Having won only two games in the past 12, the Ducks will need to do something, fast, to turn things around. Nothing like a good old-fashioned rivalry with the team up the road to get you motivated!
The Ducks will play the Los Angeles Kings in a back to back series on Wednesday at Staples Center and then Thursday night at the Honda Center. There will be no time to lose momentum or lick wounds, and these next two are critical for Anaheim.
Niklas Hagman will not be joining the Ducks line-up. Although he was picked up off re-entry waivers, he does not have his work visa yet. Ben Maxwell, who was claimed last week off waivers, did finally receive his visa and is set to arrive in southern California today. Will he be in the line-up against the Kings? Highly unlikely, as he has not even practiced with the team.
Nick Bonino, who was out with a hyper-extended knee, was well enough to practice with the Ducks on Tuesday, and was sent back to Syracuse on Wednesday morning.
Meanwhile, J.F. Jacques and Nate Guenin were called up from Syracuse on Tuesday.
Jacques could find himself in the line up against the Kings in light of George Parros’ absence. The Ducks need someone with a bit of toughness to keep the Kings in check. Jacques has finished serving his five game suspension, so he would be eligible to play. He is likely chomping at the bit hoping to redeem himself from the sins of his pre-season.
Guenin, a defenseman, was called up to provide extra depth on the blue line. With the injury to Lubomir Visnovsky, Kurtis Foster was inserted in the line-up, but he has not really shone. Then again, none of his teammates have either. Guenin will give the Ducks more options at that position.
Regardless of who shows up in the line-up, the important thing is that they show up.
“The games are always spirited with L.A.,” was how coach Randy Carlyle described the rivalry. “We need something good to happen with our group but we’re going to have to earn it. If we’re not prepared to go to battle, with the group that they have up there in L.A. we’ll be embarrassed. We’d better be ready.”
Amen to that.