Posts Tagged ‘Rickard Rakell’

Ducks have announced the acquisition of center Mathieu Perreault from the cap challenged Washington Capitals in exchange for depth for non-roster forward John Mitchel and a 4th round selection in the 2014 draft.

With Ryan Getzlaf, Nick Bonino and Saku Koivu locked in, Perreault is likely penciled in as the Ducks new 4th line center. Obviously Ducks aren’t convinced that any of Daniel Winnick, Peter Holland or Rickard Rakell are the answer, at least for now.

The 5′ 10″, 185# Perreault has played 159 NHL games racking up 30g 37a 70pts +17 with 70 PIMS. Maybe most importantly he’s gone 50.8 and 51.7 in the faceoff circle in his first two full seasons in the NHL. He also has 11 playoff games under his belt, going 1-4 w/+3 in the Caps 7 Quarter Final loss to the Rangers last season.

Via Ducks News:

“Adding a young, quality center to the mix makes us that much deeper,” said Ducks executive Vice President and General Manager Bob Murray. “”I thought we needed some additional speed and scoring, and he is a feisty competitor. Having played under Bruce was also a factor in acquiring him, that’s another positive. He makes us a better team today.”

A native of Drummondville, Quebec, Perreault played three seasons in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) with Acadie-Bathurst from 2005-08. He won the Jean Beliveau Trophy as the league’s leading scorer in 2007-08 (34-80=114 in 65 games) and earned the Michel Briere Trophy as the league’s MVP in 2006-07 after scoring 41-78=119 points in 67 games.

Blog Summary: Perreault is a high energy player with some scoring upside. He could move up the depth chart upon Saku Koivu’s anticipated retirement. He brings an affordable $1.05m cap hit and will be RFA in 2014.

Cap impact: He brings an affordable $1.05m cap hit and will be RFA in 2014. The move leaves our Ducks with $1.8m in cap space per CapGeek. Any further acquisitions will probably involve a roster player going the other way.

In another player move, Nolan Yonkman was placed on waivers prior to sending him to Norfolk. Ducks have until 5:00pm tomorrow to finalize their opening night roster.

Update: Following Ducks 3-2 come from behind OT win over the San Jose Sharks last night. Our Ducks are now 3-1 in the exhibition season. Two of the wins have been come from behind and one in OT. The team is establishing the habit and expectation of winning, ability to come through in the clutch and a no quit attitude.
- – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – In A look at some intangibles published on 9/15, the post concluded with questions, including will the team come together. Yesterday, Coach Boudreau reported that he’s liking what he sees:

“There are always things you’d like to see better, but I think what we’re seeing are the signs of a team coming together.” (Emphasis added)

Team chemistry consists of two parts. There is the tactical chemistry of a well executed system and team assembled into smaller specialized units of complementary and offsetting skill sets. Additionally, there is chemistry that rises from camaraderie and bonding born of a group individuals  working to earn the respect of each other while passionately putting team first.

What Coach is saying is that the former, tactical chemistry or execution can be improved but overall the team is bonding and meshing nicely at this stage of camp.

It would be easy to write Gabby’s comment off if not for the supporting factual evidence. Coach gave nine vets the day off yesterday and to a man they took to the ice and practiced hard. Too soon for these guys to take Princess, er maintenance days.

Exemplified by John Gibson looking to redeem himself after a poor performance against the L.A. Kings, our Ducks gutted and ground out a 2-1 come from behind win against the Avs. Our guys didn’t make it easy on themselves as no Duck was even as high 50% on draws. Rickard Rakell was a woeful 5-10.

Francois Beauchemin is taking full contact in practice. You think he might ear the respect of his teammates taking full contact 4.5 months following reconstructive knee surgery?

Coach likes what he sees and the factual evidence supports him. Go Ducks!

