By Kyle Shohara
Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau scheduled an optional practice this afternoon at THE RINKS – Anaheim ICE, and most of the veterans didn’t skate. But injured reserve players Nick Bonino and Mark Fistric did, and both were wearing regular practice sweaters as opposed to the blue non-contact jerseys they donned yesterday.
Bonino said today’s practice served as an evaluation on his comfort level and how he feels when “taking faceoffs, playing in the corners and taking hits.”
Boudreau says his 25-year-old center is looking “better and better,” but says he’ll have to talk to the team trainers to see if Bonino is good enough to make the trip to Nashville.
“We wanted to make the trip part a potential,” he said. “But you still have two days before he plays. We’ll see how that worked out today. He practiced full out there today and that was a pretty tough skate for an optional.”
Fistric says the lower-body injury that’s kept him out of the lineup for the past two games is improving.
“It’s progressing nicely,” he said. “Being on the IR prevents me from playing on Saturday, but going into the Olympic break I know I have a lot of time to heal and come back fresh.”
The big defenseman says the Olympic break will be good for players to heal nagging injuries and serve as an opportunity to recharge the batteries.
“A good week to two weeks off is huge, not only to rejuvenate but to come back healthy and help our team that much more,” he said. “There are a lot of guys who have bumps and bruises that maybe don’t keep them out of the lineup, but definitely nag them throughout the year.”
Goaltender Viktor Fasth came off the ice dripping in sweat after a full practice with the team. It was the third consecutive day Fasth practiced with the Ducks, and today he gave an update on his status.
“It feels great,” he said. “It’s really fun to be back on the ice again and practice with the guys. I’ve been waiting for this.
“It’s about conditioning right now and still taking it day-by-day. So far it feels really good.”
Fasth says the Olympic break really isn’t time off for him because he hasn’t seen game action since mid-November.
“I have a lot of catching up to do,” he said. “I have to work over these two weeks to be ready when the break is over. That’s what I’m going to do.”