Tonight’s game versus the Blue Jackets marked the first of a four game road trip that potentially (but not plausibly) could be Cam Fowler’s farewell tour. The 18 year old has two more games before the Ducks decide whether to keep him for the season or return him to his junior team.
Drafted 12th overall in the first round of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, the baby-faced dual citizen of America and Canada sat out tonight’s game with a sore neck and bruised face attributed to the Coyotes’ Captain, Shane Doan. Doan, who was issued a three game suspension by the League for his blindside hit on the Ducks’ Dan Sexton in the third period, took the liberty of riding Fowler face first into the boards after a stealthy break away by the teen in the second period. Fowler ended up with a broken nose and only eight minutes of ice time and was absent this game as well, despite taking the pre-game skate.
I’ll tell you one thing for sure – the similarly situated Penguins’ center, Mark Letestu, would not be sitting out this game. Although Letestu is more gritty and less cheruby-looking, he too is trying to fill a (scoring) spot left open by a veteran defenseman, Sergei Gonchar. He’ll skate out with a broken nose/wrist/face and drop gloves with players he shouldn’t, in an attempt to claw his way into a line-up that sports the likes of, currently injured, Brooks Orpik and Arron Asham. Letestu currently leads all NHL rookies in goals and points.
Fowler does have one thing going for him, however, in that it appears the spot is his to lose. He has big skates to fill in following the likes of Scott Niedermayer, but only has to prove that he’s capable of being the World Junior Ice Hockey Gold Medalist that he is. He averaged 22 minutes of ice time in the first four games and only veteran defensemen, Lubomir Visnovsky has seen more ice time than Fowler. Lastly, the precocious teen is thoughtful, scoring his first NHL goal on his sister’s 11th birthday.
So, although there is a slight possibility of Fowler being sent back down to get more experience, this fan thinks that once his sore neck fixes itself, Fowler will be back on the ice, charging the goal, for many years to come.
Also of note, the Ducks lost to the Blue Jackets tonight 3-1 allowing the civil war fans to set off their annoying canon three times too many. Congratulations to Teemu Selanne who scored the lone Ducks’ goal tonight and his 609th, in order to take sole possession of 16th place on the League’s career goals list. Thank you Randy Carlyse for scrapping the Bobby Ryan at center experiment. Having him back on the line with Getzlaf and Perry has led to the three of them combining for 20 points in the games leading up to the Blue Jackets.
The Ducks take on the Flyers on Thursday, October 21st at the Wells Fargo Center starting at 4:00 pm PT.
About the Author
Written by KARLY TAMBARA