Wiz and Koivu Hope to be Available

The two players will try to shorten Anaheim's injury list against the Sharks on Saturday night

Friday, 11.20.2009 / 7:17 PM / Features
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Wiz and Koivu Hope to be Available
By Matt Vevoda
AnaheimDucks.com

Fresh off the buzz of their homestand-launching overtime victory last night, the Ducks looked ahead to tomorrow night’s test against the rival Sharks hoping for the return of two of their injured mates.

"It’s pretty amazing how big it got," said Wisniewski of his bruised right foot. "Honestly, from last night to today, it’s night and day. Today is 10 times better. Hopefully with some more treatment and icing it all day, I can try to play tomorrow.”
Center Saku Koivu (strained groin), Ryan Carter (bruised foot) and defenseman Steve Eminger (back spasms) were not in uniform last night, while defenseman James Wisniewski left midway through the first period after taking a shot off his foot. Winger Joffrey Lupul didn’t miss any time after suffering a lower-body injury, but wasn’t able to practice today. 

Of those, the only player ruled out by Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle for Saturday was Carter, who was seen walking around the team’s locker room in a support boot. Koivu, who has missed the last five games, returned for his first full practice with the team since the injury on Friday.

“It feels pretty good," Koivu said after practice. “We’ll see how it is in the morning. At this point, I don’t want to say yes or no. With these types of things, you test it more and more and see the reactions. If everything goes well, than it’s possible I can play tomorrow.”

Wisniewski left last night’s win in the opening period with a bruised right foot after blocking a Paul Szczechura shot. But the good news is, the swelling had subsiding substantially by Friday afternoon.

“It was pretty much a harmless play,” said Wisniewski, who is fourth on the team with 10 assists this season. “The puck hit me on the top of the foot. It turned into being a really bad bruise. It’s pretty amazing how big it got. Honestly, from last night to today, it’s night and day. Today is 10 times better. Hopefully with some more treatment and icing it all day, I can try to play tomorrow.”

“It feels pretty good," said Koivu, of the groin injury that has kept him out for five games. “We’ll see how it is in the morning. At this point, I don’t want to say yes or no. With these types of things, you test it more and more and see the reactions. If everything goes well, than it’s possible I can play tomorrow.”
When Wisniewski left after playing just 5:12 in last night’s game, the rest of Anaheim’s defense was left to collectively pick up the slack for a player averaging the third-most minutes on the team (24:00 per game). Not wanting to put all of the pressure on the shoulders of Scott Niedermayer and Ryan Whitney (the team leaders in minutes) led to Nick Boynton (25:40), Sheldon Brookbank (18:26) and Brendan Mikkelson (19:27) all incurring season-highs for time on the ice.

“Any time you lose a player that is going to play top-3 minutes for you, it puts a lot of burden on your players,” Carlyle said. “It was nice to see that they were able to complement one another with some strong minutes.”

Said Mikkelson, “You never want to see a guy like Wiz, who eats up so many important minutes, go down. Stuff like that does happen. You have to be ready. In my position, whoever they want me to play with, I’m not going to have any qualms and be the best partner on the ice that I can be.”

Lupul was treated today for his lower-body injury and remained optimistic on his recovery. “There is some soreness in my lower body and hopefully it can be taken care of for tomorrow or some time after that,” Lupul said. “I definitely wouldn’t rule myself out for tomorrow.”

Said Carlyle, “Lupul has experienced some tightness in his lower body and we decided to hold him off the ice today. Serious to me is a day. When he can’t skate today, that is serious. It just seems that whenever we say it’s going to be this or only that, it goes the other direction. I’m saying everything is serious at this point.We’ll know better tomorrow if the treatment has an effect that he can take part in our pre-game skate tomorrow. We think it will be something that will allow him to play.”

Tomorrow evening’s affair is Anaheim’s second meeting of the season with the rival Sharks, who once again own the best record in the NHL at 14-5-4 (32 points). Playoff combatants in last season’s Western Conference Quarterfinals (which Anaheim won 4 games to 2), San Jose came out with a 4-1 win in the Ducks’ season opener on Oct. 3 at Honda Center.

“You never want to see a guy like Wiz, who eats up so many important minutes, go down," Mikkelson said. "Stuff like that does happen. You have to be ready. In my position, whoever they want me to play with, I’m not going to have any qualms and be the best partner on the ice that I can be.”
“It’s going to be a big test for us tomorrow, playing against us a team that we beat in the playoffs last year, a divisional rival and one of the hottest team in the league,” Wisniewski said.

The Ducks face that test with a little more confidence after weathering the storm in last night’s victory over Tampa Bay. The Ducks went up 3-0 in the first 27 minutes of the game, only to see that lead disappear early in the third. Collectively they tightened up from that point, setting up Niedermayer’s game-winner in overtime. 

“We feel a lot better about ourselves today than we did the day before yesterday,” Carlyle said. “That is what we’re trying to build on. First and foremost, the work ethic that we displayed from the start of the hockey game was critical. We have to provide ourselves with an opportunity to have a good start. It is a starting point for your group for what night’s work they are going to have to put in. There are going to peaks and valleys, penalties, power plays and momentum swings that do take place in the game. But you have to build off the start.”

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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