The Anaheim Ducks are set to play eight of their next 11 games away from the friendly confines of the Honda Center, but will have a slew of lineup reinforcements to help them get through the stretch.
James Wisniewski, acquired at the trade deadline, is expected to make his team debut on Monday in Vancouver while three other key pieces — defensemen Sami Vatanen and Korbinian Holzer, forward Matt Beleskey — will travel with the team as well.
Vatanen told the L.A. Times he’s been practicing “with no pain,” adding that “I should be coming back soon.” Holzer, who was also acquired at the deadline — largely for depth purposes — was practicing on a pair with Cam Fowler on Sunday and, like Wisniewski, appears ready to make his Ducks debut soon, if not on Monday in Vancouver.
Beleskey, meanwhile, has yet to be cleared for contact, so his return could be a little ways off.
As for Anaheim’s upcoming schedule… well, it’s a tough one. The club will play tonight in Vancouver, Wednesday in Calgary and Friday in Minnesota before returning to Orange County for a three-game homestand against the Preds, Kings and Avalanche.
From there, the Ducks head out on another roadie to close out the month — a five-game swing out east through New York (Rangers), Columbus, Boston, New York (Islanders) and New Jersey. The Ducks will play five games in eight nights on that trip.
The additions most will be keen to see are Wisniewski and Vatanen, who should add major firepower to a Ducks power play that currently ranks 23rd in the NHL. Seventeen of Vatanen’s 34 points on the year have come with the man advantage, while 14 of Wisniewski’s 29 have also come on the PP.