There are two competing story lines going into tonight's contest against the Blues. On the one hand, it's Corey Perry night. According to the Ducks' official site, Perry will officially be honored in an on-ice ceremony featuring both the Hart (league MVP) and Rocket Richard (leading goal-scorer) trophies. If you want a chance to get a picture with these two iconic trophies, they will be available in the Hockey Spot (north side of the arena) from 3 - 4:30. All fans in attendance will also receive a commemorative poster and puck. Hopefully tonight's proceedings will spark Perry and his linemates to finally find the scoresheet this season.
The other storyline for tonight's game is the issue of replacing Jason Blake on the second line. Quoth head coach Randy Carlyle:
"We have Matt Beleskey to come back into the lineup," Carlyle said. "And we have some more options as far as if it’s Bobby Ryan we can move there. Brandon McMillan we moved up last night. We’ve thought of maybe [Andrew] Gordon going there at some point. We can access somebody from Syracuse to possibly go up and play.
The team appears to have recalled winger Patrick Maroon from Syracuse to occupy the roster spot Blake is vacating. It seems like McMillan will get first crack at the task and I find it particularly interesting that Maroon, and not Sexton, was recalled from Syracuse. It could be a sign that the team things Maroon will handle the sporadic playing time better than Sexton, who has struggle with consistency at times.
As for the actual contest with the Blues, things could get interesting. When the Blues visited Anaheim in January last season, the two teams combined for 11 goals and 78 PIM. In the third period of that contest, the two teams dropped the gloves four times in the span of four minutes with George Parros, Maxim Lapierre, Luca Sbisa, and Matt Beleskey all earning fighting majors.
There's a lot going on tonight. It will also be interesting to see if Dan Ellis gets his first start, as the Ducks travel to San Jose right after the game to face the Sharks tomorrow night. Hopefully the Ducks take this Blues team seriously and it would be nice to see both the PP and the top-6 forwards get on the board tonight.