By Michael Walters
The Anaheim Ducks returned home from a five game Canadian road trip that saw the team go 3-1-1. All five games were close as they were all decided by one goal and three of them required overtime to determine the winner.
During the road trip, Anaheim sustained several injuries. David Perron, Kevin Bieksa, and Simon Despres were all injured on the road trip. Today Bruce Boudreau provided some minor updates on the players. Boudreau said that Despres was “coming along” and progressing. Bieksa went to see the doctors, but they did not have results yet.
The injuries are a concern as Anaheim is also missing Perron after he injured his shoulder in the game against Winnipeg. He has been declared as week-to-week by Boudreau without a set time to return. It looks like an update may be provided tomorrow or Thursday. The Ducks could still win the division as they trail Los Angeles by one point with a game in hand, but getting healthy is the main concern for Boudreau and the Ducks right now.
The good news for Anaheim is Chris Stewart returned in the game against the Ottawa Senators. Sami Vatanen also returned last night in the game last night versus Edmonton. If Anaheim can get back Perron, Bieksa, and Despres before the season ends, then they have a better chance to go deep in the playoffs. If Bieksa and/or Despres are unable to return soon, then look for Anaheim to use Shea Theodore down the stretch run. He has proven that he can play at the NHL regular season level. If he remains with Anaheim, then he may get a chance to experience the NHL playoffs for his first time.
Anaheim also sent Nick Ritchie back to San Diego today, which means Mike Santorelli may see more playing time until David Perron is able to return. Boudreau also played both Shawn Horcoff and Nate Thompson on the fourth line last night. They both could see more ice time as well.
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