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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
AnaheimDucks.com 

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.

Notes:
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.”

 

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 ANA 35 22 8 5 101 96 49
2 CHI 32 22 9 1 100 64 45
3 STL 32 21 9 2 98 78 44
4 NSH 30 20 8 2 81 59 42
5 SJS 33 18 11 4 94 85 40
6 WPG 33 17 10 6 80 76 40
7 VAN 31 18 11 2 89 88 38
8 LAK 33 16 11 6 90 82 38
9 CGY 34 17 15 2 98 92 36
10 MIN 30 16 12 2 86 78 34
11 DAL 31 13 13 5 89 104 31
12 COL 31 10 13 8 78 99 28
13 ARI 31 11 16 4 72 100 26
14 EDM 33 7 20 6 69 110 20

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
R. Getzlaf 34 12 25 7 37
R. Kesler 35 11 15 -2 26
S. Vatanen 35 9 15 -1 24
C. Perry 23 14 8 11 22
M. Beleskey 35 15 3 11 18
C. Fowler 34 3 14 1 17
J. Silfverberg 35 4 12 3 16
H. Lindholm 34 4 11 12 15
P. Maroon 27 2 12 -5 14
D. Smith-Pelly 31 4 8 3 12
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Gibson 2 2 0 .927 2.28
F. Andersen 18 5 4 .913 2.41


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