Posts Tagged ‘Dallas Stars’

Sheldon Souray underwent wrist surgery on July 25th to repair a torn ligament he injured during a workout. His recovery is expected to last another 3-5 months. The earliest Souray is expected back would be around U.S Thanksgiving through post-Christmas.

Ducks kept the news under wraps so as not to be pressured during trades or UFA negotiations. GM Bob Murray’s recent comments that he was intentionally keeping D spots open may have also been a negotiating gambit.

Mark Fistric is a first round 2004 draft pick of the Dallas Stars. Last season he was traded to Edmonton for a 3rd round pick. The 6’2″ 233# 27-year-old Fistric has scored 3-26=29 points with a +26 rating and 252 penalty minutes (PIM) in 282 career NHL games with the Stars and Oilers.

Fistric will do what is asked of him. Drop gloves, block shots. He’ll earn respect from teammates. Fans will be hard on him because he’s slow and beat by speedy forwards. If he’s spot played, used in a shut down role against guys he can skate with; Mark Fistric can be very effective.

Fistric is signed for one year at $900,000.

Ducks are expected to move Souray’s $3.3M cap hit to the LTIR, a move will free up cap space temporarily. Now we know why Bob Murray was so emphatic about having enough cap room to sign Teemu.

With Beauchemin coming off knee surgery and tentative to open the season, Souray out and the expected retirement of Toni Lydman our Ducks suddenly have serious questions on the blue line.

Ducks could start the season without almost half of the top seven defenders who finished last season. Cam Fowler, Ben Lovejoy, Bryan Allen and Luca Sbisa are the returnees. Fowler and Lovejoy are the only legit top four defenders in the group. The jury could still be out on Lovejoy. Allen is a stay@home specialist who can log big minutes. Last season, Coach was still spot playing Sbisa in order to protect him during his 4th season in the NHL. Allen was also an occasional healthy scratch.

Ducks also have the newly signed Fistric, Sami Vatanen, Mat Clark, Hampus Lindholm and Kyle Cumiskey  who will compete for those 5th, 6th and 7th D spots on the roster.

We’ll need everyone to step up. The good news is that we still have our best defensive pairing, Hiller & Fasth between the pipes.


First, the captain is okay. “He got hurt a little bit, came back out,” Coach Boudreau said. “When he scored the goal I said ‘That’s it for you, let’s rest it here.’ That’s why he went back in to get it iced. He’s sore. He’s going to be OK but he’s sore.”

If you saw the stick Matt Beleskey took to the eye, oh man, I worried he lost his eye. Turns out,  “It’s another black eye for the season, I guess,” Beleskey joked after the game. “It’s all good, just some stitches. I got lucky it didn’t hit my actual eyeball. How it wasn’t a penalty, I guess they missed that one too. It’s part of the game.”

I wasn’t too worried about Getz’ injury because he didn’t twist the knee but rather went back on it a bit. That usually causes more sprain and strain with swelling symptoms. It’s painful as all get out but recovery is measured in days.

It’s when you twist the joint while putting the pressure of your own weight on it is when you suffer the pops that are diagnosed as torn ligaments. So yeah, credit an excellent athletic feat by Ryan Getzlaf and his incredible strength to maintain while all of his momentum was forcing the weight of his body to go against the natural movement of his knee-joint.

I suppose we should all call Getz out for stepping on the stick in the first place, (((DOH))) One second klutz the next he’s Michelle Kwan.

We dodged a couple of bullets tonight.

Ducks played effectively for the twenty minutes of the second period. Our guys didn’t show up for the first. Stars shut ’em down in the third.

We were just not prepared to match the frenetic pace the Stars established from the get go. That happens at times but instead of shrinking the box, collapsing in the low slot, Stars sucked us into chasing them around.

They followed that up by targeting Perry for some cheap shots. Refs let a spearing call go against Robidas on Perry. They call a five-minute major for the same thing on Staubitz. Stars score once on the major. Refs were Denny Larue and Wes McCauley.

A poorly played game in Colorado was followed by this FUBAR. Our Ducks are presenting Coach Boudreau with his first test of the season.

Jonas Hiller started the game in a move that surprised me. Hilly didn’t come out for the second in what was described as precautionary due to a lower body injury. I suspect a tender groin and maybe last season he plays through it. Score another plus for Fasth.

Maybe our Ducks were looking past the Stars tonight. For whatever reason though this team has not played nearly as well on this road trip as they had in their first eight games of the season. It won’t get easier tomorrow night in St. Louis.


Hockey Bud czhokej raised questions about our Ducks D yesterday. Just stumbled upon  a couple respected voices addressing the issue:

Via – Scott Cullen reporting:

DUCKS sign D BRYAN ALLEN for three years, $10.5-million and DSHELDON SOURAY for three years, $11-million 
After dealing veteran D Lubomir Visnovsky to the Islanders, the Ducks were undermanned on the blueline, so they acted quickly in free agency, adding a pair of veterans that have size and toughness.

31-year-old Bryan Allen played tough minutes for Carolina, facing a high level of competition and starting the majority of his shifts in the defensive zone ( At 6-foot-5, Allen has size, toughness and is a reliable defensive presence.

Souray, who turns 36 this week, resurrected his career after a season in the AHL, playing effectively in some difficult minutes for the Dallas Stars. However, Souray wasn’t utilized much in a power play role — his 1:48 PP time on ice per game ranked fourth among Stars defencemen — so his point total (21) was modest, but his plus-minus (plus-11) was his best since his rookie year in 1997-1998.

