As great as the game was against San Jose on Sunday night, there was still a heavy cloud hovering over the Ducks. The Ducks are currently 10 points out of a playoff spot and both Ryan Getzlaf and Teemu Selanne were injured during the game.
The good news was that Selanne practiced with the team on Tuesday. His diagnosis was a sore shoulder and a bruised spot on his head that he got when he careened into the boards early in the third period. Luckily he did not go head first, or it could have been a more serious injury.
Selanne is a “distinct possibility” for Wednesday night against Chicago. Since he scored #599 on Sunday, the next goal is a big one and in an ideal world, he would like to score #600 at home in front of the fans. But reaching that milestone is not his motivation to get back into the line-up.
“We still have a chance to make the playoffs,” said Selanne, always the optimist. “I want us to have a chance. You never know what’s going to happen. That’s the main thing. As an individual you want to try to help as much you can. This situation is like a playoff run. You’ve got to find a way to play.”
Getzlaf, who did not skate with the team, was also antsy about returning to the line-up. He re-tweaked his left ankle, but it is not as bad as his original injury was back in February. He will be assessed tomorrow to see if he is able to go.
“It’s definitely a strong possibility that I will be playing,” said Getzlaf. “Especially with the situation that we’re in. We’re fighting for our lives right now and I’m going to do whatever I can to help tomorrow night. We’re in a situation where we need to win hockey games and obviously we’ll do what’s best for the team and that situation that we’re in.”
If neither Getzlaf nor Selanne are available, Kyle Calder was recalled on an emergency basis from the Toronto Marlies and would be available to play. Because he is on an emergency recall, he did not have to clear re-entry waivers.
On Sunday, the Ducks were described by San Jose coach, Todd McLellan, as being a “grumpy, growly team.”
After practice, coach Randy Carlyle described the Chicago Blackhawks as “very grouchy,” due to losing their past two games. Grumpy, growly or grouchy, teams wanting to break a losing streak are dangerous teams.
“For us to continue to take steps forward, we’re going to have to play the game to a higher level than we played the other night,” said Carlyle.
First step was San Jose. Next step Chicago. Don’t step back.