Practice Report: Ducks Getting Healthy
The Ducks held an optional practice a day after knocking off the Wild 2-1 last night at Honda Center to remain undefeated (12-0-2) in regulation at home. Among the notable participants were three Ducks who haven’t seen game action in awhile because of injuries – Francois Beauchemin, Jakob Silfverberg and Mathieu Perreault. Each spoke about their recoveries, while head coach Bruce Boudreau touched on the recent reassignments of defensemen Alex Grant and Nolan Yonkman and center David Steckel.
On his recovery process
I’m feeling better every day this week. I had a full practice yesterday and today, and I have a couple more before Sunday. I should be good to go.
On missing three weeks due to the injury
Three weeks is a long time. It’s the most time I’ve missed in a while. I’m pretty anxious to get back.
On allowing his body time to heal
Rest is really what I needed. Some strengthening, too, and I had lots of time to do that. I’m ready to go.
On the depth of this team
Whoever came to the lineup played great for us. That’s huge for the team and the depth we have. It showed that a lot people are doing a lot of good stuff. The kids that came up played with confidence and know the system we’re playing. They adjusted really well to it. It’s everybody, not just a couple of guys. It’s like seven or eight guys who came up and played well. That’s huge for the team. We have great veterans on the team who are leading the group, and the guys who are coming up feel like they’re part of the team. I think they enjoy coming up here.
On his status
It felt great yesterday and today felt even better. It’s 100-percent back. I’ll be back Sunday.
On when the injury occurred
I was battling with it for at least two weeks. It was one of those where you took one step forward and two steps back. All of a sudden, I could barely walk after the game against L.A. [At that time], I thought it was time to treat it, get rid of it, and come back 100-percent instead of 90 or 85-percent every game. For me to be good on the ice, I need to be 100-percent. That’s why I took the time off to take care of it.
I could’ve sat out before that, but I thought I could battle through it and play through it. But the result was I wasn’t playing as good and I didn’t feel my skating was as good. I thought I might as well take the time now rather than keeping it all year. Then, come playoffs, not being 100-percent. I wanted to take care of it now.
On his recovery process
I’m getting closer and closer. I feel good right now. Now, it’s just a matter of getting the muscle back in the wrist and hand. I’m feeling better.
On being anxious to play again
As you get closer, you start thinking more about it, and it just gets you more excited. It’s just a matter of still taking it step-by-step and not trying to look too far ahead, not getting too anxious about anything. I’ll be back pretty soon, I hope.
On an approximate timeframe for his return
I’m meeting the doctors again on Friday. Hopefully after that, it’s just a matter of how I feel and how the strength is in my arm and hand. No actual date has been set yet. I hope to play pretty soon.
On his conditioning level
I’m getting pretty tired of skating out there [laughs]. It’s been five weeks, probably, with just 45-minute skates every day, then a half-hour bike ride. There’s been a lot of good conditioning, and that’s what you’ve got to do when you’re hurt. You need to take advantage of what you can. I’m excited to play some actual hockey pretty soon.
On the success the team has had thus far despite injuries
It’s amazing we keep on winning. It’s great. It shows how good of an organization this is, with all the players coming up from Norfolk. We’ve got such good depth, and that’s great to have if you want to be a successful team.
Head coach Bruce Boudreau
On if it’s motivating or deflating to be sent back down to the minors (in reference to Grant, Steckel and Yonkman being reassigned to Norfolk earlier today)
I can’t speak for them. I can only speak from my experiences when I was called up to teams. It made me believe that when I went back down, yes, I can play in the NHL. It’s a really good motivator because then you get down there and say, ‘Man, I’m going to play so hard because the lifestyle is so much different in the NHL than it is in the American Hockey League, or any other league, for that matter. But, it’s a deflator because you don’t want to go.
We want Alex Grant to feel like, ‘Hey, I did good up there. I showed them I can play, so the next time you need me, give me a call.’ Nolan Yonkman was the same way. He was successful when he played with us. And, David Steckel knows we thought he played great. He knows we’ve got a full complement of forwards ,and he’s been through this many times. He’ll go down there and work hard because that’s his character. He’ll come back at some point and do the same thing for us. I thought that fourth line did a really good job forechecking. They were big, strong, he won faceoffs, and he did what he was supposed to do.