The quote above comes to us via Adam Brady of AnaheimDucks.com

Tonight’s Game:
Phoenix @ Anaheim, 7:00pm start at the Honda Center. Audio stream available at http://ducks.nhl.com/index.html

The previous post, A look at the intangibles really begins this blog’s Ducks coverage of the 2013-14 season. If you haven’t at least skimmed it yet, you’ll be better equipped to understand this one and forthcoming posts through training camp.

At first blush, swapping out Daniel Winnick from the “checking line” for Emerson Etem would indicate a slightly different role for Saku Koivu and Andrew Cogliano. It ain’t necessarily so. All three forwards are proven penalty killers and defensively responsible. The move should improve scoring from the checking line. As Coach noted, “Their speed will give opposing teams fits.” Some sandpaper is sacrificed but Etem’s overall toughness shouldn’t be underrated.
The skill sets are complimentary. As noted all are defensively responsible and great skaters. Koivu and Cogliano are decent playmakers and finishers. Etem is a promising sniper.

One move this blogger has been waiting for and referenced here previously more than once is trying Daniel Winnick at center. Now wwe understand why that hasn’t happened until now.  “We wanted to try this last year, but there was just never a break, and we didn’t want to throw him into the fire.” Boudreau added, “He’s going to stay there for a while, at center, during the preseason,”
With Patrick Maroon and Devante Smith-Pelly on the wings, Winnick could well result in a very physical Stopper Line reminiscent of Pahlsson, Niedermayer & Moen.
Memo to fourth line center hopefuls Peter Holland, Rickard Rakell and Antoine Laganiere: Pick it up a notch!

Notice we have comments from Coachevidencing his thinking on the aforementioned opportunities. Now for one that isn’t being talked about in the blogs or reported on by mainstream media:

Where does Kyle Palmieri fit? Is he Bobby Ryan 2.0? The guy we never find a spot for and instead move him around and ask him to spark whatever line he happens to be on that shift? Jeez, I hope not.
In the early going at least Dustin Penner hasn’t played himself off the top line. Bones, Flash and Silfver are developing chemistry and producing results. The 3rd and 4th lines could be set.
Palmieri has earned more than a 4th line role. He’s aiming to become The Twins linemate. To earn that plum he’ll have to prove himself better than Penner and overcome locker room politics. Not an easy task for a guy who has only recently established his NHL cred.
Boudreau wouldn’t reveal his lineup for tomorrow’s preseason opener against Phoenix (7 p.m., Honda Center), but said “we’ve got the first three games mapped out, in a perfect world, and all seven games mapped out for the goalies.”

Note to credentialed local media: The only reason we don’t have an answer to, “Where Palmieri fits” is because you aren’t asking the question. Aside to readers: Credentialed media claims the main reason for lost audience is increased competition. Just once I’d like them to consider the quality of their reportage.

Note to me: Exhale ;)

Three of the above quotes can be found in this report by Kyle Shohara of AnaheimDucks.com.

Arguably the most competitive training camp in Ducks recent history is set to open Thursday. There are 56 players who received invitations though two, Sheldon Souray and Andrew O’Brien are injured. Most are getting a taste of NHL competition and will be gone long before the season opener on October 2.

Among the 56 include, 6 goalies, 17 D and 33 forwards. One name you might recognize is NHL journeyman Garnet Exelby. He hasn’t played in the NHL since appearing in 51 games for the 2009-10 Toronto Maple Leafs.  Exelby is here on Professional Try Out (PTO) contract. Realistically, the hard-nosed Xman is auditioning for a two-way contract.

At center Ducks have an opening. The leading candidates are Peter Holland and Rickard Rakell. One or both of Antoine Laganiere or William Karlsson could make the decision difficult. Rakell could also get a look on wing.

Ducks are stacked on the wings and have quality players competing for four openings. The Twins, Bonino-Selanne need a winger and there are the two fourth line jobs up for grabs. Checking line wingers and PK specialists Daniel Winnick and Andrew Cogliano are likely set as top nine role players. The leading candidates for the openings include Dustin Penner, Jakub Silfverberg, Kyle Palmieri, Emerson Etem, Matt Beleskey, Patrick Maroon and Brad Staubitz. The latter two are on one way contracts. Other notables who could earn serious consideration include Devante Smith-Pelly, Max Friberg, Steve Whitney and Nicolas Kerdiles.

