Anaheim Ducks

Fleischmann in, Etem out for Ducks in ‘game we have to win’


After losing its first game of the playoffs, the Anaheim Ducks are making a lineup switch.

Tomas Fleischmann, yet to appear in the Calgary series, will draw in for tonight’s Game 4 at the expense of forward Emerson Etem, who appears to be a healthy scratch.

Fleischmann last played for Anaheim in the first round against Winnipeg and fared decently, registering one point in two games. Etem, who scored a highlight-reel tally against the Jets in Game 4, scored again in Game 1 against the Flames but has been a bit of a non-factor since.

Clearly, the Ducks feel some apprehension about losing further momentum after Calgary’s dramatic 4-3 comeback win on Tuesday night. Aside from the lineup change, captain Ryan Getzlaf all but coined tonight’s tilt as a must-win:

Finally, worth noting that John Gibson will dress as Frederik Andersen’s backup tonight. Gibson has been unavailable for most of the postseason due to a hand injury, then illness.

With Getzlaf and Perry ‘dominating,’ Flames look for answers


In light of all the talk about low scoring and lack of offense in these Stanley Cup playoffs, it’s worth pointing out that Anaheim’s dynamic duo of Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf is on a pretty healthy tear this round — the two have combined to score 15 points in three games versus Calgary, an average of 1.6 per period.

Not per game. Per period.

Needless to say, much of the Flames’ talk prior to tomorrow’s Game 4 was about slowing those two down.

“You see guys like Getzlaf and Perry dominating the game at times,” Joe Colborne explained, per the Toronto Star. “When they’re using their big bodies and putting pressure on some of our smaller guys, we have to pick up our game and answer.”

Colborne’s words speak volumes. The Calgary defense, which was a huge factor against Vancouver in Round 1, has seen its lack of size get exposed against the Ducks; Kris Russell (5-foot-10, 173 pounds), Dennis Wideman (6-foot, 200 pounds) and TJ Brodie (6-foot-1, 182 pounds) are all giving up significant height and weight to Perry and Getzlaf, who skate on a line with another big body in 6-foot-2, 231-pound Patrick Maroon (who, it should be mentioned, has two goals in three games against Calgary.)

And make no mistake — Anaheim knows it has a definitive size advantage on the Flames.

“We’ve got to use it,” Ryan Kesler said, per the L.A. Times. “We know what made us successful this year. It’s playing that down-below-the-circle hockey, and cycling the puck and wearing them down, and if we do that we’ll be fine.”

While the Flames don’t have a ton of solutions for the size problem — it’s not like they’re going to get any bigger — head coach Bob Hartley did see some positives in the Game 3 win. Specifically? Unlike in the opening two games in Anaheim, his was no longer in awe of the Ducks’ size, speed and skill.

“It seems that the admiration for the Ducks is kind of winding down,” he said, per the Calgary Herald. “That’s good news for us.”

PHT Morning Skate: ‘Business as usual’ tonight for Bishop


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.

Ben Bishop will make starts on consecutive nights for the first time this season tonight as the Tampa Bay Lightning look to complete the sweep of their second round series with the Montreal Canadiens. Jeremy Roenick and Anson Carter discuss the issues Bishop will face playing on back-to-back nights in the Florida heat.

With Patrick Kane scoring five goals through the first three games of the Blackhawks series against the Wild, a Wikipedia editor got a little creative with Minnesota’s Wikipedia page. (

Ducks Patrick Maroon draws inspiration from young Kings’ fan battling cancer. (Bar Down)

“I wanted to prove I don’t belong in the stands” – Caps’ forward Andre Burakovsky on his two-goal performance in Game 4. (

Mike Milbury and Keith Jones discuss what the Rangers need to do to address their scoring woes heading into Game 5.

Columbus’ Bjorkstrand named WHL Player of the Year


It’s been quite the year for Oliver Bjorkstrand.

Bjorkstrand, Columbus’ third-round pick (89th overall) at the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, capped off a banner 2014-15 campaign by winning the WHL’s Player of the Year award, becoming just the second European player to ever capture the trophy.

(Past WHL POY winners include Sam Reinhart, Jordan Eberle, Karl Alzner, Dan Hamhuis and Jarome Iginla.)

The 20-year-old Dane scored a whopping 63 goals and 118 points in just 59 games this season. He also set some league history by scoring 50 goals in 50 games, becoming the first WHL player to accomplish the feat since Anaheim forward Emerson Etem did it for Medicine Hat in 2011-12.

Bjorkstrand participated with Columbus in training camp and the preseason before being returned to Portland, and also logged time with the Danish team at the 2015 World Juniors. There, he led the Danes to their first-ever win in tourney history, scoring five points in five games.

He’s currently participating with Denmark’s national team at the World Hockey Championships in the Czech Republic, and will (presumably) get a good look at cracking the Blue Jackets roster this fall.

‘They haven’t quit all year,’ says Getzlaf after Flames comeback OT win


The Calgary Flames still trail the favorite Anaheim Ducks in this second-round series. But a 2-1 deficit isn’t nearly as dire as 3-0, and the underdog Flames were facing the possibility of the latter scenario on Tuesday.

After getting crushed in the opener, and a loss in Game 2 despite an improved effort, it looked like the Flames might not even survive to extend the series to a fifth game. Then, in front of their home crowd in Game 3, the Flames conjured another thrilling comeback, defeating the Ducks in overtime.

Now, can they take it one step further and even the series in Game 4 on home ice Friday? Or can the Ducks, who lost for just the first time in these playoffs, regain the dominant form they showed in Game 1 and the first period of Game 2?

“We’re playing a good team. There’s no doubt about it,” said Ryan Getzlaf, as per a video on the Ducks’ Twitter account.

“They haven’t quit all year. We didn’t expect that. I didn’t think we played our best game tonight. We made some errors that are uncharacteristic but it’s bound to happen. You’re in the playoffs. It’s going to happen throughout the run.”