a team-high 120 hits this season and, over his six-year NHL career, has fought 14 times, which includes couple of memorable scraps.

Like this one, against Francois Beauchemin:

And another, perhaps most famously, against Joe Thornton:

The toughness factor has played a big role in Benn’s quick ascension to star status. Over the last two years, he’s accomplished an awful lot — won an Olympic gold and Art Ross, became team captain, helped Dallas snap a five-year playoff drought — yet never strayed from the gritty, sandpaper stuff.

“It’s amazing what he’s done just in the two years that I’ve been there,” Nill explained. “And what is he — 25? He’s not even in his prime yet.

“And he’s laying in bed right now with two hip surgeries. He played the whole year injured. People don’t understand that. It’s an amazing what he’s done. The encouraging part is where he’s headed. You know he’s going to get even better.”

Related: Stars’ Benn undergoes second hip surgery

Perry extinguishes Flames, Ducks head to conference finals

Corey Perry, Frederik Andersen

One could argue that Corey Perry shouldn’t have even been on the ice after suffering a lower-body injury in the second period of Game 5. That’s the funny thing about sports, though: sometimes the guy on a bum leg makes the biggest difference.

The Anaheim Ducks kept pouring on chances in overtime, but Karri Ramo wouldn’t let the Calgary Flames die without the fight that was a staple of their surprising season. Ultimately, Perry punched in that final chance, winning in 3-2 in overtime to close the Flames out in five games.

Fittingly, the strong-closing Ducks finished this series with yet another third-period comeback, as Matt Beleskey scored his fifth goal of the series to tie things up 2-2.

With that, Bruce Boudreau heads to his first career postseason conference final series in his otherwise dazzling coaching career. It won’t be easy, mind you, as the Ducks get home-ice advantage but the Chicago Blackhawks hold the big-time game experience edge (at least if you consider this the “Boudreau Ducks”).

Perry scored that electric game-winner, but how healthy is he, really?

The good news for the Ducks is that he’ll get some time to heal up until that series against Chicago … assuming a few extra days would make a difference.

The Flames put together an effort that was a decent testament to their unlikely ups. Ramo was excellent (44 saves), which fits in with their streaky goaltending. More typical: Jiri Hudler and Johnny Gaudreau made big plays.

They just didn’t do enough, and now Calgary approaches an offseason in which they ponder what to do next.

Speaking of what’s next: do you take the West’s top seed (Ducks) or arguably the gold standard franchise (Blackhawks)? Either way, hockey fans are in for a treat.

Video: Corey Perry limps off after collision with Matt Stajan


Uh oh.

That’s the phrase that entered just about every Anaheim Ducks’ fans mind – at least the censored version, for some – as they saw Corey Perry struggle off the ice following a collision with Calgary Flames forward Matt Stajan.

Judge for yourself if there was anything malicious about the low hit, which didn’t draw a penalty:

If nothing else, Perry was able to take a spin onto the ice mere moments later, so we’ll see how it goes.

Video: Hudler snaps slump with slapper

Vancouver Canucks v Calgary Flames - Game Six

The Calgary Flames have a long way to go to really push the Anaheim Ducks in this second-round series, but getting more from Jiri Hudler wouldn’t hurt.

He was banged up in Game 1, which might be part of the reason that the Flames’ top regular season scorer has been held off the board through the start of this series. Hudler finally found the net in Game 5, giving Calgary a coveted 1-0 lead.

He did so with authority, too:

Update: The Ducks managed to tie it 1-1 with a Ryan Kesler goal, but the lead didn’t last very long, as Johnny Gaudreau regained Calgary’s lead with a 2-1 tally (which earned Hudler a helper):