Via Jim Hodges, Virginian-Pilot, correspondent:

“From a contract standpoint, there isn’t a lot of room,” notes Coach Boudreau, “But if a guy comes in and stands out, you have to take a look at him,” no matter what kind of contract the player has, Boudreau added.

On the backline Ducks are looking to replace the retired Toni Lydman. Injuries to Sheldon Souray and Francois Beauchemin could necessitate extra long looks for a couple of youngsters. Sami Vatanen is the leading candidate to earn a top six spot. Cam Fowler, Ben Lovejoy, Bryan Allen and Luca Sbisa are the healthy incumbents. Newly signed veteran journeyman Mark Fistric is a serviceable depth D-man.

Barring injury, Jonas Hiller and Viktor Fasth will start the season in net. Frederick Anderson, John Gibson and Igor Bobkov are look at Norfolk with odd man out dropping to the Utah Grizzlies of the ECHL. Etienne Marcoux is in camp on an Amateur Try Out (ATO) and could earn a spot in the org with a strong showing.

Due to one-way contracts signed with Brad Staubitz and Patrick Maroon, Ducks will start the season with a 23 man roster made up of 14 forwards, 7 D-men and 2 goalies.

All camp invitees report today for medical checkup.

That was Ducks GM Bob Murray’s closing statement to conclude Select-a-seat according to blogger Chris D-5 of Anaheim Calling.

Fact is, everything Chris D-5 has reported from Select-A-Seat was previously reported on this blog leading up to the draft. It’s always good to get confirmation in public comments made by the GM though.

Hopefully, this is an indication that our Ducks recognize Mr. Murray’s credibility gap and moves are underfoot to correct the widely held perception. If so, it is welcome and long overdue!

What you can and should appreciate from the GM’s, “We’re not done yet” comment is that he has until the trade deadline before he’s done affecting the 2013-14 roster.

The key times for a trade to happen are late August, along about mid-November around the 20 game or quarter-pole mark teams tend to make need assessments and perform SWOT analysis.

Unless there’s a steal of a deal, look for the serious trade chatter to begin about mid-November. The org is high on Nick Bonino. What isn’t known yet is where he fits, top six or 2nd six. Along with Emerson Etem, Bones may actually be our hardest working Duck.

Peter Holland has nothing left to prove or learn in the AHL. Is he ready to take his game to the next level?

Rickard Rakell will also be pushing for a spot.

Sami Vatanen is the leading candidate to replace UFA Toni Lydman.

Our Ducks have fewer questions entering this season than last. Ironically there is also more competition for jobs from within the org. Especially on the wings.

The roster will most likely consist of 14 forwards, 7 D-men and 2 goalies.

While Murph isn’t done, nothing is imminent. Look for our Ducks to enter camp with the current 23 man roster and make the next moves sometime after the 20 games into the new season.

Ryan Getzlaf is again the key. If the Captain starts strong our Ducks will be winning. This will allow Murph to show some patience with the supporting cast. If Getz starts slow look for Anaheim to be shopping sooner rather than later.

The players put on an exciting show for the fans in what was essentially a non-check scrimmage. When guys aren’t finishing their checks it makes it a bit difficult to get a complete bead on each player. What we’re doing here is reviewing pond hockey.
It’s the kind of hockey they play during workouts just prior to the opening of camps in September. During one of those pre-camp sessions, Chris Pronger complained, “I can’t wait until the hitting starts and put an end to this dipsy-doodle stuff.”

This was the third scrimmage and it was easy to see who had earned respect from the previous outings. Ducks first round pick Shea Theodore showed his ability to accelerate. The black jersey squad backed off almost every time he touched the puck. Theodore obviously has skill but we don’t know if he’ll stand-up under pressure from an opponent determined to make him less hungry for the puck.

