Injury bug takes massive bite out of Anaheim Ducks

The Anaheim Ducks have remained relatively healthy a majority of the year. Yet, as luck would have it, the injury bug has hit the team hard with six games remaining in the regular season.

Get comfortable as we run through the list. This is going to take a while.

First up, David Perron. He injured his shoulder on March 20. The team labeled him as week to week. They announced today he suffered a separated shoulder, and he’d be out of the lineup for 4-6 weeks at the time of the injury. Following that timeline, the earliest he might return is around April 17. Perron has been working out, so that’s a good sign.

The forward has been an integral part of the Ducks turnaround. Since joining Anaheim in January, he had 20 points in 28 games, and is credited in large part with sparking Ryan Getzlaf’s offensive production.

Next on the list is standout forward, Rickard Rakell who is fourth on the team in scoring, and first with seven game winning goals. He missed Wednesday’s game against the Calgary Flames with what was thought to be the flu. Turns out, it was much worse.

Eric Stephens of the Orange County Register reported Rakell did in fact have the flu, but when he went to the doctor, it turned out he had an appendicitis, too. Anaheim has him out for a week. This is the second appendectomy for the team this season. Getzlaf missed time earlier in the year after being diagnosed with an appendicitis on the road.

Rakell’s roommate, defenseman Hampus Lindholm, is expected to miss at least Friday’s game against the Vancouver Canucks with the flu. Wherever those two live should probably be thoroughly cleaned by a hazmat team.

Finally, goaltender Frederik Andersen relieved John Gibson about midway through the second period on Wednesday night after Gibson suffered an injury in net. Andersen finished the period – giving up three goals – and did not return for the third. Gibson came back on the ice to finish the game and was playing without a backup as Andersen did not return to the bench.

Anaheim announced today Andersen suffered a concussion against Calgary. His return time is unknown. (Ducks fans are having flashbacks to Jonas Hiller’s concussion that led to vertigo many years ago.)

The good thing for the Ducks is that they have Gibson to carry forward. Exactly what he injured against the Flames isn’t entirely clear, but he was healthy enough to play the final period. The team called up Anton Khudobin from San Diego to back him up while Andersen is out. 

Khudobin was Andersen’s backup to begin the year, but he was less than good. In 7 games played, he went 3-3-0 with a 2.70 goals against and .908 save-percentage. Gibson supplanted him as the Ducks developed a 1A and 1B goaltending tandem.

Also called up from San Diego is forward Chris Wagner. He was with the Ducks earlier in the season before being put on waivers with the intent of assigning him to the AHL; however. the Colorado Avalanche plucked him off the wire. After 26 games with the Avs, he was once again on waivers. Anaheim reclaimed him and finally assigned him to San Diego as they had originally intended months before. 

Bonus for Wagner. Not only did he get called up, but he signed a new two-year deal with the club. According to General Fanager, the one-way contract carries an $637,500 cap hit.

Not included in the Ducks injury run down: defensemen Kevin Bieksa and Simon Despres. Both have been out of the lineup with upper body injuries. Per Bruce Boudreau, both are currently skating.

The Ducks are currently in second place in the Pacific Division. They are one point behind with Los Angeles Kings with a game in hand. They’re four points up on the San Jose Sharks with two games in hand. 

Quote of the day goes to Corey Perry. When asked by reporters about the rash of injuries, the forward said, “S— happens, I guess.”