By Kyle Shohara
Pictures from Practice
It was an optional practice on this rain-soaked Tuesday afternoon at Honda Center, with just nine players taking part in the on-ice session. Those included Igor Bobkov (recently called up from Norfolk), Rene Bourque, Mat Clark, Mark Fistric, Tim Jackman, Patrick Maroon, Kyle Palmieri, Devante Smith-Pelly and Clayton Stoner.
With all the injuries surrounding this team, a ray of sunshine emerged as Ducks head coach Bruce Boudreau gave a positive update regarding defensemen Fistric and Stoner.
“They worked pretty hard today, so they should be getting closer and closer,” he said.
Asked if either (or both) of them are options tomorrow night vs. Philadelphia, Boudreau said, “It’s an outside possibility. You never know. They could play. I haven’t talked to them since they got off the ice, and I’m sure I will before we leave.”
Fistric injured his lower back on Oct. 30 at St. Louis and hasn’t played since. To add insult to injury, he took an errant puck to the mouth during a recent practice. He wore a full clear shield yesterday and upgraded to a visor and lower-jaw protector today.
“It’s been a battle and a rough start to the year, but it feels good to be out there and feeling 100 percent again,” said Fistric. “I’ve worked hard getting myself healthy. I’ve caught a few bad breaks along the way, but hopefully that’s all behind me so I can move forward.”
Stoner was also on the ice and the big defenseman says he’s nearing a return. “Today was a good day,” he said. “I had a lot more energy on the ice. I’m hoping tomorrow is the same and go from there. No final decisions on tomorrow, but things are going in the right direction.”
Stoner was the latest Ducks player to go down with the mumps. After dealing with mumps-like symptoms, Stoner was officially diagnosed with the virus on Friday and was placed on injured reserve.
UPDATES ON BREWER, VATANEN
Boudreau says defenseman Eric Brewer will undergo tests today on his undisclosed injury, but won’t know the extent of the ailment until sometime tomorrow.
As for Sami Vatanen, Boudreau says the club’s top defensive scorer will be ready tomorrow. Vatanen left last night’s game with an undisclosed injury halfway through the third period and did not return.
Boudreau labeled today’s practice as more of a “maintenance day” for a lot of the players, Vatanen included.