Circumstances looked pretty stale for the Anaheim Ducks heading into their final stretch before the Olympic break after dropping the last three of four games, including a shutout against the Dallas Stars. However, this morning the Ducks announced the official recall of winger Emerson Etem from Anaheim’s minor league affiliate, the Norfolk Admirals, and any stale sense in the air has since vanished.
Before jumping too far ahead, the addition of Etem is not a home run win for the Ducks, this is still a sport that needs to be played by the entire team for a full 60 minutes. But the call up is the exact kick in the right direction Anaheim needs to get back on the track of success.
Etem, a first round draft pick in 2010, made a name for himself last season combining physical offensive play, confidence in puck movement and the ability to skate up the ice fast enough that by the time his opponent got close he had either already scored or the puck had long since been passed to another teammate.
Although only scoring three goals and seven assists during the 2013 lockout shortened season, Etem proved his worth with his response to playoff pressure. He scored three goals with five assists against the Detroit Red Wings, almost doubling in seven playoff games what he accomplished in 38 regular season games. During his time in Norfolk thus far he has 11 goals and 17 assists in only 25 games.
So now it is Etem’s chance to take another turn on the big stage and put some life back into this slightly struggling team. And with his already proven ability to play under pressure, it’s only a matter of time until he lights that lamp again in Anaheim.