It may be April Fools’ Day, but the Ducks’ injury situation heading into the weekend is no joke.
Anaheim announced Friday that the team will be without David Perron, Frederik Andersen, Rickard Rakell and Hampus Lindholm for their contest against the Vancouver Canucks, and all but Lindholm should be expected to miss at least a few games’ worth of action.
In order of seriousness — or at least announced timeline — the injuries to Perron and Rakell are the worst, with uncertainty surrounding returns for Lindholm and Andersen. That said, Andersen may have the foggiest timeline for return, as the Ducks announced the 26-year-old netminder is sidelined with a concussion that was suffered Wednesday against the Calgary Flames.
It’s difficult to tell when in Anaheim’s Wednesday game Andersen suffered the concussion, although it appears the most likely moment may have been a late-period scramble in the crease. Ducks defenseman Cam Fowler leapt over Andersen, and may have caught a piece of the netminders helmet. Andersen did not return to the Ducks net for the third period after allowing three goals on five shots.
Because concussions are a difficult thing to gauge — a head injury can sideline a player for one week or two months, it all depends how the player’s body responds — there’s no timetable for Andersen’s return. That means Gibson, who likewise exited Wednesday’s game, will be relied upon down the stretch to backstop the Ducks. Gibson seemed to injure his right leg in the second period against the Flames, but was able to complete the game once Andersen left following the second period.
As a replacement, at least for the time being, Anton Khudobin has been called up from the AHL’s San Diego Gulls. Khudobin will reportedly leave the NHL after this season for the KHL, but the Ducks are going to get at least some use out of the netminder before the end of his current deal. He’s put up stellar numbers in the AHL so far this season.
As for Perron’s injury, his separated shoulder dates back to a March 20 game against the Winnipeg Jets. It was clear from the moment Perron, 27, went into the boards during the mid-March game that he was going to miss some time, but this is the first officially announced timeline for a return. According to the Ducks, Perron could return anywhere between mid-April and early May. However, Friday’s announcement makes it clear Perron likely won’t be back for the Ducks until late in the first round or possibly the second round of the playoffs, should Anaheim make it that far.
Rakell missed Wednesday’s game with the flu, and after meeting with doctors it was discovered that the 22-year-old is suffering from appendicitis. Rakell is expected to miss at least one week. Strangely, this is the second time this season a Duck has been put on the shelf with appendicitis. Earlier this season, Ryan Getzlaf missed four games following surgery to remove his appendix.
Finally, Lindholm, 22, will miss Friday’s game with the flu. The defenseman has appeared in all but one game for the Ducks this season, but Anaheim has only announced that he’ll miss Friday’s game.