Today the Anaheim Ducks hit the ice at Honda Center for team practice in preparation for game one on Friday against the Nashville Predators. The only players not on ice today were Brandon Pirri(Upper Body) and Clayton Stoner(Upper Body).
Here are the line rushes today per Eric Stephens of the OC Register.
The good news for Anaheim is that Perron and Rakell both were out there today on the ice. It was revealed today that Rakell had a ruptured appendix, which required Rickard to be in the hospital for six days. He also lost weight as a result. Both Perron and Rakell did refrain from saying whether or not they will be playing on Friday. Typical responses given it’s the playoffs. Teams and players alike want to keep every advantage they can against their opponent.
One strength for Anaheim is the depth they have at the forward/center position. They are able to roll out five lines today and are still missing Brandon Pirri. I did talk to Eric about Brandon Pirri‘s status today. He said Pirri was in workout attire and was working on stick handling off ice today. It appears he may not be ready for Friday’s contest.
On the defensive side of the puck, it’s good to see Bieksa and Vatanen skating today. Vatanen appears to be all systems go for Friday, whereas Bieksa’s status has not been determined yet. Based on GM Bob Murray‘s comments yesterday Bieksa and Pirri seem to be the two that could be most in doubt for Friday. Clayton Stoner was not out there and could be in doubt too, but the Ducks have plenty of depth on defense and will be able to field a winning defensive corp. Both goalies were on ice today as well.
Ducks and Predators renew their rivalry
In the 2010-11 playoffs these two teams met. After four games the series was tied at two games apiece. The Ducks had scored 15 times and the Predators had 14 goals of their own in those four contests. In game five, the Ducks held a 3-2 advantage late in the game. Nashville tied the game in the final minute on a goal by Shea Weber and won that game in overtime. They went on to win the series in six games. The rivalry may not be as intense as playing Los Angeles or San Jose, but Anaheim’s veterans remember that series and would love to knock Nashville out to start the 2016 playoffs.
Tomorrow I will have a series preview breaking down each team and who I feel is favored in each category. If you want a sample size preview of the series, then listen to Eddy Jones and I talk about it on our latest podcast by clicking below.
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