Max Friberg was leaned on for his ability to accept the first pass and turn the play to attack. He may have scored a goal or two as well. In typical Pond Hockey fashion the only guys who kept stats are the players themselves. He’s not as fast as Cogliano but Friberg does move the biscuit from zone to zone similarly.

The guy who impressed me most with his wheels is Boston College grad Steve Whitney. Listed at just 5’7″ and 160#’s Whitney will have to score to win a job in the NHL. Jeez though, he showed ability to dart in and out of crowds, draw traffic to him and deke outside of danger with a shoulder fake. How Whitney will do when Francois Beauchemin is driving him into the boards is a story waiting to be written.

Peter Holland showed off his experience and skill with the puck. It went for naught as the Black jerseys beat the Whites 7-3. He setup a lot of scoring chances but the White squad just couldn’t finish on enough of them.

Hampus Lindholm is easily the smartest player on the ice today. He knows what to do in each situation. He plays well with and without the puck. His shot from the point won’t scare anybody but he did get most through to the net. What I liked seeing was his willingness to eat the puck in a couple of situations. A guy knows he’ll take a hit or two but when there’s no other option, you take one for the team.

Another prospect who looks to have the complete package is Irvine native Nicolas Kerdiles. He put all five skills on display. Kerdiles had his motor runnin’, showed basic and simple puck handling skill, wanted to hit but settled for tying up his opponent and he reads and reacts smartly.

Joseph Cramarossa put me in mind of a young Travis Moen. He was arguably the most physical guy out there. Next season he’ll be competing against men in the AHL so we’ll get a better read on his ability to compete physically at the pro level.

Rickard Rakell was solid if unspectacular. With a handful of NHL game experience, I expected Rakell to show a tad more.

The most pleasant surprise of the day was the performance of Antoine Laganiere . This kid looks like a Ryan Getzlaf with wheels. He drives to net. he shoots. He dishes off. He’s 6’4″ and packs 214#’s lean muscle on his bones.

Bruce Boudreau maintained a poker face. I watched him a bit but couldn’t get a read on what he was seeing.

I had a very enjoyable chat with a young goalie who plays here in SoCal. We shared some ideas about goal tending styles. Neither of us saw anything to write home about from Frederik Andersen, Igor Bobkov and Etienne Marcoux.

Overall, this was a performance for us fans. The real competition begins when cap opens in September.

Hold your screamin’ when you see the return. Ducks GM Bob Murray did say we’d be a very different team next year. Sources I trust are telling me this move was made to get to the Ducks under an internal cap limit. Other sources I trust tell me another move for a second line center is coming.

To Ottawa: Bobby Ryan

To Anaheim: Jakob Silfverberg, Stefan Noeson and Sens 2014 1st round pick.

Now for some analysis eight or so hours after the trade broke on Twitter.

There’s no question our Ducks received three valuable assets in return for Bobby Ryan. Look anywhere you like and you won’t find anyone with a bad thing to say about Jakub Silfverberg and Stefan Noesen. Silfverberg is a roster player. Rest assured he was scouted Brian Burke, who knows a thing or two about hockey players. It would be grossly unfair and unrealistic to put any expectations on him though. He’s a sophomore with all of 34 NHL games experience.

People closer to the Ducks than I are sharing two distinctly different schools of thought. One school, let’s call them Wharton, says this move was made to get the Ducks under an “internally set” cap number. The hockey side is telling me another shoe will drop. GM Bob Murray is looking for an established second line center.

Frankly, I believe both are telling it as they know it and believe it to be. It’s very evident in Murph’s comments. Those words merit vetting in a Backchecking with format. as previously my take is italicized:

On why this trade appealed to the Ducks,
It was the best hockey deal I was offered for him. When trading a guy of the caliber of Bobby, you’ve got to get a deal that helps you now and in the future. That’s what we were looking for. We got a real good hockey player back in Jakob Silfverberg. And the deal gives us Stefan Noesen. Funny story about him: He’s the reason we moved down in the draft a couple of years ago because he went right before our pick. He was a guy we had identified and when we didn’t get him we moved down. Now we’ve been able to get him and we also got a first-round pick in the deal. It was the best hockey deal.

