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 z - ANA 82 54 20 8 266 209 116
2 y - COL 82 52 22 8 250 220 112
3 x - STL 82 52 23 7 248 191 111
4 x - SJS 82 51 22 9 249 200 111
5 x - CHI 82 46 21 15 267 220 107
6 x - LAK 82 46 28 8 206 174 100
7 x - MIN 82 43 27 12 207 206 98
8 x - DAL 82 40 31 11 235 228 91
9 PHX 82 37 30 15 216 231 89
10 NSH 82 38 32 12 216 242 88
11 WPG 82 37 35 10 227 237 84
12 VAN 82 36 35 11 196 223 83
13 CGY 82 35 40 7 209 241 77
14 EDM 82 29 44 9 203 270 67

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
R. Getzlaf 77 31 56 28 87
C. Perry 81 43 39 32 82
N. Bonino 77 22 27 14 49
M. Perreault 69 18 25 13 43
A. Cogliano 82 21 21 13 42
C. Fowler 70 6 30 15 36
K. Palmieri 71 14 17 9 31
D. Winnik 76 6 24 6 30
H. Lindholm 78 6 24 29 30
S. Koivu 65 11 18 3 29
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
F. Andersen 20 5 0 .923 2.29
J. Hiller 29 13 7 .911 2.48


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