At last, Ducks getting healthier with return of Sami Vatanen, Ryan Miller
TAMPA, Fla. – The scales that have tipped between the Ducks losing the players to injury and getting them back are starting to balance as the season’s first month comes to a close.
Sami Vatanen was in the lineup for his season debut Saturday night as the Ducks took on Tampa Bay. Vatanen missed the first nine games as the defenseman has worked to come back from labrum surgery on his right shoulder in May.
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The sixth-year veteran is coming off a down 2016-17 season where his three goals and 21 assists were a falloff from the two previous seasons. Just having him back carried plenty of meaning for Ducks coach Randy Carlyle, who has yet to have the ideal members of his defense corps all at once.
“When you have the opportunity to bring back veteran players that have played critical roles for you previously, it’s always a welcome addition,” Carlyle said. “What coach wouldn’t want that? The other issue is your expectations have to be tempered somewhat when a guy hasn’t had a training camp and he’s been out for an extended period of time.
“But he’s put lots of work in off the ice. And we see that on a day-to-day basis. All we want Sami to do is come in and make a complement to our back end. He’s moving as well as […]