Best hockey deal is bullpucky! This trade was the best cap deal. Bob Murray should be embarrassed  for even trying to sell that in SoCal!!! That comment is 10#’s of scum sucking gutter slugs stuffed into a 5# bag.
The hockey side of this deal can’t be evaluated until we learn what Murph does with the money.

On whether this trade will open the door to more deals,

It sure gives me a lot more [salary cap] flexibility. We were far too close to the cap before and I was not comfortable there. We did not enjoy those years where every morning you would have to figure out whether you were under or over [the cap]. This gives us room if another good hockey deal comes along. If we have to go and get somebody, I now have space to do it. I’m waiting and watching, making a few phone calls on certain individuals to let them know I’m interested.

Now Murray is giving us the straight skinny. The good news is that he’s prepared to spend the money IF the right player should become available.

On whether the Ducks are looking for another center,
There are a couple out there, and we’ve made phone calls. I don’t know that we’re well along the way with them. I don’t know if we’re their preferred destination in some respect, and I’m not going to give lots of term. I’m not doing that. I’m just not doing it. Nothing over four or five years. So we shall see how this goes, and if not, we’ve got a couple young kids who have earned the right to play. We’ve had kids come along that we really like. That’s a fine position we’re in. I have opened a lot of doors today.

The kids at center are obviously Nick Bonino, Peter Holland and Rickard Rakell.  Two LW spots has also opened up for any two among Kyle Palmieri,  Jakub Silfverberg, Patrick Maroon or Devante Smith-Pelley. If none of those guys can win it,  the fall back position is Matt Beleskey alongside the Big Dogs.
As of this writing, Dave Steckel, who could return in a 4th line, PK and face-off specialist role is still available.
Expect to see Bonino, Holland and Rakell compete for TOI at camp and possibly right through to the trade deadline; unless of course one of them establishes himself as the go to scoring line center. If not and our Ducks playoff bound, look for Murph to acquire a second line center at the trade deadline.

On Silfverberg,
First of all, when he won those awards in Sweden, we were watching him. He’s a very smart hockey player, great shot. He scores goals and can make plays, and he’s very good defensively. He’s a two-way, top-six forward at either wing. He’s very versatile. We really like him and have for a few years.

Nothing like putting expectations on a sophomore with 34 NHL games behind him. Silfverberg may become a great top six forward one day but he isn’t one yet.
Fact is, right now our depth chart at LW is Matt Beleskey, Kyle Palmieri, Daniel Winnick then maybe Jakub Silferberg. Let’s get to camp and see what he earns.

On whether Silfverberg could play on the top line,
Oh yeah. He’s definitely smart enough and can make plays. He works and he competes. When we all get to camp and everyone is here, that will be up to Bruce [Boudreau].

That’s hockey speak for, “Hey Coach, get me $5m production from this $900k asset.”

On Noesen,
Stefan is one of these guys who is a big man who has skills. But his skill has to come from playing the power forward role. The job of our organization will be to show him how to use the power forward stuff to make the skill come out. He’s got that combination, where players like him tend to want to go to the skill first and they don’t become the players they can be. The power game has to be part of his game. We’ve got some work to do, but we like what we have. Players like him are hard to find.

Stefan is a power forward. The kind of guys who are worth developing but there are hundreds who fail for each Jerome Iginla who makes it. Noeson”s likely first team in the Ducks org plays out of Norfolk, VA.

On Ryan,
Unfortunately, Bobby played second fiddle for so long here and never got the full opportunity. Through it all, he was an outstanding Duck. He was an outstanding player for us and he was a solid citizen. These are not easy days. I’ve known Bobby forever, since he was drafted. These are tough ones. You can only thank him.