In Anaheim, Souray’s size and toughness will be appreciated, but he may also have more of an opportunity to unleash his bomb on the power play; despite injuries and a year in the AHL, since 2003-2004, Souray is tied for sixth among defencemen with 48 power play goals. Zdeno Chara,Dion Phaneuf and Sergei Gonchar are the only active defencemen ahead of him.

The Ducks now have a solid veteran defence corps to support Cam Fowlerand Luca Sbisa. Allen, Souray, Francois Beauchemin and Toni Lydmanround out a steady, if not necessarily spectacular, group.

Via Hockey Writers – Colin Insley reporting

On the Back End

The Ducks have seven defenseman under contract for the 2013 season, with off-season signing Sheldon Souray and third year man Cam Fowler expected to carry the load offensively with Francois Beauchemin, Bryan Allen, Toni Lydman, and Luca Sbisa playing rhythm. Nate Guenin is slotted to be the seventh defenseman.

On paper, that’s not a terrible defensive line-up, especially with the addition of Allen, a big stay-at-home defenseman with a mean streak – but where have Anaheim fans heard that before (coughAndySuttoncough)?

The Souray signing was a real head scratcher, though. Bob Murray signed the 36-year-old injury prone rear guard to a three-year deal worth $11M. While Souray had a decent (albeit injury-shortened) season in Dallas in 2011-12 with six goals and fifteen assists in 64 games, the fact is that he’s on the wrong side of 30, and has been trending down for the last several years.

Cam Fowler Ducks

(Icon SMI)

Cam Fowler is another year older, and hopefully another year better defensively. While the sophomore played a full 82-game schedule in 2011-12, with bigger minutes against stiffer competition, he finished the season with five goals and 24 assists, or eleven fewer points than his rookie campaign. He also ended the season with a -28 rating, compared to a -25 the season before.

Beauchemin figures to be a rock defensively, while Toni Lydman struggled last season and will hope to regain his stellar 2010-11 form.

The interesting variable here is Luca Sbisa who had a decent 2011-12 season with 24 points (5G, 19A). Specifically, according to Bruce Boudreau, Sbisa may well have been Anaheim’s best defenseman down the stretch in 2011-12. Boudreau even went so far as to peg Sbisa as “a silent star in the making.” High praise, indeed.

Undersized Sami Vatanen may also challenge for a spot, having played very well in Norfolk (4G, 17A – good for 4th on the team). Ditto 2012 5th Overall pick Hampus Lindholm, although he is currently concussed.

If Sbisa can continue his development into that “silent star,” Fowler can take a step forward, Souray puts some points on the board and stays healthy, and if Allen, Beauchemin and Lydman can minimize offensive threats in their own zone, Anaheim may have an alright blue line in 2013.

Via BackCheck’s Blog – czhokej & bc reporting:

cz: I certainly hope that Toni will have a good season. He should be healthy, and if he performs well, our D should be solid. Especially if Cam Fowler with his great skating and puck-handling, improves his game-reading and decision making. I do not know too much what to expect from Allen, Guenin and Souray, but I like the size, which we really need. Souray is getting older and his shot was not working that well last year.

bc: Lydman is key. After he went down, far too much was put on Beauchemin. Frankie soldiered through it but still, you don’t want that much on one guy.
Coach was able to get the most out of Luca Sbisa by spotting him last season. Now we need Luca to take it up a notch and be effective against the opposition’s better players.
In Allen we get a solid, physical match-up defender. He will take a chunk of the load off Beauch and allow Coach to again spot Sbisa a bit. Look for Allen to take the top line match-up assignments while Luca graduates to top six match-ups.
Souray brings snarl to the 3rd ES unit and a great shot on the 2nd unit PP.
What I don’t like about our D and can’t fathom how a professional GM does this is that once again our top six D-men are southpaws. It’s just so wrong on so many levels I don’t know where to start.
Another key to the D is the addition of Daniel Winnick. He will produce double digits in scoring but more importantly the PK unit just got some much needed help.
Overall, I think our GA will be lower this season. We are better on paper with the additions of Allen, Souray and a healthy Toni Lydman.
Fowler and Sbisa should take another step forward. We should get more from Francois Beauchemin by asking less of him.
Murray sure as heck didn’t do them any favors putting 6 lefties out there though.

Four posts from three blogs bringing significantly different views. Collectively, it’s about as complete a look at our Ducks D as i can put together for you.

Note: As most expected and now know, Troy Bodie was picked off waivers by the Carolina Hurricanes. More to come.

On Ducks Live Sunday night, Brian Hayward said, “If you have a winning record in your division, chances are pretty good you’ll be in the playoffs.” I’m still shocked a Canadian spoke with such poor sentence structure 😉 Hazy makes a good point. About half the points a Western Conference team needs to make the playoffs are available in divisional games.

Our Ducks, 2-0 against the Stars and 3-1-1 against all Pacific Division opponents. For our Ducks this game is about establishing dominance in the division.

For the Dallas Stars this is a game with playoff significance. No team can afford to fall to 3-0 against a divisional opponent. Expect our Ducks to have to survive an unrelenting onslaught in the opening 5-10 minutes. (more…)

or should this be headlined Ducks seeing Stars? Dallas has no reported injuries.

Still about 6 games too soon to toss in a meaningful stat pack but it isn’t too early to look at Who’s Hot and Who’s Not. (more…)