Anaheim Ducks defenseman Sami Vatanen appears to be ready to make his season debut tonight against the Tampa Bay Lightning as reported by the OC Register’s Eric Stephens.
Sami Vatanen is taking regular rushes with Jaycob Megna. Looks like the Finn is in. Season debut.— Eric Stephens (@icemancometh) October 28, 2017
Vatanen, along with Hampus Lindholm, tore his rotator cuff during the playoffs last season and underwent surgery to repair it. The original timeline for both his and Vatanen’s return was no earlier than November 1st, comfortably beating the original return schedule.
Vatanen’s return will be yet another injection of life into the Ducks mangled feathers. While still dealing with a multitude of injuries, the team is slowly regaining its image with the recent returns of captain Ryan Getzlaf, Lindholm, and Vatanen.
The Finn’s return should also give a serious boost to the Ducks power play unit. The offensive defenseman rarely has to be told to shoot and is capable of moving the puck around with the man advantage to create plenty of opportunities for special team units.
Getting Vatanen back could not come at a better time, as the Ducks will begin the first of back-to-back contests tonight against a Lightning team that currently sits at the top of the league in points and is second in the NHL in goals per game. Anaheim will need all the firepower it can get.