Following a well-earned day off Tuesday Gabby had Nick Bonino and Rickard Rakell split time between Flash & Ryan at practice Wednesday and again today.
Coach is certainly sending Bonino a message, who may have had it too easy in Italy. Bones was racking up 3 points per game in what was reportedly a second tier pro league.
Rakell just seems to be soaking it all in. Just five days ago he was telling OC Register reporter Eric Stephens about getting a 5 game look-see, “It’s awesome,” Rakell said. “In a week, I’ve learned so much. You see all the great players that are here. Just being around is going to help me. It’s so much fun in all kinds of ways.”
He told Kyle Shohara of AnaheimDucks.com, “It’s not that hard to play with Bobby Ryan and Teemu Selanne” said Rakell, with a laugh. “You catch the little things that they do on the ice and think, ‘Wow, I can try that, too.’”
Following Rakell’s first NHL game against Vancouver, Coach said, ”For a 19-yearold kid that just came in, I thought he did good. His first period was obviously jittery. But once he settled in, he and his linemates had opportunities to score.”
Rakell did well enough to make Coach scuttle his plan to go with Peter Holland against Calgary on Monday. Three days later Coach is rethinking his plan to go with Nick Bonino on the second line.
Stephens notes Boudreau has liked Rakell’s defensive acumen and ability to be effective without the puck. That’s where it starts in the NHL. Being accountable is why Rakell moved ahead of Holland on the depth chart.
He could be proving the prognosticators at Hockey Future’s right, “Rakell has shown nice scoring upside and could one day be a second-liner in the NHL.” One day could come as soon as tomorrow night in the home opener.
One difference Rakell will make on the line is that Ryan will be pushed to keep with the kid and Teemu. With Bones, it’s too often that the old guy is waiting for the young guys to catch up.
If Gabby is going to promote Rakell tomorrow would be as good a spot as any since his opposition is likely to be former Duck Andrew Ebbett. No smack at Ebbett but better him than a healthy Ryan Kesler.