Category Archives: Wholesale Ducks Jerseys

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WINNIPEG (AP) — Nikolaj Ehlers took on Anaheim captain Ryan Getzlaf in Winnipeg’s victory over the Ducks.

The 6-foot, 172-pound Ehlers, known for his quick feet, clashed with Getzlaf, who is 6x-foot-3 and 225 pounds. Both threw a couple punches in the brief, second-period bout.

“Out of character? This is my third fight now,” joked Ehlers, who’s in his fifth NHL season. “I’m a fighter. (Getzlaf) gave me a cross-check after I passed it and then, yeah, I think it was kind of a mutual thing. That’s the way it goes sometimes.”

Mark Scheifele scored twice, the second on a power play with 4:22 left for his 400th NHL point. He beat goalie John Gibson over the glove for his 13th of the season.

Jets captain Blake Wheeler called Ehlers a “sick man” for taking on Getzlaf.

“What a hell of a job by a little guy,” Wheeler said. “That dude has got some fire in his belly, for sure. That was pretty awesome.”

Jets coach Paul Maurice joked that he sent Ehlers over the boards to take on Getzlaf, then added the Danish player native better keep his gloves on to avoid injury.

“That was foolish, wasn’t it?” Maurice said. “But God bless him, don’t do it again. Ever.”

Adam Lowry also scored, Mathieu Perrault had two assists and Connor Hellebuyck made 31 saves. Winnipeg is 5-1-1 in its past seven games.

Jakob Silfverberg scored his team-leading 11th goal for the Ducks. Devin Shore had his first of the season and John Gibson made 30 saves. Anaheim is 1-3-1 in its last five games.

“I thought he was great,” Shore said about Gibson. “(The Jets) kind of had some pretty serious Grade A’s It’s no secret he’s one of the best in the world.”

NOTES: Gibson missed the past two games with an illness. … Winnipeg is 12-2-2 in one-goal games. … Nick Shore, picked up on waivers from Toronto on Wednesday, made his Winnipeg debut.

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ANAHEIM — The game was only 72 seconds old when Ducks goaltender John Gibson went down and couldn’t rise to his feet. He had absorbed a blistering shot to the body from the right wing, then gloved another from the left while lying in a prone position.

Athletic trainer Joe Huff hustled off the bench on his way to check on Gibson.

Ducks fans went silent. Would this be another one of those nights?

Gibson stayed in the game and made 26 saves for his first shutout of the season and the 19th of his career. Ryan Getzlaf and Cam Fowler each had a goal and an assist and the Ducks ended the New York Islanders’ 17-game point streak with a 3-0 victory Monday night at Honda Center.

After a harrowing start that included Gibson requiring medical attention, the Ducks rallied smartly. Getzlaf scored the only goal they would need on a scramble play midway through the second period, and Fowler and Ondrej Kase added insurance goals in the third.

The Ducks (11-11-3) limited the Islanders (16-4-2) to only 10 shots over the final two periods. New York’s Mathew Barzal went into the game with a team-leading nine goals and 20 points, but the Ducks held him without a shot. Barzal also was on the ice for all three Ducks goals.

“I thought we did OK against them,” Ducks coach Dallas Eakins said, understating the obvious. “Getting us through that first period, ‘Gibby’ was excellent. We got our feet underneath us and started to battle back. I was really proud of our guys with how they played and stuck with the game plan.”

Gibson set the tone early, turning away each of the 16 shots he faced in the first period. The Ducks, and especially Getzlaf, picked him up over the next two periods. Getzlaf was credited with a goal that New York’s Jordan Eberle tapped into his own net at 10:26 of the second.

Getzlaf then fed a trailing Fowler for a third-period goal that made it 2-0 at 13:13 of the final period. Fowler earned an assist on Ondrej Kase’s game-clinching goal only 71 seconds later, helping to end the Ducks’ three-game losing streak (0-2-1) and giving them only their second win in 10 games (2-5-3).

It was a statement game from Getzlaf, who called out the Ducks after Saturday’s 6-2 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning, when he said they “quit” after giving up the tiebreaking goal in the second period. Getzlaf was the best player on the ice Monday.

