IRVINE, Calif. – A gray and dreary morning accompanied by early rain mimicked the attitude of a Ducks fanbase that watched Trevor Zegras depart to the locker room with an injury during Monday night’s game against the Colorado Avalanche and never return for the remainder of the game.
Fortunately, Zegras appears to have escaped a serious result. He will accompany the team on their upcoming road trip, according to head coach Dallas Eakins.
“He’s day-to-day so maybe (he’ll play) tomorrow, maybe not.”
Tiny Terry on the way
Troy Terry returned to practice for the first time since Saturday, when he left the game prior to the third period. Terry spoke to the media after practice about why he had been absent.
“Basically some complications have come up. (My wife Dani is) okay, the baby is healthy. It’s been kind of a weird spot where anything can happen and we’re going to Canada. So, I’ll be staying here and skating, and (I’ll) meet the team when they come back. I’ll just be here helping out with her. That’s kind of the bottom line is some complications have come up and it’s pretty unpredictable.”
The birth of a child is a momentous occasion for any father, but the first one certainly carries a bit more of an aura to it. Terry noted that if the Ducks were playing tomorrow at home, he would be in the lineup.
“Our organization has been incredible to me,” said Terry. “Pat (Verbeek) and Dallas all have been great to me. I felt a lot of support.”
Terry said that the plan was originally to have the baby back home in Colorado, but that will no longer be the case. “We have absolutely nothing in the state of California for a baby to come. So I’m in full-scramble mode for the next little bit too. I even shipped (Dani’s) car home and all I have is my little BMW. The baby will be a California baby.”
Rico almost ready
Another player not accompanying the team on the upcoming road trip will be Adam Henrique. Henrique has been ramping up his progress recently while returning from a sprained MCL that he suffered on Feb. 21, but isn’t ready for game action just yet.
“He’s going to get way better reps back here with (skating skills and development coach) Larry (Barron),” said Eakins. “Way more intense ones. We’ve got those games in a very short amount of time, practice time is going to be slim to none. It’s just better to keep him back. He’ll be much closer (to playing) when we return.”
Welcome back, Andrej
A “new” face on the ice on Wednesday was Andrej Sustr, who had been playing in the AHL with the San Diego Gulls after being acquired at the trade deadline from Minnesota.
This is Sustr’s third stint with the Ducks after playing for them in 2018-19 and 2021-22, the latter being his last NHL action to date.
General manager Pat Verbeek previously spoke about how familiar he is with Sustr from the pair’s time together in Tampa Bay.
“Yeah, (I’m familiar) with Pat and even with the Ducks before Pat, said Sustr. “So coming into a familiar place always helps. Just being comfortable around the guys or even guys like Troy Terry and (Isac) Lundeström who came up through San Diego at the time I was there.”
Through two turns in the Ducks organization, Sustr has worn two different jersey numbers. Why not a third on the third run-through as well? After donning 62 and 92 in his first two go-arounds with the team, Sustr will wear No. 29 this time.
“(With) 62, things kind of didn’t work out here the first year that I wanted them to. So when I left for overseas and came back after two years, I kind of wanted to switch something up. 29 was my choice at the start of the year last year in Tampa Bay (and) it was taken here when I got here. 92 was available so I’m just kind of playing around with it, having some fun.”
The Ducks have been rolling with six defensemen since the trade deadline passed. But with a final trip through Canada, having an extra body doesn’t hurt.
“Especially going into Canada, that can get a little shaky trying to get a guy in case there’s an injury or somebody gets sick or whatever,” said Eakins. “Playing back-to-back isn’t easy either so it gives us an option. We’ll see if (Sustr) plays or not. We’re very familiar with him, he’s been through here twice already.”
“I’ve got no problem, no second thought of putting him in. But I think our six guys have done the best they can back there.”
Super Megna Bros.
Jayson Megna skated in his 200th NHL game on Monday against the Colorado Avalanche, an organization that he spent the last three seasons with before being claimed on waivers by Anaheim earlier this season.
Megna, whose brother Jaycob was also part of the Ducks organization at one point, is part of a Kraken blue line that Anaheim will face tomorrow night in Seattle. The two brothers played against one another earlier this season when Jaycob was playing for the San Jose Sharks.
“Obviously it was a great experience getting to play 200 games in this league,” said Jayson. “It’s been quite a journey to get to this point and to be able to play against a team that I’m very familiar with, it was really cool. It was a neat experience (and) something I’ll remember for the rest of my life.”
“It was pretty special,” said Jayson of being able to play against Jaycob at the NHL level. “We always talked about it growing up—playing in the NHL. It was just a dream at that point and now to be able to look across the other side and see him, it’s a pretty cool feeling. (I’m) super proud of him and everything that he’s accomplished this far in his career and I still think he’s got bigger and better things ahead of him.”