Yesterday, many of the players were involved in a scrimmage that they treated as an exhibition game. The intensity of the scrimmage was higher than the norm, since training camp was only four days worth. The shortened time frame between camp and the regular season may have left some feeling stressed, anxious or excited, but for a selected few, their time to make an impression on the coaching staff had to be a quick one.
You can bet that their nerves and minds were racing the night before and all day yesterday. Patrick Maroon admitted it was the first thing he thought about when he woke up Wednesday morning all because this scrimmage served as some of the player’s final chance to make the 23-man roster.
As the scrimmage concluded, the Ducks hurriedly decided to send down Maroon, defenseman Nate Guenin, right wing Emerson Etem and goaltender Jeff Deslauriers to the Norfolk Admirals. The only player from the AHL affiliate was Peter Holland, who led the Admirals in scoring this season with 12 goals and 31 points.
The Ducks are still left with having to make a few more decisions before the puck drops tomorrow. One thing the coaching staff is still trying to decide is whether veteran Jordan Henry can play as a seventh defenseman, but the recall of Sami Vatanen –who is trying to overcome a foot injury — may hinder those plans.
It appears that Kyle Palmieri and Devante Smith-Pelly will get another crack in a Ducks’ uniform and goaltender Frederik Andersen will be the backup to Jonas Hiller.
Slowly, but surely, all of this is finally starting to hit me. If it hasn’t by now it surely will tomorrow when the Ducks step on the ice to begin their season.