“That’s definitely the response we wanted,” said Getzlaf, the Ducks co-leader with nine goals. “We talked a little bit as a group and some things were said. It was necessary to respond as a group, and I thought we did a good job of that, playing 60 minutes.”

Above all, the Ducks improved as the game progressed, a departure from their losses to the Lightning on Saturday and to the Florida Panthers on Thursday, when they squandered a four-goal lead en route to a 5-4 overtime loss. On Monday, they took the Islanders’ best shot and kept skating.

“I just felt like we didn’t let up,” Getzlaf said. “Throughout the game, we sustained what we wanted to do. (There were) a lot less turnovers at their blue line. We kept the puck moving forward and we got rewarded for it. … Our ‘D’ did a great job tonight. Again, responding.

“That’s a big part of moving forward and building as a group, being able to take criticism.”

In the wake of the losing streak, Eakins shuffled his defense pairs Monday, teaming Hampus Lindholm with fellow Swede Jacob Larsson and Fowler with Erik Gudbranson while keeping Brendan Guhle and Korbinian Holzer together for the second consecutive game.

“Well, it’s obviously a great challenge,” Fowler said of blanking the Islanders. “They’re one of the hottest or the hottest team in the league, so easy game for us to get up for. We believe we can compete with anybody if we play consistently for 60 minutes, and we did that tonight.”

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — During an awfully sluggish start by Minnesota, the Anaheim Ducks took full advantage.

They capitalized on a finish by the Wild that left plenty to be desired, too.

Rickard Rickell and Max Comtois scored in the shootout, and the Ducks fended off the Wild 3-2 on Tuesday night for their first win in their last six road games.

“We’ve been in a lot of close games lately and coming out on top of this one, it’s a huge deal for us,” Rakell said. “Just the environment, the feeling in the room.”

Rakell and Cam Fowler scored for the Ducks in a dominant first period during which they had a 14-1 advantage in shots on goal and Minnesota lost center Eric Staal to an injury. Wild coach Bruce Boudreau, whose team started 3-7, declared that their worst 20 minutes of the season.

“It’s pretty embarrassing, and I told the guys that,” Boudreau said, adding: “Every time there was a competition for a puck, they came up with it.”

Ryan Hartman put the Wild on the board in the second. Ryan Donato tied the game early in third, when Zach Parise hustled behind the net to knock Ducks defenseman Josh Manson off the puck and set up his teammate in front of goalie John Gibson.

Donato had a breakaway early in overtime that Ryan Getzlaf thwarted with a tripping penalty, but the Wild failed to convert on the power play for the fifth time in the game and fell to 0 for 12 in their last four. The Ducks were even down a broken stick during the 4-on-3, but the Wild only put one shot on net.

“It doesn’t happen too often, but I think it’s something maybe we need to look at a little more to find our options a little bit,” Parise said.

Boudreau wouldn’t buy that.

“Yeah, we need to practice it more, but there are things that happen 10 times a night that you have to be better at,” he said. “It’s not like, quite frankly, there was a first-year player on the ice.”

Gibson, who is 6-3-1 in 11 career starts against Minnesota, denied Parise in the shootout. Kevin Fiala went wide right with his attempt.

“We showed a lot of character in the third. I think we could have pulled out the win in overtime, but we stuck with it,” Comtois said.

The Wild started a three-game homestand that is their longest to date this season, after playing 20 of their first 30 games on the road, the most in the NHL in that span in 14 years. They are 7-1-3 at Xcel Energy Center, giving them confidence in a continuation of their recent surge once the schedule begins to balance out. Until losing 6-2 at Carolina on Saturday, the Wild went 8-0-3 in their previous 11 games for the second-longest point streak in franchise history.

The Ducks, in their first season under coach Dallas Eakins, were 3-8-4 in their previous 15 games. Their latest setback was a knee injury Friday to left wing Nick Ritchie that could keep him out for two months or more, though Manson returned from a 19-game absence due to a knee injury.

After losing consecutive 3-2 games to league-leading Washington on Friday and at Winnipeg on Sunday, the Ducks seized the lead barely three minutes in. Jakob Silfverberg snagged a rebound from Wild goalie Kaapo Kahkonen and slipped it across the crease to Rackell for his ninth goal of the season. Then about seven minutes later on a power play, Fowler zipped a one-timer through traffic that Kahkonen, screened by Ducks center Adam Henrique, did not appear to see. The Wild have given up a power-play goal in nine of their last 10 games.

