While the focus for the Ducks is on their last preseason game Saturday night against the Sharks, a bigger concern is getting the team healthy for when the games really count.
Several Ducks players have gotten banged up during the preseason, a few of which weren't on the ice during practice on Friday.
Wingers Emerson Etem and Jakob Silfverberg (both lower body) weren't on the ice today, but center Peter Holland did return to practice after suffering a lower body injury in a recent practice. Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said that Silfverberg is scheduled to skate tomorrow morning, but that Etem remains doubtful for opening night next Wednesday in Colorado.
Holland, among those fighting in camp for a roster spot, told the OC Register yesterday, “I'm doing my best to be ready for Saturday. Hopefully we can make that happen.”
Defenseman Luca Sbisa is also still not active after spraining his ankle in the first preseason game on September 16, and appears set to return next week at the earliest.
These are important games to get yourself ready, but the season is what we're here for, and that's what you strive to play for," Beleskey said. "I'm ready for October 2."
The Ducks will get no sympathy from the rival Sharks. Going into a Friday night tilt in Phoenix, San Jose was 3-0-1 in the preseason, its only blemish an overtime loss to Anaheim last Friday night at home.
Since then, the Ducks endured back-to-back 2-1 defeats to Colorado at home and the Kings on the road.
This game is a last chance for a few Ducks to make their case for that opening night roster.
"To say that it would be a big game for a Peter Holland, [Devante] Smith-Pelly, Hampus Lindholm [would be accurate]," said Boudreau on Friday morning. "These guys are gonna play. There have to be decisions probably Sunday and Monday. Sometimes it comes down to the one game."
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