By Kyle Shohara
The Ducks held practice in Brossard, Quebec this morning at the Montreal Canadiens’ training facility, but missing from the skate was left wing David Perron. The 27-year-old Quebec native injured his right shoulder early in the second period of yesterday’s 3-2 overtime victory at Winnipeg, and has since returned to Anaheim for an MRI. The loss is a big one for Anaheim, and following practice Ducks head coach Bruce Boudreau gave an update on Perron.
“It’s a shoulder injury, but I don’t know how bad it is,” Boudreau said. “I assume it’s week to week. If someone goes out, someone goes in.”
That player could be Mike Santorelli, who’s been a healthy scratch the past three games. Boudreau says it’ll be “a little bit of experimentation” until he finds combinations that’ll work for the next four or five games. Boudreau also said Chris Stewart could join the team sometime on this current five-game road trip that continues tomorrow against the Canadiens and concludes next Monday in Edmonton. Stewart hasn’t played since Feb. 11 after he broke his jaw in a fight with Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Dalton Prout.
Nate Thompson did not practice today, instead opting for a “maintenance day,” as Boudreau likes to say. Thompson’s been dealing with a lower-body injury that has kept him out of the past four games, but Boudreau hopes to get him in for Thursday’s game in Toronto.
PLAYOFF BERTH ON THE HORIZON
The Ducks can punch a ticket to the postseason tomorrow with one of two scenarios: Anaheim can clinch a playoff berth with one standings point (win, overtime or shootout loss) tomorrow at Montreal OR if Arizona loses tomorrow in any fashion vs. Edmonton.
It’s been an uphill climb since the opening week of the season when the Ducks lost their first four games of 2015-16 and finished October with a 1-7-2 record.
“Expectations were high at the start of the season,” said defenseman Kevin Bieksa. “We wanted to be at the top of the division the whole year, and we weren’t. We had to claw our way back. When you start losing a bunch of games, it starts to snowball. It feels like you’re never going to get it back together, but we stayed positive. We didn’t turn on each other.”
Supporting one another instead of turning on each other, Bieksa says, was the turning point of the season. “We didn’t collapse,” he said. “We stuck together and kept grinding it out. It didn’t happen overnight; it took a while. It took a lot of practices, battling, and a lot of close games that we just edged out. To get to the point where we are now, we’re happy and stronger for it.”