The evening began with a tribute to Wild captain Mikko Koivu for playing in his 1,000th career game on Dec. 1, pushing the faceoff back by about 10 minutes.

“These things can work for you and against you, when you have those ceremonies before the game,” Eakins said, adding: “Our guys were certainly ready to go.”

Staal, who’s tied for the team lead with 21 points, collided headfirst with linesman David Brisebois after chasing the puck along the boards and was down on the ice for a few minutes before slowly leaving with assistance for examination. The Wild were already missing three key players in Koivu, goalie Devan Dubnyk, and defenseman Jared Spurgeon.

NOTES: The Wild brought back former teammates Niklas Backstrom, Kyle Brodziak, Marian Gaborik and Nick Schultz for the ceremony as a surprise to the 36-year-old captain and center. Koivu’s parents, wife and three children were also on the ice as Gaborik, who leads Koivu by 16 goals on the franchise list, presented him the traditional silver stick. … Fowler tied Rakell and Marty McInnis for ninth place on the franchise list with 25 career power-play goals. … Rakell has six goals and six assists in his last 15 games. … Donato has four goals and one assist in his last eight games. … Wild rookie defenseman Brennan Menell made his NHL debut, with one blocked shot in 10:23 of ice time.

UP NEXT

Ducks: Return home to face Los Angeles on Thursday. Anaheim hosted its Southern California rival just 10 days ago, winning 4-2. The Kings are the only team behind the Ducks in the Western Conference standings.

Wild: Host Edmonton on Thursday. They beat the Oilers 3-0 at home on Oct. 22.

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UNIONDALE, NY — The Anaheim Ducks showed their resiliency in a back-and-forth game on the road against the New York Islanders.

Jakob Silfverberg scored in regulation and added the shootout winner in the Ducks’ 6-5 win over the Islanders on Saturday.

Adam Henrique had a goal and an assist, John Gibson made 28 saves as the Ducks snapped a two-game skid. Max Comtois, Sam Carrick and Cam Fowler also scored.

“We made the most of our opportunities,” Fowler said. “We had contributions from everyone up and down the lineup and when you can do that, it helps you win hockey games.”

Anders Lee, Brock Nelson and Mathew Barzal each had a goal and an assist while Semyon Varlamov made 23 saves as the Islanders fell for the second time in three games. Nick Leddy had a goal and two assists, and Jordan Eberle and Derick Brassardd each had two assists.

Ryan Pulock tied the score 5-5 when he blasted a slap shot past Gibson with 6:41 left in the third period. Leddy and Brassard assisted on the Islanders’ second power-play goal of the game.

Fowler scored a go-ahead goal midway through the third when his wrist shot sailed over Varlamov’s glove.

“It just felt like we would have a couple of good plays and then they would get one play and it would be in the back of the net,” Barzal said after the frustrating loss.

Varlamov started his second straight game, which was the first time the Islanders opened with the same goalie in consecutive games this season. It was the ninth longest streak in NHL history of a team alternating goalies.

Henrique scored for the second time in two games when he sneaked in front of Leddy at 5:25 of the middle period to give the Ducks a 3-2 lead. Michael Del Zotto and Korbinian Holzer collected assists on the play.

“We need full team efforts here, up and down the lineup,” Ducks coach Dallas Eakins said. “That’s a damn good hockey team over there. To be able to come into their rink and score five goals against a team that is that stingy, we’ll feel pretty good about that.”

Less than five minutes later, Barzal answered with the most entertaining goal of the high-scoring game at 9:20 of the second. Lee took advantage of Barzal’s speed and floated a perfect lead pass to help his teammate zip past the Ducks’ defenseman to tie the score at 3-3.

Lee ended his three-game goal drought with his 10th of the season to open the scoring. Barzal was able to drag defenseman Erik Gudbranson to his side of the ice before sliding the puck across to Lee at 1:50 of the first period. Eberle also assisted on the play.

