Ducks still keeping their eyes on injuries
There were very few answers Ducks Coach Randy Carlyle provided after this morning's skate regarding who will suit up in tonight's game against the San Jose Sharks. And this time, it didn't involve goaltenders Jonas Hiller and Jean-Sebastien Giguere.
Carlyle considers the status of center Saku Koivu (groin muscle), defenseman James Wisniewski (bruised foot) and defenseman Steve Eminger (back spasms) as "warm-up decisions." Carlyle deems winger Joffrey Lupul (tightness in his lower body) to be "probably doubtful," but still kept open the possibility he could play. The only definitive answer is that center Ryan Carter (bruised foot) will sit out his fifth consecutive game.
Regardless of who shows up on the ice tonight, it's fair to say there will be missing parts.
The Sharks recalled forward Ryan Vesce from Worcester of the American Hockey League because of the absence of center Logan Couture (flu). San Jose also placed right wing Devin Setoguchi (leg) on the injured reserve.
As for the Ducks, their most consequential injury has been Koivu's, since he has missed the last five games.
"It’s obviously always frustrating when you kind of feel better and better, but you’re still not 100% and you kind of have to be patient and wait a couple of extra days," said Koivu, who skated both Friday and Saturday. "The main thing is to be as smart as you can and wait until you're 100% or at least close to it. But a lot of times the problem is you’re not being tested in a game situation and you have to hope everything goes well."
Injuries to Lupul, Eminger and Wisniewski are more recent.
Lupul missed Friday's practice because of what he described as "stiffness in my lower back." Carlyle says the injury is related to his recurring back stiffness that kept him out during parts of the preseason; Lupul says it isn't. Nonetheless, Lupul said Friday he "definitely wouldn't rule himself out for tomorrow."
Eminger's back spasms caused him to miss the Ducks' game Thursday against Tampa Bay as well as Friday's practice. But he skated on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Wisniewksi has worn a protective boot after absorbing a shot to the foot in the first period against the Lightning that ultimately caused him to leave the game. But Wisniewski, who skated Saturday, appeared upbeat after practice Friday when he spoke with reporters.
"Honestly, from last night to today is night and day," Wisniewski said. "Looking at it last night, I wish you guys could’ve seen this. Today it’s 10 times times better. Hopefully with more treatment and icing it all day, I'll looking to try to play tomorrow."