This is the most honest comment Bob Murray made today. I give Bob Murray a lot of points for admitting the failure that was denying Bobby Ryan a full opportunity. At least that is the straight skinny.

On Ryan’s reaction to the news,
I think Bobby expected it. He was totally classy with me. I don’t think it shocked him. I thought the call went fine. They’re not easy calls to make.

Of course he was classy. We’ve watched Bobby grow from an awkward teenager into a media fave. You don’t achieve that without knowing how to carry yourself, comport and present yourself. What did you expect Bob, a reckless barstool tossing tantrum? No wonder Murray used the phone.

On the organization’s depth at forward,
We’re getting back to that point where we have enough bullets, so that when we get close, we have enough to pull the trigger. I’m getting more and more comfortable with the bullets we have. We’re getting deeper and deeper and deeper.

Yes we have more names. The question is are we a better hockey team today without Bobby Ryan? And going forward, will we make the same mistake with Emerson Etem that Murray admitted we made with Ryan?

On the depth on defense,
I’m going to force the issue on Sami Vatanen. I wanted him to play more last year. I want to give him a good, hard look. [Hampus] Lindholm, he’s only going to be 19 years old, but he was really coming gangbusters.

With Slowmo Souray and Bonehead Sbisa in the top six Murph is praying
Sami breaks through and gives us another bonafide puck moving D-man.

On the timing of the deal,
The rumors started out of Philadelphia, and once that starts, I get calls from people. When I get calls for players, I don’t care what their name is, I say, “What are you offering?” Anytime you can upgrade and make your hockey team better and stronger and deeper, you try to do it. It was about that time that call was first made, and we’ve been off and on ever since. I think Ottawa got pushed a little bit by the Alfredsson thing today, and that was a rough situation for them.

We ought to just call these Murph balls. Really Murph? According to you Jakub Silfverberg is an upgrade on Bobby Ryan while Noesen and the 1st round pick make us deeper.
Is it really necessary for me to inform Ducks fans that we are not a better hockey team tonight than we were this morning. This isn’t to say or even suggest we won’t be better as soon as 25 games into the season. Can Getzlaf play as well in October as he does January? Can Etem have a breakthrough season?

So far, I’ve only blogged on this topic with my head. I’ve purposely left my heart out of it. My heart is heavy tonight. It will be fun following Bobby Ryan and learning what he can do with guys like Jason Spezza, Erik Karlsson and some 1st unit PP TOI.

Jeez, thank gawd we sent him East!

Via Ducks Club News:

The Ducks will host their annual prospect conditioning camp scrimmages at THE RINKS – Anaheim ICE on Friday, July 5 (9:15 a.m.), Saturday, July 6 (9:15 a.m.) and Sunday, July 7 (10:30 a.m.). Fans are invited to attend the open scrimmage sessions, which are free of charge to the general public (scrimmages subject to change; for updates, check back with this site or visit AnaheimDucks.com).

Four Anaheim selections from the 2013 NHL Entry Draft are scheduled to attend, including Shea Theodore (first round, 26th overall), Nick Sorensen (second round, 45th overall), Keaton Thompson (third round, 87th overall) and Grant Besse (fifth round, 147th overall). In addition, former first-round selections Hampus Lindholm (sixth overall, 2012), Rickard Rakell (30th overall, 2011) and Peter Holland (15th overall, 2009) will participate, along with John Gibson (39th overall, 2011), Nicolas Kerdiles (36th overall, 2012) and William Karlsson (53rd overall, 2011). Five countries are represented among the 31 players expected to attend the camp, including the United States, Canada, Sweden, Russia and Denmark.