Islanders defenseman Scott Mayfield was unable to block out Comtois before he tipped in Isac Lundestrom’s shot at 16:27 of the first period to tie it 1-1.

Carrick gave the Ducks a short-lived one-goal lead when he netted his first of the season at 17:03.

Nelson ended a back-and-forth first period with a power-play goal to even the score 2-2 just 47 seconds after Carrick’s goal. Pulock and Leddy assisted.

Leddy went on to add a goal of his own with 5:45 left in the second to give the Islanders a 4-3 lead. The smooth-skating defenseman slipped behind a Ducks defenseman and Nelson found Leddy all alone in the slot.

Silfverberg responded with a game-tying goal 26 seconds later. Henrique and Hampus Lindholm each recorded their second points of the game with assists.

“We are not thrilled with giving up five but to see five go in should give our guys a little bit of a boost moving forward,” Fowler said. “Then if we can really lock down defensively that’s when things will start to turn for us.”

NOTES: Before the game, Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello said Cal Clutterbuck will be out indefinitely after an operation on his wrist. The alternate captain suffered the injury against Boston this week when Patrice Bergeron’s skate inadvertently cut his wrist. … Barzal and Pulock skated in their 200th NHL game. … Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf missed the game with flu-like symptoms. ,,, Anaheim scratched D Jacob Larsson.

UP NEXT:

Islanders: Host Columbus on Monday night.

Ducks: At the New York Rangers on Sunday.

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Troy Loney won a pair of Stanley Cups with the Pittsburgh Penguins and played 12 NHL seasons before retiring in 1995.

Now, almost two decades later, he’s about to get into a different side of the hockey business.

Loney and his wife Aafke will be announced as partial owners of the Youngstown (Ohio) Phantoms junior hockey team on Thursday morning, a source familiar with the situation told City of Champions.
Troy Loney helped the Penguins to back-to-back Stanley Cups in 1991 and ’92. (Photo: Pittsburgh Penguins)

The Phantoms are in the midst of their fifth season in the United States Hockey League, which is considered the top-tier junior-level circuit in America. The USHL differentiates itself from the Canadian major-junior leagues (OHL, QMJHL, WHL) by allowing its players to maintain NCAA eligibility.

Phantom Fireworks founder Bruce Zoldan has served as owner and CEO of the Phantoms since their inception as a North American Hockey League franchise in 2003. The team stepped up to the USHL as an expansion team for the 2009-10 season, making Youngstown’s Covelli Centre its home.

According to the source, the Loneys will also take over day-to-day operations of the franchise, duties that have previously been under the control of Zoldan and his subordinates.

The Loneys’ Phantoms connection began in 2010, when their son Ty joined the team late in its first USHL campaign. Ty, now a junior forward at the University of Denver, played 71 games for Youngstown before moving on to college hockey.

Troy, 50, was selected by the Penguins in the third round of the 1982 NHL Draft. He went on to play 624 regular-season NHL games – 533 of which with Pittsburgh – scoring 197 points in the process. Loney played in every game of the 1991 and ’92 Stanley Cup playoffs, serving in a checking-line role as the Pens claimed back-to-back titles.

Loney was picked up by the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim in the 1993 expansion draft, then finished his playing career in 1995 with the Rangers and Islanders.

It’s on a much smaller scale, but Loney joins old Penguins teammate Mario Lemieux as players-turned-owners.

UPDATE (10:15 a.m.) – The Loneys met the Youngstown-area press Thursday morning at the Covelli Centre.

Troy alluded to the Penguins’ grassroots efforts in western Pennsylvania and the Tri-State Area in describing the possible impact of his family managing the Phantoms.

“The Penguins are very excited about this,” Troy said. “They’re looking to grow hockey in the surrounding area.”

The Phantoms are still seeking a new long-term lease with the Covelli Centre, but Troy reiterated that he and his wife intend to pour every effort into helping junior hockey stick in the Mahoning Valley region.

“I’m looking forward to a long-term partnership,” he said. “We’re committed to this town, and growing the fan base here.”

