The Anaheim Ducks made a move this past Tuesday that might not send waves thru the NHL, but it might be just what the doctor ordered for a banged up Ducks line up.
Daniel Sprong is the latest addition to the Anaheim Ducks after falling out of favor with the Pittsburgh Penguins. Prior to joining the Ducks, Sprong appeared in just 16 games and only registered 4 assists. The Ducks front office decided to give Sprong a chance and he was flipped for Swedish defenseman, Marcus Pettersson. Pettersson had been struggling to make an impact at the Honda Center, but has a tremendous amount of upside.
Sprong, the Dutch born winger, who made his mark in the AHL with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton last season (a point a game in 65 games), immediately went into the Ducks line up Wednesday and had a heck of a debut.
The right-winger netted a goal on his second shift. Sprong went top shelf against Chicago Blackhawks goaltender, Corey Crawford. Plus, his speed was on display for all to see. Sprong ended up seeing 13:39 minutes of ice time. While it’s hard to get excited based upon a single game, it was still a solid debut even against a weak Chicago Blackhawks roster. General manager, Bob Murray has repeatedly said he wanted his team to get faster and be more aggressive against the opposition. On Wednesday night, the Ducks successfully accomplished that. The Nick Ritchie-Adam Henrique-Daniel Sprong line looked extremely dangerous when they hit the ice. The three players had great chemistry. It was shocking how in sync they were as it was their first game together on the same line.
During the same game, Rickard Rakell seemed to have picked up a lower-body injury and was absent from practice on Thursday. In Thursday’s practice, Sprong skated in Rakell’s place with Ryan Getzlaf and Pontus Aberg. It’s evident that head coach, Randy Carlyle has a tremendous amount of faith in Sprong.
Currently, The Ducks sit in second place in the Pacific Division with 35 points. In addition, they are 7-2-1 in their last 10 games. Recently, they’ve began playing with a swagger that seems only to be growing with the elevated play from their young core including Brandon Montour, John Gibson and Ondrej Kase. If Daniel Sprong can be consistent and play strong hockey, he could be the asset that the Ducks needed to help ensure a long post-season run.
stats from NHL.com