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Kent's State

Tuesday, 10.16.2007 / 6:27 PM / Features
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Kent\'s State
By Matt Vevoda 

In less than one year’s time, Kent Huskins has gone from toiling in the minor leagues with a lack of self-confidence to a player firmly established on the Ducks.

A highlight of Huskins’ turnaround came on Monday night, as the 6-3 defenseman netted his first career goal on a wrister that hit Detroit’s Dominik Hasek’s shoulder and flipped into the net to give the Ducks a 1-0 lead in a game they would eventually win 6-3.

Huskins holds the puck from his first NHL goal.
“It was definitely a bit of a shock,” Huskins said after Tuesday’s practice. “Things happened pretty quickly out there. To see it flutter in was a great feeling.”

Overall, Huskins has played well this season, as he’s tied with Francois Beauchemin and Corey Perry for the best plus/minus rating on the team with +3.

Huskins’ solid play was something coach Randy Carlyle thought was possible when the team signed the defenseman as a free agent in 2005, but the results shown in the 2005 and 2006 training camps were not indicative of the player Carlyle had once previously coached.

“For whatever reason the two previous training camps he had with our hockey club (before this season) were terrible,” Carlyle said. “I had him in Manitoba (during the 2004-05 season). Both he and Joe DiPenta had played together there. In a lot of ways he was a higher level player than DiPenta and DiPenta has played two years in the league here.”

Huskins, along with Carlyle, searched for reasoning behind the lackluster camp performances.

“I was putting too much pressure on myself,” Huskins said. When you get into your fourth or fifth year as a pro, it becomes a do-or-die situation. You know this might be your last chance."

A higher level of confidence started to accrue within Huskins last year while with Portland. When the Ducks called him up after injuries to its blueline in December 2006, Carlyle noticed a transformed player.

“I think it was more of a mental block for Husky that he finally got comfortable,” Carlyle said. “He went down and he worked hard. Then when he came up, he played extremely well. We were very happy with his play. He has played fairly well for the hockey club since.

After going down to Portland one more time, Huskins remained a mainstay on the Ducks roster beginning February 25, sharing in the triumph of a Stanley Cup title. In the offseason, the Ducks rewarded Huskins’ efforts with a two-year contract extension.

“It was a nice bit of security that I haven’t experienced before in my career,” Huskins said.

As for the puck from his first NHL goal Monday night, Huskins said it’s definitely a keeper, which coincidentally is now what the Ducks feel he is on their roster.

Following practice Tuesday, Carlyle gave some specifics as to why Petteri Wirtanen was the player chosen to be called up from Portland on Monday. “We felt in our situation that we needed a solid, safe player,” Carlyle said. “He’s a young player that’s still in a developmental stage but we felt he could be a guy that could fit in and he was playing well down there. Ryan Carter was down there but has a groin strain and Jason King has a groin pull and his wife is due any day, so those were the options that were made available to us. The coach said he’d recommend Wirtanen, so that’s what we did.”





1 ANA 23 14 4 5 63 56 33
2 VAN 22 15 6 1 67 61 31
3 NSH 21 14 5 2 61 45 30
4 STL 22 14 6 2 59 46 30
5 CGY 23 13 8 2 73 64 28
6 LAK 22 11 6 5 60 53 27
7 CHI 21 12 8 1 63 44 25
8 WPG 23 11 9 3 49 53 25
9 MIN 20 12 8 0 58 44 24
10 SJS 23 10 9 4 62 64 24
11 DAL 22 9 9 4 64 74 22
12 COL 22 8 9 5 57 70 21
13 ARI 23 9 11 3 57 71 21
14 EDM 22 6 14 2 51 77 14


R. Getzlaf 22 6 13 1 19
S. Vatanen 23 5 13 -1 18
C. Perry 18 12 5 8 17
R. Kesler 23 6 11 -2 17
M. Beleskey 23 10 2 5 12
C. Fowler 22 2 9 0 11
J. Silfverberg 23 1 9 5 10
D. Smith-Pelly 20 3 5 1 8
P. Maroon 15 1 7 -1 8
A. Cogliano 23 3 4 -2 7
F. Andersen 10 2 4 .922 2.10
J. Gibson 2 2 0 .927 2.28 is the official Web site of the Anaheim Ducks. Anaheim Ducks and are trademarks of Anaheim Ducks Hockey Club, LLC. NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2013 Anaheim Ducks Hockey Club, LLC and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.

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