Anaheim Ducks

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Adam Henrique leading Ducks’ charge towards playoffs

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If the Anaheim Ducks brought back the Flying V, Adam Henrique would be spearheading it at the moment.

This isn’t the early 90s, however, so leading the Ducks’ charge as they plot their assault on a playoff spot will have to do.

Fans are unlikely to complain too much.

Indeed, Henrique has been an integral part of the late-blooming Ducks team that is finding its stride after dealing with extensive injuries that decimated its lineup early in the season.

Henrique was brought in via trade in late November to stem the bleeding and stabilize the Ducks down the middle, who were missing Ryan Getzlaf and Ryan Kesler at the same time.

The move proved useful at the time and the Ducks didn’t fall directly off a cliff.

Speaking with NHL.com’s Amalie Benjamin, Randy Carlyle said Henrique came not a moment too soon.

“We were in dire need of what he brought and the position he played,” coach Randy Carlyle said. “Obviously we had some key personnel out with Kesler and Getzlaf not in our lineup, and Henrique came in and filled that void for us for an extended period of time.

“I think for anybody it’s a win-win. When that happens usually your team feels good about the acquisition of the player and the player feels good about the place he’s put into and the position he’s played into and the role that he gets. Usually if you’re having success personally that usually bodes well for your team.”

Now, with Getzlaf and Kesler back to full health, the move looks even more beneficial.

The Ducks have a solid spine at the moment, and Henrique is producing at a torrid pace with six goals in his past six games, part of a six-game point streak that matches a career-best.

Henrique has 11 goals in 25 games with Anaheim.

Henrique’s success has evidently helped in the win column. The Ducks have won three straight and they ended the Boston Bruins’ 18-game point streak on Thursday, just to further cement their intentions.

And now the Ducks are tied on 59 points with both the San Jose Sharks, losers of their past two, and the Los Angeles Kings, who have three wins in their past 10 games.

For now, Anaheim sits outside of a playoff berth on tiebreakers. A slip up by either team ahead of them could propel the Ducks into second place in the division,

Given their recent success and the recent woes of those around them not called the Vegas Golden Knights, and it appears the Ducks are just beginning to take flight, with Henrique and Co. looking to land mid-April in the playoffs.


Scott Billeck is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @scottbilleck

Ducks’ Andrew Cogliano set to play in 800th consecutive NHL game

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When Andrew Cogliano steps on to the SAP Center ice Saturday night he’ll hit a milestone that only three other NHL players have reached in the 100-year history of the league.

That feat will be joining Steve Larmer, Garry Unger and Doug Jarvis by playing in his 800th consecutive game.

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The 30-year-old forward isn’t one to talk about the streak much, which started when broke into the league at age 20. In today’s game, even as players take care of their bodies in ways better than before, it’s quite amazing Cogliano has avoided injury that would cause him to sit out at least one game. The other thing, as he told the Orange County Register’s Eric Stephens, is that no coach in his 11-season career has decided he needed to spend a night as a healthy scratch.

“I think as I keep playing I hope that continues,” he said. “I just wanted to be someone who is a guy that the coaches want in because they think you’re helping the team.”

The way Cogliano takes care of his body has always amazed teammates. It helped that growing up his mother was a fitness instructor, emphasizing being active and eating healthy. When he reached the NHL, he began training with Matt Nichol, the creator of BioSteel and trainer of numerous athletes. These days he works with Andy O’Brien, Director of Sport Science and Performance for the Pittsburgh Penguins.

“You can really look at a guy like him and learn a lot in terms of how he prepares for games, how he prepares for the summer, what he puts into his body, the rest that he gets,” said former teammate Sam Gagner. “I don’t think there’s anybody that’s a better pro in the league. You look up to Cogs for what he’s been able to accomplish and hopefully he keeps going on for a long, long time.”

As Cogliano told me last year, it was those early days with the Edmonton Oilers, being around veterans like Shawn Horcoff, Steve Staios, Jarret Stoll and Ethan Moreau, that opened his eyes to just what it takes to last in this league. That early education could pay off with a remarkable record.

If Cogliano, an unrestricted free agent this summer, continues his streak, he’ll pass Jarvis during game No. 15 of the 2019-20 NHL season.

“I think if it wasn’t for me being in Edmonton maybe I wouldn’t be how I am now,” he said.

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.