 

There’s simply no arguing with success. Ducks are 3-1-1 with a .700 P%. while it’s totally unrealistic to expect our guys to maintain that torrid pace, it isn’t too early for some point form impressions:

Even Strength Dominance:

Ducks have earned a noticeable territorial advantage in play, eve including the humiliating 5-0 bad joke performance in the home opener. Primary reasons include a surprisingly 50.3 in FO%. Hockey is easier when start with the puck more often.
Another is the guys are buying into Coach Boudreau’s system. The forwards are coming back in support of the D. This makes for an all important shorter gap between the forwards and D. This helps in a couple-few areas; (1) match or outnumber the opposition at the puck more often, (2) We’re picking up more loose pucks, (3) Shorter passes in transition from defense to offense, (4) in the o-zone, we’re playing and executing 3rd man. Notice the more ticks on the clock between the departure of Randy Carlyle and the arrival of Bruce Boudreau that cz posts less often about us putting 3 guys below red line in the o-zone? This is why! we’re playing 3rd man high. It’s also why we have a guy coming back in support when we commit a turnover.
The team is making the transition from Randy Carlyle to Bruce Boudreau.
This isn’t to suggest you won’t see a Hail Mary pass or one of the Big D stepping up in the neutral and rocking the world of oncoming opposition rusher or even attempts at pressuring the puck carrier. The difference between RC and BB is we don’t try to manufacture those long shot plays. How we pressure and support the puck is radically different. Frankly, Gabby’s is the more traditional approach.

We’re bigger faster stronger than our Ducks of last season. Daniel Winnick is the closest thing to Sammy Pahlsson or Rob Neidermayer we’ve had in Anaheim since they departed. BTW, Pahlsson signed a 3 year contract with MODO of the Swedish Elite League last June. Winnick is exactly what we hoped for in Brad Winchester. Souray and Allen have put the snarl back on the blue line.

Individual efforts:

Ryan Getzlaf is moving his feet and dominating slot to slot.

Viktor Fasth, for one game at least, provided the solid backup goalkeeping missing last season.

Rickard Rakell looks like a keeper and may move up the depth chart or earn more TOI as the season rolls along.

We may have a Kid Line, which are always fun, in Rakell-Palmieri-Etem.

Matt Beleskey is looking more and more like the complete hockey player I hoped he’d become. Like Winnick and Kunitz, Homey’s game doesn’t change regardless of where he’s put in the lineup.

While the results aren’t showing yet, Corey Perry is buzzing around the opposition net and making things happen in the 0-zone. It’s only a matter of time.

Another in the not seeing the results show up in his offensive stats department is the steady play of Cam Fowler. We’ll take plus/minus 0 as a huge improvement.

Speaking of Cam, give some credit to the quietly and less noticeably effective play of Bryan Allen.

Between the individual efforts and more traditional positional structure we can count on most of the above impressions to be a staple of this condensed season.

Peter Holland and Jordan Hendry have been sent to Norfolk. Emerson Etem and Sami Vatanen have been called up.

The timing is interesting. My first reaction was that Ducks were giving Holland and Hendry some games to stay sharp. Good theory, bad timing. Admirals don’t play until the weekend. Ducks play three games in four nights commencing Friday. Tomorrow Ducks visit the Shark Tank for a tilt with San Jose.

Chances are very good that Vatanen will see his first regular season NHL action this weekend. Gabby has been complimentary about the Finn. Vatanen will also get some time with new assistant coach Scott Niedermayer. This move makes sense.

Hendry looked sharp filling in for Cam Fowler in the season opener at Vancouver. Holland is unable to unseat Rickard Rakell as the Ducks 4th line center. Big Pete looks to be having far too much respect for the NHL. He looks a tad tentative out there.

Hendry is a decent hockey player who may not have much future in Anaheim. He would probably be a top six D-man in Pittsburgh or Philadelphia and a handful of other teams.

The big surprise is Emerson Etem who hasn’t exactly set the world on fire in Norfolk. Etem, who is making the jump from Junior to Professional has 12 goals and 2 assists in 40 AHL games. Double EE did score twice and picked up an assist in the Admirals 5-0 over Bridgeport on Saturday.

Patrick Maroon, Dan Sexton and Luca Caputi will be worth watching this coming weekend to see how they respond to Double EE’s call-up.