Ducks put Heatley back on injured reserve


Dany Heatley has been shelved. Again.

On Friday, the Ducks announced that the veteran forward — who’s appeared in just four games this season — has been placed on injured reserve with what, according to the O.C. Register, looks to be an aggravated groin ailment.

Heatley, who signed a one-year, $1 million deal with the Ducks this summer, opened the season on IR with a groin problem and proceeded to miss the club’s first nine games of the season. He played in two games after being activated, then was briefly removed from the lineup, then re-inserted for a pair of games (against the Isles and Canucks) before getting dropped again for Wednesday’s 6-5 shootout win over the Kings.

The 33-year-old went scoreless in the four games he appeared in, posting a minus-2 rating while averaging 11:51 TOI per.

Streaking Jets can match Thrashers’ record points streak tonight


The book of “Famous Atlanta Thrashers Moments” isn’t all that thick, but one of the team’s most memorable stretches could be matched tonight in Montreal.

The Winnipeg Jets — who haven’t lost in regulation since Oct. 24 — are 6-0-2 in their last eight, no small feat for an organization that doesn’t have much of a winning history.

More, from the Free Press:

The Winnipeg Jets are one game from matching a franchise record for consecutive games with at least a point.

If they can get something out of Tuesday night’s affair at Bell Centre against the Montreal Canadiens, it will equal the 2005-06 Atlanta Thrashers 6-0-3 streak.

Winnipeg is currently 6-0-2 in its last eight games, coming off Saturday night’s 2-1 shootout win in Ottawa.

“Sure, anytime you can pass a franchise record, you’re doing something right,” Jets centre Jim Slater said after the team’s practice today at Bell Centre. Slater was an NHL rookie on the Thrashers team that set the bar at nine games.

“I do remember that stretch, we had a lot of good players on that team, a lot of old players and just remembering back in those days, we prepared the right way for these games.”

Some quick facts about the 2005-06 Thrashers:

— They finished 41-33-8 (90 points) and, despite missing the playoffs, are the second-most successful team in franchise history.

— There were 13 NHLers that scored at least 90 points that year, and three of ’em played for Atlanta: Ilya Kovalchuk (98 points), Marc Savard (97) and Marian Hossa (92). Ottawa also had three: Daniel Alfredsson, Dany Heatley and Jason Spezza.

— The oldest player on the roster that year was current Montreal assistant GM Scott Mellanby (39); the youngest was a 20-year-old defenseman by the name of Braydon Coburn.

As that second fact suggests, there’s not much in common between those Thrashers and these Jets. Winnipeg has been a defensive fortress during its points streak, giving up just 10 goals in their eight games while scoring 14.

The Thrashers, meanwhile, outscored opponents 34-24 over their stretch.

Ducks’ Heatley, Allen take step towards return

The Anaheim Ducks got some good news on Monday when forward Dany Heatley (groin) and defenseman Bryan Allen (lower body) were able to take part in the team’s practice. Both players have been forced to miss Anaheim’s opening six games.

“It was a good first step skating with everyone,” Allen said, per the team’s website. “It wasn’t too intense. It’s always tough when you get hurt, and skating by yourself can be some long days. It’s nice to be back out there with everyone.”

That being said, Allen is erring on the side of caution to try to avoid a setback.

This was also a significant step forward for Heatley. He had a lot to prove when he agreed to a one-year, $1 million contract with the Ducks following a steep decline in production over his tenure with Minnesota. Anaheim looked like it might be a good fit for him though as there was talk of pairing him up with Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry.

Heatley hopes to return “soon.” The Ducks will play against Buffalo on Wednesday.

Ducks taking cautious route regarding Heatley’s return

When the Anaheim Ducks signed Dany Heatley, the ideal scenario would be that the faded star would rekindle his scoring touch thanks to all the room provided by Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry. Unfortunately, the reality of the situation is that it’s still unknown when he’ll even debut in the 2014-15 regular season.

The Orange County Register reports that Heatley is hoping to return from his groin injury “sooner rather than later,” one of the few phrases more frustrating than “day-to-day.”

“It’s been getting better,” Heatley said. “Hopefully one day, I’m just going to wake up and be ready to go.”

The Los Angeles Times reported earlier this week that the timetable for his return is expected to be around Oct. 26 (against San Jose), but it sounds like Heatley and the Ducks are practicing due diligence. Both sides seem to lean toward getting him back at full strength rather than risking re-injury, as head coach Bruce Boudreau noted on Saturday.

“I’m aiming for him to come back when he’s ready,” Boudreau told the OC Register. “We haven’t been playing the game of, ‘Oh geez, it would be nice for the Buffalo game or nice for any game. When he’s ready to play, he’ll come back.

“I’m sure he’s dying … chomping at the bit but he’s not ready. So if he’s not ready, we don’t want to re-hurt you.”

So far, Getzlaf and Perry have lined up most frequently with Matt Beleskey (three goals in five games played) and Patrick Maroon (three assists in three games), according to Left Wing Lock.

Those numbers aren’t bad, really; besides, the Ducks’ 4-1-0 record indicates that they aren’t hurting too badly without Heatley.

More than anything else, the Ducks might just want to know what they have in the winger. Will he be someone who can help them break through in the playoffs are will he be a healthy scratch like he was in Minnesota? The sooner he can get on the ice and start providing Bruce Boudreau & Co. with a sample size of games to work with, the sooner they’ll know if they need to keep searching for other answers.

Heatley (groin) expected to make Ducks debut in two weeks


Dany Heatley’s first game in an Anaheim Ducks uniform might not take place until the club’s eighth game of the season.

Heatley, who inked a one-year, $1M pact with the Ducks this summer, is “expected” to get back in the lineup in two weeks when Anaheim hosts San Jose on Oct. 26, per the L.A. Times.

The former 50-goal scorer has been sidelined with a groin injury since Sept. 28 and opened the regular season on injured reserve. Boudreau said Heatley is back in Anaheim skating while the Ducks are in the midst of a four-game road trip to begin the season.

Should Heatley get back in the lineup on the 26th, he’ll make his Ducks debut while facing one of his former clubs. Heatley spent two seasons in San Jose from 2009-11, scoring 65 goals in 164 regular-season games.