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Ducks hobble into road journey that may prove pivotal to season

By in Press Enterprise on November 27, 2017

By Eric Stephens

CHICAGO – If this were a star-crossed first half to the season, the Ducks might have taken that with some grudging acceptance and gone from there. Instead, it has been star-missed.

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The whole group has never been together. It wasn’t going to be until Ryan Kesler made his debut after a recovery from offseason hip surgery but the toll the Ducks have taken on the injury front has been unlike any the franchise has seen.

Just as they’ve finally put back in place their expected corps on defense, the hobbled forward group took another major hit with leading scorer Rickard Rakell possibly out for the rest of a road trip that has the look of a make-or-break journey for a team now challenged to stay within view of the playoff picture.

An upper-body injury sidelined Rakell before Saturday’s game against the Kings and Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said he wouldn’t travel with the team as it went to Chicago while also remaining vague about his availability for joining them at some point for any of the remaining four contests.

“When you’re in this business, you expect surprises,” Carlyle said. “You just don’t expect so many of them in a short period of time. That’s the life of a coach. You don’t always get what you want.”

The list of the hurt is long – and full of potential scorers. The Ducks are now without their best remaining offensive player as they’re getting […]    

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