The positive vibes were evident today at THE RINKS - Anaheim ICE.
After breaking out for six goals and a much-needed two points, the Ducks hit the ice for a short yet spirited practice, the last in Southern California before the team leaves for its upcoming eight-day, four-game East Coast road trip. There were the battle drills typical of a Randy Carlyle practice, but the team ended with a lighthearted game to close the 45-minute session.
LISTEN: Kevin Bieksa goes one-on-one with Josh Manson
"We just needed a win," left wing Andrew Cogliano said. "We needed to get going and feel good leaving for the road."
For an offense that scored just five goals in the previous games - and none at even-strength in two consecutive defeats - last night's outburst was welcomed.
"We know we're not going to score six goals every night," defenseman Jaycob Megna said. "It's nice to have a little outburst after not producing the way we wanted to start the season. It's a good confidence boost for us, and we're looking to carry it forward."
Lost in the goals - a significant milestone for the Megna, who recorded his first NHL point, an assist, on Dennis Rasmussen's opening goal. The rookie defenseman, who beat out a talented group of young blueliners to break camp with the Ducks, played four straight games, seeing a steady increase in minutes.
"It was nice to get that point," he said. "I'm not a guy who puts up a lot of points, so when you get one, it's definitely memorable. It was definitely exciting being my first."
No Updates on Fowler
One step forward, one step backward in the injury department for the Ducks.
As Ryan Getzlaf, Hampus Lindholm and Sami Vatanen all skated today for Anaheim, defenseman Cam Fowler underwent further testing on his lower-body injury. The defenseman fell awkwardly near the boards at the end of the first period, needing help off the ice.
He had an MRI scheduled for today; one the team hopes will provide further clarity. Head coach Randy Carlyle remained positive about the injury and the timetable for recovery.
"We don't try to look at (worse case) scenarios, especially from the standpoint of a player's health," he said following practice. "We have good medical people and capable trainers here that have found ways to get people back the right way. That's the next stage."
Missing Fowler for any length of time will be a blow to the Ducks. The blueliner is currently second on the team in time on ice (24:43) and operates as the team's top power-play quarterback. He's also among the leaders in shorthanded time on ice, and served as an alternate captain with Ryan Kesler out with injury.
"It was a terrible thing to see," Megna said. "He's our leader back there on the blueline. You hate to see anybody go down, especially him. I don't think it's a void one guy can fill. We all need to step up, like we did last night, and continue to help piece together those minutes he normally gives us."
"You feel for the guy, because you know how big a part of the team he is, how good of a guy and how good of a player he is," Cogliano said.
Injuries are nothing new to the Ducks, who continue to play without several key pieces. Losing another puts the pressure on others to step up.
"It's a tough pill to swallow, but it's the way it's been going so far," defenseman Brandon Montour said. "There's an opportunity for the young guys or other guys to play minutes. Guys are capable of doing it, and we're up for the challenge."