Ducks Radio Analyst
The Ducks arrived in Vancouver late this morning with plans for top-line center Ryan Getzlaf
to make his 2009 preseason debut tonight against the Canucks at GM Place.
Getzlaf, who tied for sixth in NHL scoring with 91 points, including 25 goals, last season, sat out the club’s training-camp scrimmages and the opening five exhibition games while continuing his recovery from offseason sports hernia surgery.
Getzlaf was among a majority of Ducks players who went straight to the team hotel for a quick off-ice workout, meal and afternoon of rest, while a handful of other players not expected to play tonight stopped off at GM Place to skate.
The itinerary that calls for games tonight in Vancouver and Friday night in San Jose did not allow for a traditional morning skate because the Ducks left Los Angeles early this morning.
“I think when we’ve put in the workload that we’ve applied here with our group in the last couple of days, it might be an advantage not to skate,” Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said. “As long as we’re ready to go when the puck drops …”
Had it been a regular season game, the Ducks would have traveled to Vancouver on Wednesday.
“In the real world, we’d (have a morning) skate, but it’s preseason,” Carlyle said. “These are situations that it makes more sense financially to not add that burden at this point.”
Getzlaf is expected to skate in his usual spot between wingers Corey Perry
and Bobby Ryan
, while erstwhile center Andrew Ebbett is likely to team with center Saku Koivu
and Teemu Selanne
on the second line. Winger Joffrey Lupul, who had been skating alongside Koivu and Selanne, has been bothered by a stiff back and is not expected to play.
Versatile forward Erik Christensen, who has yet to make a pre-season appearance while rehabilitating from major shoulder surgery, is not expected to play against the Canucks.