By Kyle Shohara
Photos from Practice
Here are a couple of updates right off the bat: Francois Beauchemin, Cam Fowler and Corey Perry did not take part in practice this afternoon at The Rinks – Anaheim ICE. Head coach Bruce Boudreau said Beauchemin was the latest player to catch the flu, and stayed home. In addition, Fowler is day-to-day after leaving last night’s game with a lower-body injury. Perry, who has missed the past two games, did not come to the rink and is not expected to play tomorrow vs. Vancouver.
It’s been a rough two-week stretch for the Ducks, who have lost defensemen Ben Lovejoy (fractured right finger) and Mark Fistric (lower back), and goaltender John Gibson (groin) to injuries, and several key players to illnesses. The Ducks were without the services of both Ryan Getzlaf and Perry in Wednesday’s OT loss to the Islanders due to flu-like symptoms, and Beauchemin's status for tomorrow remains up in the air.
“There are always different variables to the flu,” said Boudreau. “It depends on how bad [Beauchemin] gets it. We’ll see how he is when he wakes up tomorrow morning.”
As for Fowler, his outlook will become clearer come tomorrow. “There’s still a good chance he plays,” said Boudreau. “We’ll know a lot more tomorrow.”
And although Anaheim’s leading goal scorer is more than likely ruled out for tomorrow, Boudreau says he expects Perry back at practice on Tuesday. “Corey has missed four days of being on the ice, so he would be too weak,” said Boudreau. “As good of a player as he is, to come back and play tomorrow is [unlikely].” Boudreau says Wednesday vs. LA is a more realistic date.
KESLER TO FACE FORMER TEAM
There are certain games that players circle on their calendars, and for Ducks center Ryan Kesler, tomorrow’s game against the Canucks is highlighted in bold ink. Kesler spent his entire career with Vancouver after being drafted by the Canucks in the first round (23rd overall) of the 2003 NHL Draft.
Kesler recorded 393 points (182g/211a) with a +25 rating and 594 penalty minutes in 655 career NHL games with Vancouver. Kesler was awarded the Frank J. Selke Trophy in 2011 (awarded to the forward who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game) and was a 2011 NHL All-Star. During Vancouver’s 2011 Cup run (lost in Game 7 to Boston in the Stanley Cup Final), Kesler earned 19 points (7g/12a) in 25 games and led the team with a 54.1 faceoff percentage.
Though the way in which he left the Canucks drew the ire of some of their fanbase, Kesler says some of his fondest memories of his 11-year-career in Vancouver involved the fans. Kesler recalls the 2011 Stanley Cup run as a moment that he’ll not soon forget.
“Seeing how passionate that city was, and the fans, and the hundreds of thousands of people in the streets after every game sticks out,” he said. “I was with the team for 11 years, and going through what I went through with them and that city, it’s going to be exciting.”
The Canucks are enjoying early success under first-year head coach Willie Desjardins, and that doesn’t surprise Kesler.
“They’re playing well, and I’m happy to see that,” he said. “They’re very talented. They’re deep on defense and they brought in Ryan Miller, who’s a really good goalie.”