The Ducks have two games remaining in their preseason. One game against the Kings on Friday, and an exhibition game against Teemu Selanne's former club, Jokerit in Helsinki, Finland. Usually final roster cuts come after the last game, but considering the last game is on a whole other continent, Carlyle will need to finalize his regular season roster by the time the plane leaves on Saturday. I think Andrew (Commissioner) Gordon put it best when he tweeted:
Looks like I have one more game to earn a seat on that plane to Finland on Saturday.
For the players on the bubble, their performance in the game versus Los Angeles means the difference between a plane ticket in coach or a ticket on a chartered jet (do you need tickets?). Lets take a look at the bubble players left looking to be a motha effing Duck, on a motha effing plane...to Finland, and not Syracuse.
Jeff Deslauriers (G)
Notable Stats: 4 GP, 63 saves, 2.27 GAA, .926 SV%
The Ducks are allowed to bring three goalies with them to Finland. Syracuse to Anaheim may be a long plane ride, but I'm pretty sure Syracuse to Finland is a wee bit longer .So far they have Jonas Hiller, Dan Ellis, and...(the tension is building) the only goalie left on the roster, Deslauriers. By my excellent skills of deduction, he's going to Finland!
Nate Guenin (D)
Notable stats: 4 GP, -2, 2 shots, 1 G, 1 A
Guenin brings physicality to the line up. While he scored one goal, he's by no means an offensive defensman. If you think about it, the Ducks D core is pretty much set. He's still here because Kurtis Foster and Toni Lydman aren't. And the same could be said for...
Matt Smaby (D)
Notable Stats: 3 GP, -1, 1 shot, 0 G, 1 A
Smaby is GIGANTIC. At 6'6" he overtakes a number 25 that was also worn by a famous Duck in the past (cough Pronger cough). Chris Pronger he is definitely not, but he's the big body that Carlyle likes having in the lineup. I see him as a bigger Sheldon Brookbank. Not sure if we need more of that.
Brian McGrattan (RW)
Notable Stats: 4 GP, -1, 3 shots, 0 G, 0 A
He's our backup enforcer right now. As the OC Register reported yesterday morning, George Parros' missed Wednesday's game due to a family issue - his wife is due to give birth to twins! (I had no idea! A big congrats to Stache from the AC Family.) There is no word whether those twins are planning to arrive soon. If they are, I have a feeling Georgie will not be making the trip, and McGrattan will be taking his place. Otherwise, I doubt that McGrattan will make the final cut. Kevin Westgarth's face is grateful to the Ducks for sending Fluffy back to Syracuse.
Andrew Gordon (RW)
Notable Stats: 5 GP, +2, 7 shots, 3 G, 0 A
With each game I watch him play, I start to adore him just a little bit more. I hate sports cliches (I'm guilty of using them), but he defines that blue collar work ethic this team needs. The way I see Gordon is as a less gifted mix of Corey Perry and Bobby Ryan. That sounds bad. He has the wherewithal to throw a bunch of pucks at the net (Bobby) and no fear of crashing the goalie (Corey).
Maxime Macenauer (C)
Notable Stats: 3 GP, +3, 1 shot, 0 G, 1 A
Of all the Ducks centers, it's been Max that's been the most successful. In the game against Vancouver, he went 6 for 7. The Ducks desperately need a reliable center to take the big face-off. This is where Macenauer can earn his spot - win draws against big time opponents. Heard of a guy named Henrik Sedin? Max went 4 for 4 against him. Yet where do you put him? He would be a great asset on the penalty kill, but what about even strength? I'd hate to see his talents given 4th line minutes between Parros and whomever is in Carlyle's doghouse.
Devante Smith-Pelly (RW)
Notable Stats: 5 GP, +1, 6 shots, 0 G, 2 A
There are a lot of things I like about DSP's, like his willingness to hit, but I'm stuck. I'm not sure if he's ready. I've noted a few times that he doesn't really show up in the game until around half way through. When he does get up to game speed, he's fantastic with Andrew Cogliano and Commissioner Gordon. How much patience is Carlyle going to have with the kid? Once he gets his first "welcome to the NHL" hit, is he going hesitate the next time he goes for a check. Too many questions for me. I think a year in Syracuse will treat him better than struggling early in the NHL.
Notable Stats: 4 GP, -1, 4 shots, 0 G, 0 A
Doesn't if feel like McMuffin has been around for a couple years? The 2010-11 season was his first season with the team. He ended up playing 60 games in the regular season and 6 in the playoffs. Which is odd for a rookie up with the big club because Carlyle seems to be allergic to rookies. If the grind line of Andrew Cogliano - DSP - Commissioner Gordon works out, where is that going to leave Brandon?
Don't forget - Matt Beleskey has been cleared for contact, and took warmups in the game versus the Canucks. He's close to breaking back into the lineup. He is at the point of his Ducks lifespan where he needs to show up CONSISTENTLY. If he struggles, I believe that instead of sending him back to Syracuse, Murray will trade him.