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Ducks Roster Coming Together

As opening night draws closer, the picture of who will be in the Anaheim lineup gets clearer

Tuesday, 09.22.2009 / 5:14 PM PT / Features
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Ducks Roster Coming Together
By Matt Vevoda

"Even if you were on the team, I still think you should have to go in and make the team out of camp," Brookbank said. "I'm not taking anything for granted."
Time is ticking down on the preseason and the Ducks opening night roster is slowly starting to take shape.

A group that once numbered 49 in size when training camp opened had been dwindled down to 31 for practice at The Rinks – Anaheim ICE on Tuesday. The latest moves to get the Ducks within eight of the roster limit were reassigning Matt McCue to Manitoba (AHL) and waiving defenseman Steve McCarthy, who has until Wednesday at 9 a.m. to clear.

The toughest decisions remain and with just three preseason games left (the finale is Sunday against the Kings at Honda Center), players on the bubble are faced with just a few more precious opportunities to show they deserve to stay.

“If players come in and perform well, they make those decisions more difficult,” Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle said. “They are good decisions for the coaching staff and management.”

Of the 31 Ducks, there are 18 forwards, 10 defensemen and three goaltenders. Carlyle indicated that he wants the top 23 from that group, regardless of position. “It will depend on what we’re comfortable with and if there is a huge difference between the performance,” he said. “We want to keep the best players and the guys who have performed to the highest level.”

Sheldon Brookbank is among the players competing for a spot on the blue line. Spending some time with the team last season – playing in 29 regular season and 13 playoff games for Anaheim – gives the 28-year-old no sense of comfort in the coming days.

"There are so many thoughts going through my mind, too many thoughts," Sbisa said. "Just relax, go out there, play your game, come prepared every day - that is all we can do."
“There is a lot of good d around here,” Brookbank said. “Even if you were on the team, I still think you should have to go in and make the team out of camp. I’m not taking anything for granted. I’m just going to keep going until they announce the opening day roster.”

Possibly helping Brookbank in his quest is his ability to also play forward, if need be. When sudden injuries come up, that type of asset can be a valuable luxury, something the Ducks had for a time last year when Steve Montador was with the team. “In New Jersey, I played six or seven games at forward, just on the fourth line,” Brookbank said. “It’s definitely something that I can do if called upon.”

Nine years younger than Brookbank, Luca Sbisa is also hoping to have his name etched onto the team’s lineup card October 3 against San Jose. Acquired (along with Joffrey Lupul and draft picks) in the Chris Pronger trade during the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, the Italian-born defenseman is trying to stay patient while awaiting the final decision.

“I just try to go day-by-day,” Sbisa said. “There are so many thoughts going through my mind, too many thoughts. You’re trying to think what is going through the coach’s mind, but there is no reason to do that. Just relax, go out there, play your game, come prepared every day - that is all we can do. It’s pretty tough.”

"I want to get noticed, show them I'm okay and that I'm itching to get back," Christensen said. "I want to compete for any type of playing time."
For Erik Christensen, the battle for a position is even more complex as he’s also coming back from offseason surgery on his right shoulder. At times, it’s been frustrating for the 25-year-old center. “That was the hard part coming in after surgery,” he said. “Knowing these guys are all getting looks by the coaching staff and because I’m coming off this major shoulder surgery, I’m not skating with them, I’m not playing in the games.

Good news came for Christensen on Tuesday, as he diligently worked through his first full practice. “I tried to do as much as I could,” he said. “I want to get noticed, show them I’m okay and that I’m itching to get back. I want to compete for any type of playing time. That is what you can control.”

Between the pipes, it appears Jean-Sebastien Giguere (2.67 goals-against average in 90 minutes of preseason action) and Jonas Hiller (2.70 GAA in 89 minutes) are still running side by side in their race for the No.1 goaltender’s job. Carlyle indicated the competition might not be determined by which goalie he starts on opening night.

“I think it’s always going to carry on until somebody clearly distinguishes themselves over the other,” Carlyle said. “They are two quality goalies. There is no timeframe. We want them to compete for the position. They’ve been equal.”

Injury Notes
Also taking part in his first full practice on Tuesday was Ryan Getzlaf (sports hernia surgery), Anaheim’s top scorer the past two seasons. Barring any unforeseen changes, it appears that he is making progress and on track to possibly see some preseason action.

“If he has these two days of practice and I would suggest that he was fine today unless something creeps up in the next 24 hours, he’ll practice again tomorrow and we’ll assess whether we’ll play him in Vancouver or not,” said Carlyle of the two-time All-Star.”




1 z - DAL 82 50 23 9 267 230 109
2 x - STL 82 49 24 9 224 201 107
3 x - CHI 82 47 26 9 235 209 103
4 y - ANA 82 46 25 11 218 192 103
5 x - LAK 82 48 28 6 225 195 102
6 x - SJS 82 46 30 6 241 210 98
7 x - NSH 82 41 27 14 228 215 96
8 x - MIN 82 38 33 11 216 206 87
9 COL 82 39 39 4 216 240 82
10 ARI 82 35 39 8 209 245 78
11 WPG 82 35 39 8 215 239 78
12 CGY 82 35 40 7 231 260 77
13 VAN 82 31 38 13 191 243 75
14 EDM 82 31 43 8 203 245 70


R. Getzlaf 77 13 50 14 63
C. Perry 82 34 28 2 62
R. Kesler 79 21 32 5 53
R. Rakell 72 20 23 -1 43
J. Silfverberg 82 20 19 8 39
S. Vatanen 71 9 29 8 38
A. Cogliano 82 9 23 2 32
H. Lindholm 80 10 18 7 28
C. Fowler 69 5 23 -8 28
C. Stewart 56 8 12 2 20
F. Andersen 22 9 7 .919 2.30
J. Gibson 21 13 4 .920 2.07

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