Bad Break for Sandstrom
Things were looking up for Tomas Sandstrom. After the former
45-goal scorer netted a career-low nine goals last season with a
-25 plus/minus rating, Sandstrom came back strong this year. As if
the 15-year veteran was saying "Hey, I'm not washed up quite yet,"
Sandstrom started the season with five goals in his first 12 games.
Sandstrom's latest goal came in the first period against the Detroit
Red Wings. However, that goal will be his last for at least the next
four weeks. Later in the second period against the Wings,
Sandstrom, 34, fractured his left wrist after being checked into
the boards by Detroit's Kirk Maltby.
Sandstrom's injury is not only bad for his own career (his contract
is up at the end of the season), but it's bad news for the Ducks
offense, as well. Sandstrom was helping to take the pressure off
of Teemu Selanne and Paul Kariya, who have been the Ducks' only two
offensive threats since the beginning of time.
Without Sandstrom, some of the Ducks other forwards are going to
have to step up their games. The Ducks have been disappointed with
the play of center Travis Green, who was acquired from the New York
Islanders last year with the hope of him giving the Ducks an
offensive spark. So far Green has been a dud. In his last three
seasons, Green has scored 25, 23 and 19 goals, respectively. This
season Green has yet to find the back of the net. The 27-year-old
center has no goals and two assists in 12 games.
As a matter of fact, the Ducks offense has been its usual bad self
so far this season. Only seven forwards have scored goals in a
Ducks uniform. That list includes Kariya, Selanne, Steve Rucchin,
Sandstrom, Marty McInnis and (drumroll please) Jim McKenzie and Stu
Grimson, who has never scored more than three goals in a season in
his career. Grimson has two already, so don't look for much more
out of the Grim Reaper.
McInnis Acquired to Wake Up Offense
In an attempt to get more scoring, the Ducks acquired Marty McInnis
from the Chicago Blackhawks for future considerations. The
Blackhawks had just picked up McInnis from the Calgary Flames
moments before they sent him to Anaheim.
McInnis was added because of the lack of scoring from players like
Travis Green. The 28-year-old speedy center has scored 19 or more
goals three times in his seven-year career. So far McInnis has
made his presence felt, especially on the power play. McInnis has
a goal and four assists in six games for the Ducks, including a
goal and an assist, both on the power play, in the loss to Detroit.
Hebert Back in Form
Don't look now, but Ducks' goaltender Guy Hebert is back in the form
which got him into the All-Star Game in 1997. After missing the
first game of the season due to injury, Hebert has played 11
straight. His goals-against average is a low 2.22 and his save
percentage is a solid .931.
When will Hebert take a break? That's the question backup goalie
Dominic Roussel is asking. Roussel played on opening night against
Washington but hasn't seen action since. On opening night the
former Flyer netminder allowed just one goal in a shutout loss to