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If you’re looking for the biggest stories in the hockey world over the past decade, you’ll have to look beyond the ice. Far beyond it. While the 2010s produced some of the most eye-popping and dynamic talent the game has ever seen, much of what we’ll remember about it the most happened away from the rink. Here are the top stories of the past 10 years:

10. 2012-13 Lockout
For the third time in NHL history, a season was disrupted when the owners locked the players out after failing to reach a collective bargaining agreement. The NHL, as always, was the big winner in the standoff, reducing the players’ share of revenues from 57 to 50 percent, and eliminated the ridiculously front-loaded contracts. Deputy commissioner Bill Daly said five-year term limits was, “the hill we will die on,” and didn’t get it. The players failed to enshrine Olympic participation as part of the deal, which paved the way for the league to pull out of the 2018 Games against the players’ wishes.

9. Return of the Winnipeg Jets
When the NHL needed an NHL-ready landing spot for the Atlanta Thrashers in the summer of 2011, it chose Winnipeg, a market without an NHL team since the original Jets left for Phoenix 15 years prior. Since then, the Jets have built a model franchise, accumulating assets through the draft and doing a good job of convincing them to stay on the Prairies. There has not been a ton of on-ice success and, despite being picked by The Hockey News to win the Stanley Cup in 2019, lost in the first round of the playoffs.

8. Alex Ovechkin
No player has even come within the same area code of the 425 goals (through games of Dec. 21) scored in the decade. He scored 50 goals four times – and could be on his way to another 50-goal campaign this season – and picked up six Rocket Richard Trophies to go along with his Hart Trophy in 2012-13 and his Ted Lindsay Award in 2010. But it was in 2017-18 that Ovechkin finally realized his dream and proved to the hockey world that he could win when it mattered. Not only did the Capitals win the Cup in 2018, but they did it behind the inspired play of Ovechkin, who won the Conn Smythe Trophy. Could Ovechkin passing Wayne Gretzky for all-time goals be the story of the 2020s? It’s still a longshot, but it’s remarkable we’re even having the conversation.

7. The NHL’s gamble pays off
Aided by the most generous rules in expansion draft history, the Vegas Golden Knights put together the best first season of any team in professional sports. Five days before the Golden Knights played their first-ever game, a gunman opened fire on a crowd at a music festival, killing 58 people in the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. The franchise responded by reaching out to the victims and their families as well as the first responders. The ‘Golden Misfits’ won six of their first seven home games and crafted an unbelievable season that culminated in a berth in the Stanley Cup final.

6. Blackhawks Up
After decades of languishing as one of the league’s most moribund and neglected franchises, the Chicago Blackhawks won their first Stanley Cup in 49 years in 2010, starting a run that qualifies them as a modern-day dynasty. They followed that up with Cups in 2013 and 2015 and sold out every one of their home games in the decade (as of Dec. 22). The end of the decade brought the predictable ebb in fortunes that comes after a team has a run of success, but there more than two dozen franchises in the NHL that would trade this decade with the Blackhawks in a heartbeat.

5. Connor McSavior
He first entered the consciousness of the hockey world while playing minor hockey in Toronto and even before he played a game with the Erie Otters as an exceptional player, Connor McDavid was being labeled a generational talent. And so far in his NHL career he has done nothing to suggest the label was overhyped. If anything, perhaps the hype wasn’t even large enough. The NHL has never, ever seen a player with the gifts McDavid has. By the end of the decade, McDavid had established himself as the best player in the world. The only thing that has eluded him is playoff success. That should come in the next decade as the Edmonton Oilers, after so many attempts, finally look as though they’re starting to get it right.

4. Sid’s golden goal
Prior to the 2010 Winter Olympics, the game had never been played at a higher level than the 1987 Canada Cup when Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux performed their magic. From start to finish, the 2010 tournament was a spectacular display of the game at its best, on the biggest stage in the world. And it was capped off by an overtime goal by a 22-year-old Sidney Crosby at 7:40 of the extra frame. Down by two goals in the second period, Team USA fought back, tying the score with just 24.4 seconds remaining. It was the most-watched hockey game in the U.S. since the Miracle on Ice in 1980 and half of Canada watched the game in its entirety.

