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 / 4:17 PM PT / 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 51 24 7 228 221 109
2 y - STL 82 51 24 7 239 197 109
3 x - NSH 82 47 25 10 226 202 104
4 x - CHI 82 48 28 6 220 186 102
5 x - VAN 82 48 29 5 236 220 101
6 x - MIN 82 46 28 8 227 198 100
7 x - WPG 82 43 26 13 223 204 99
8 x - CGY 82 45 30 7 237 213 97
9 LAK 82 40 27 15 218 197 95
10 DAL 82 41 31 10 257 257 92
11 COL 82 39 31 12 209 223 90
12 SJS 82 40 33 9 224 226 89
13 EDM 82 24 44 14 193 276 62
14 ARI 82 24 50 8 165 267 56

STATS

2014-2015 PLAYOFFS
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
C. Perry 13 9 8 10 17
R. Getzlaf 13 2 15 10 17
J. Silfverberg 13 4 10 4 14
R. Kesler 13 5 5 3 10
H. Lindholm 13 2 7 2 9
P. Maroon 13 5 3 8 8
A. Cogliano 13 3 5 8 8
S. Vatanen 13 2 6 5 8
M. Beleskey 13 6 1 -3 7
S. Despres 13 1 6 7 7
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
F. Andersen 10 3 3 .929 1.92

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