Tonight's game will see the return of Francois Beauchemin to a Ducks uniform, likely donning the number 24, but otherwise expected to be the blueliner all too familiar to Ducks fans. His return marks the end of the line for at least one of the Ducks' other defenseman. There isn't much wiggle room in terms of roster spots at this point, but there is plenty in terms of cap space should the Ducks decide to take a contract down the stretch. The February 28, 3PM EST deadline is fast approaching.
Ryan "Harry Potter" Getzlaf, The Boy Who Passed, will receive no supplemental discipline for this:
And really, he shouldn't. A lack of on-ice response may mean a chippy game when the Canucks head to the Pond on March 6th, and hopefully the Ducks are more prepared to receive it than they were the Blues' recent hurt feelings over the Barrett Jackman knee on knee hit.
Tonight, the team's attention turns to Calgary. The Ducks are a point ahead of the Flames with a game in hand-- game in hand?!?! I know, right? --but as only six points separate 3rd place Dallas from 11th place Chicago, point position seems to matter very little.
On paper, this team has gotten stronger on defense and may have the luxury of returning to its number one option in net. In practice, the team has smoothly reintegrated its captain and is coming off a big win against a team with fewer than a dozen regulation losses through 55 games played. It's difficult, perhaps more so than at any other point this season, not to expect a solid effort from the squad tonight.