3. Matt Cooke and Rule 48
In a game on March 7, 2010 in a game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Boston Bruins, Cooke delivered a blow to the head of Marc Savard that knocked Savard out of the lineup for two months. And the hit was perfectly legal at the time. Responding to outrage that Cooke had not been suspended, within 17 days the league did something almost unprecedented, invoking an in-season rule. This one was Rule 48, and while it came short of invoking a complete ban on blows to the head, it did begin to seriously penalize hits such as the one Cooke put on Savard.

2. Concussions, premature deaths and CTE
The NHL lost former enforcers Derek Boogaard, Wade Belak, Rick Rypien and Todd Ewen, all of whom took their own lives. The deaths brought to light the role of enforcers in the game and how the league dealt with the health problems brought on by repeated concussions. It ultimately led to a concussion lawsuit on behalf of more than 300 former players. The two sides settled six years after the lawsuit was launched, with plaintiffs receiving up to $22,000 and up to $75,000 worth of treatment. To this day, commissioner Gary Bettman has dismissed a direct link between concussions and Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, a disorder that can only be diagnosed after death.

1. Humboldt Broncos bus crash
On the afternoon of April 6, 2018, 13 people were killed and another 16 injured when a semi-trailer truck collided with a bus carrying the Humboldt Broncos to a playoff game in nearby Nipawin. The worst tragedy in Canadian sports history rocked the hockey world to its core. A GoFundMe campaign raised a record $15 million for the families of the dead and injured. The driver of the truck was charged with 16 counts of dangerous driving causing death and 13 counts of dangerous driving causing bodily harm and received concurrent sentences of eight years. The families have lobbied for stricter guidelines around training and governing truck drivers and installing seatbelts on buses, but change has been slow.

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Chuck Fletcher was somewhat judicious and reticent when asked for his thoughts on the NHL Department of Player Safety’s three-game suspension given to Joel Farabee.

Alain Vigneault did not hold back.

Farabee, a 19-year-old rookie, was handed a game misconduct for interference on Mathieu Perreault during the Flyers’ 7-3 defeat last Sunday to the Jets. Moments before he delivered his hard hit, Farabee was crosschecked from behind in front of Winnipeg’s net. His check came after Perreault passed the puck up the boards.

During the Flyers’ 4-3 win over the Senators on Dec. 7, Travis Konecny was drilled in open ice by 30-year-old Mark Borowiecki, a player with a history of suspensions. No penalty was called on the play and Borowiecki did not receive supplemental discipline.

Vigneault was left confounded after comparing both hits. When asked Tuesday if he was surprised by the number of games the NHL handed down on Farabee, the Flyers’ head coach said bluntly: “Yes.”

And he explained why:

“Initially on that play, if you watch it and if you listen to the explanation of the NHL, they say [Farabee] was pushed from behind. He was crosschecked from behind,” Vigneault said. “It should have been a penalty, we should have been going on the power play. The time between the puck being passed and the hit I think is 1.34 seconds, which is late. But T.K.’s one just a few days before that was 1.04. There’s .3-something seconds difference. One is nothing, one is a three-game suspension to a young man that has no history.

“Sometimes things are hard to figure out. You’ve just got to roll with it and deal with it. That’s the best explanation that I can give you.”

The Flyers, who were already undermanned at forward because of injuries, will miss Farabee all week — Tuesday vs. the Ducks (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP), Thursday vs. the Sabres (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP) and Saturday at the Senators (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP+).

“I’ve been in this game a long time, I’m not meaning this to sound flippant or anything, I don’t have an opinion. I don’t know,” Fletcher said. “[Head of the NHL Department of Player Safety George Parros] and his staff work hard, they look at these things and have the experience to know previous hits. I don’t spend the time to the level he does to really comment. Obviously it’s a blow for us. If anything, I think this road trip showed how competitive [Farabee] is. Certainly might be as competitive a hockey player as we have — a 175-pound 19-year-old kid.

“He certainly earned the respect of everybody in that room and from us. … That’s a blow for us to lose him for three games, but that’s hockey.”

On Tuesday night, the Flyers will at least see the return of Konecny, who missed the club’s 0-3-0 road trip with a concussion suffered on the hit from Borowiecki.

