By Kyle Shohara
Pictures from practice
Another day of practice is in the books on a cold and blustery afternoon in Anaheim, as the Ducks prepare to close out the 2014 calendar year tomorrow night against the San Jose Sharks.
It was much of the same out on the ice, with injured Ducks Corey Perry, Tim Jackman and Kyle Palmieri once again skating with the team. And like yesterday, Ducks head coach Bruce Boudreau says he’s seeing improvement in all three of them.
“[Perry’s] looking better every day, so is Palmy and so is Jackman,” said Boudreau. “I’m going to talk to the trainers later, but probably won’t know a definitive answer until tomorrow morning. We’ll have to know in the morning because if he [Perry] was going to play, then we’d have to do some figuring out, roster-wise.”
Perry has missed the past 10 games since suffering a lower-body injury on Dec. 5 at Minnesota. Perry, who still ranks second on the club in goals and fourth overall in scoring, was injured on a hip check delivered by Wild defenseman Keith Ballard at the 9:40 mark of the first period in Anaheim’s 5-4 victory at Xcel Energy Center.
Jackman was the recipient of a vicious hit to the head from Sharks forward John Scott in a game at Honda Center on Dec. 22. Scott was subsequently suspended four games by the league. Jackman appeared to lose consciousness for a brief period after being struck by Scott.
Palmieri sustained an upper-body injury at Toronto on Dec. 16. Palmieri didn’t play the final eight minutes of the contest and has missed five consecutive games.
HEATLEY CLEARS WAIVERS
Dany Heatley has cleared waivers and will report to the Norfolk Admirals, Anaheim’s primary development affiliate in the American Hockey League (AHL). The 33-year-old left wing was placed on waivers yesterday.
Boudreau says it’s a chance for Heatley to play more minutes on a regular basis, an opportunity that was hard to come by in Anaheim.
“He didn’t have a great opportunity here because of the injuries,” said Boudreau. “It’s hard coming off an injury and jumping into a lineup where everyone is playing pretty well. Hopefully he goes down there and plays great. That’s everybody’s goal.”
Heatley went scoreless in six games with the Ducks, and also went scoreless in two games with Norfolk earlier this season as part of his long-term injury conditioning loan.
LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON
Although he might not be eligible to play with the Ducks for another couple of years, that didn’t stop Ryan Kesler’s son, Ryker, from dressing up head to toe in Ducks gear to join the team on the bench for practice.
Ryker, who just celebrated his fourth birthday on Dec. 19, also joined his dad on the ice after practice ended for some one-on-one lessons.
Ryker was the recipient of numerous fist bumps and hugs from his dad’s teammates as they made their way off the ice and onto the bench.