“I had the puck on my stick and he hit me,” Konecny, the Flyers’ leading scorer, said. “I wasn’t watching, I should know who’s on the ice at all times, you know that he’s definitely a player that’s going to take advantage of guys not looking. It’s my fault, I didn’t have my head up.

“Joel’s hit, it’s tough, it’s the NHL’s decision to make those calls. I feel like those two hits were a little different. I can’t really compare them.”

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Frederik Andersen is a stabilizing anchor for the Toronto Maple Leafs. His composed demeanor and style of goaltending have been major contributors to his impressive consistency.

Since joining the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2016, Andersen has posted a save percentage between .917% and .920% every season. He also currently leads the NHL in wins, earning 18 of the Leafs 19 wins to date.

Truthfully though, goaltending performance is notoriously difficult to evaluate. Sv% and GAA statistics are inseparable from a team’s defensive effectiveness.

A strong goalie on a poor defensive team can have identical numbers to a weak goalie on a strong defensive team. So how can Frederik Andersen be accurately evaluated?
Rising Above Expectations

Expected save percentage (xSv%) measures the quality of shots that a goalie faces.

Strong defensive teams may have a xSv% as high as .920% (i.e. forcing low quality shots) while weaker defensive teams can have a xSv% as low as .905% (i.e. allowing high quality shots).

Frederik Andersen’s actual Sv% is often well above his xSv%, showing that he is in fact a strong goaltender. Since joining the Leafs, the difference between Andersen’s Sv% (.918) and xSv% (.911) ranks 5th among NHL goaltenders who average 35+ games/year.

Translating that into goals saved, Andersen’s total Goals Saved Above Average is 46, 3rd in the NHL over that time, behind only Sergei Bobrovsky and John Gibson.

From those numbers over the past four seasons, Andersen has a strong argument as a top-5 goaltender in the NHL. However, Andersen currently has even greater value to the Toronto Maple Leafs than his numbers suggest.

That is because the Leafs backup goaltender, Michael Hutchinson, has the 2nd worst differential between his Sv% (.894) and xSv% (.912) among all goalies that have played 40+ games over the past four seasons.

Hutchinson’s -38 Goals Saved Above Average/82 games is far below average goaltending, especially in comparison to Andersen’s +17.1 Goals Saved Above Average/82 games.

These statistics support the notion that the Leafs are highly dependent on Frederik Andersen.

That trend will likely continue until the team finds a solution to their backup goaltending issues, as the Leafs have only received a single win from backup goaltenders this season.

The Leafs are likely exploring backup goaltending options around the NHL, as the price for solid goaltending is surprisingly low in today’s NHL. Louis Domingue and James Reimer have both been traded this season, yielding returns of only 7th and 6th round picks, respectively.

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A virus swept through the Ducks’ dressing room, leaving team captain Ryan Getzlaf in such rough shape that coach Dallas Eakins kicked him off the ice during Friday’s practice at Prudential Center. Getzlaf’s availability for Saturday’s game against the New York Islanders was uncertain.

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It could create a difficult challenge for the Ducks when they face one of the NHL’s top teams.

Or it could create an opportunity for one of their young players.

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The Ducks didn’t recall Isac Lundestrom from their AHL team in San Diego to sit in the press box munching popcorn while his teammates actually play the games. They summoned Lundestrom, a 20-year-old rookie center, to the NHL to learn, to grow, to contribute and to play a vital role.

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“Lundestrom has been really solid down there,” Eakins said of his play in San Diego, where he’s had nine points (two goals, seven assists) in 21 games. “He’s played well. I thought he was one of our better forwards, if not our two or three best forwards the other night.”

Eakins referred to the Ducks’ 3-1 loss Wednesday to the New Jersey Devils. Lundestrom played 18:37 after playing Tuesday for the Gulls in a shootout loss to Grand Rapids in San Diego, then awaking early to fly cross country to join the Ducks only a few hours before they faced the Devils.

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Lundestrom skated with fellow Swedes Rickard Rakell and Jakob Silfverberg to start Wednesday’s game and was credited with two shots, one that was on target and one that was blocked. Lundestrom won five of nine faceoffs (56 percent).

“His first look this time around has been a very favorable one,” Eakins said. “Again, (Friday) in practice, really, really good. He’s detailed. He’s competitive. He was executing. So, he’s earning everything he’s getting right now. This isn’t just a given.”

No question, Lundestrom and Max Jones, a 21-year-old left wing, might be with Gulls rather than with the Ducks if not for injuries to right wing Troy Terry and center Derek Grant earlier this week. The Ducks needed help and Lundestrom and Jones were recalled from San Diego.

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Terry, 22, is another young player who had earned a significant role with the Ducks. He’s expected to be sidelined for up to 10 weeks after breaking his fibula right below his right kneecap following a knee-to-knee hit from Nicolas Aube-Kubel of the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday.

Lundestrom played 15 games with the Ducks last season, after they selected him on the first round of the 2018 draft (23rd overall). He also played 12 games with the Gulls before returning to play with Lulea in his native Sweden, then returning to play seven games in the AHL playoffs.

Eakins certainly was impressed during his limited time with Lundestrom in San Diego. Eakins coached the Gulls for four seasons before the Ducks hired him to be their coach, after Randy Carlyle was fired last February and general manager Bob Murray assumed the coaching duties himself.

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“As much as we would have liked to have had him in San Diego or with the Ducks last year, he did go play in a man’s league,” Eakins said of Lundestrom’s decision to play in Sweden last season. “That Swedish league isn’t some kids’ league. It’s a very, very good league.

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What does Eakins like most about Lundestrom?
“He’s got really good habits,” Eakins said. “Like, real good pro habits. Sometimes it takes guys a while to develop that when they’re that age. He already has them. To me, the good pros are the ones who come in every day and they do everything that’s been required and then do more.

“Take practice, it’s not just, ‘OK, I’m out here practicing,’” Eakins said. “There’s a compete level. There’s an execution level that not only are we looking for, but the player has his own standards, as well. We can ask, we can push, we can pull as a staff, but it always comes down to what are your standards? What are your self-imposed standards?

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“His standards are high.”

The New Jersey Devils are one of the worst teams in the league, both from a standings perspective and a shot metrics perspective. What many believed was the team that won the offseason last summer have now fired their coach they extended last year and have traded their best player, Taylor Hall, to the Arizona Coyotes. It makes sense that, given the good overall play of the Anaheim Ducks in recent weeks, that the Ducks should win this game.

I’m here to tell you that dreams are meaningless and wins in hockey are apparently a myth.

The Ducks dropped the second game of their back-to-back last night by a score of 3-1. While they weren’t as dominant as they were in Philadelphia the night before, they certainly played a better game than the Devils did. Unfortunately, the continuing theme of not being able to finish their chances and isolated defensive and goaltending lapses meant that Anaheim wasn’t able to turn the run of play into a win.

Before the game, fans received news that Troy Terry would be out with a broken bone below the kneecap for 10 weeks, Derek Grant (somehow the Ducks’ 5th leading scorer) would miss 4-6 weeks with a shoulder injury, and Jacob Larsson would be day-to-day with an undisclosed upper body injury. While the loss of these players certainly hurts, they’re not exactly the difference between the lottery and playoffs.

The only Ducks goal of the game came on a perfectly executed 2 on 0 rush from a completely blown breakout by the Devils. Ondrej Kase got in on goaltender McKenzie Blackwood and fed a perfect cross ice pass to Adam Henrique who one-timed it into the open net, giving Anaheim a 1-0 lead in the first period.

That would be it for the offense, however, as the second period saw Michael Del Zotto cause a turnover for Jesper Bratt who delivered it to former first overall pick Nico Hischier streaking towards the net for the goal and the 1-1 tie game.

The Devils took the lead later in the period when former Duck Kyle Palmieri pulled it in and used Fowler as a screen while taking advantage of Miller being off his angle. While Miller didn’t see the puck, that’s a goal he probably wasn’t thrilled about, as a shot from the circles at that distance should be covered by proper positioning.

The Devils put the nail in the coffin in the third period on a goal from none other than Sami Vatanen in a night where all but one of the goal scorers for both sides formerly played for their opponent. Vatanen’s point shot deflected off of Korbinian Holzer and past Miller, essentially icing the game for the Ducks.

Up next: The Ducks continue their road trip against the New York Islanders at 10 AM PST on Saturday.