The Anaheim Ducks found out what life was like without Nick Bonino in their lineup last season, and they don't want history to repeat itself this season...
...so when Bonino went down wrist injury
during the Ducks' win over Philadelphia in late January, coach Bruce
Boudreau exercised caution, placing the team's third leading scorer on
the team's Injured Reserved list and shutting him down for the final
four games before the Olympic break.
A small sample
size to be sure, but the results were eerily similar to last season's
sub .500 funk when Bonino ripped up a hamstring playing soccer, Anaheim
going 8-9-3 during his 20 game absence after a white-hot 17-3-3 start to
their season - so when the Ducks went 1-3-0 during his brief stint on
the list before the break, including being shut out twice, it seemed to
be far from coincidental.
were at a distinct disadvantage when we lost him for six weeks last
year" Boudreau said when announcing that he had placed Bonino on the IR.
"He's not feeling really good. We want to make sure he's better and
there's four games before the Olympic break."
25-year-old centerman has already set career marks in just about every
offensive category there is and is third in scoring on the Anaheim
roster, finding twine 16 times while dishing out 24 dimes for 40 points
in 56 games played.
In reality, Anaheim's dreadful
performances in leading up to the break have been ongoing since
mid-January, the Ducks following up a season-high eight-game winning
streak by losing six of eleven - a funk made even more disturbing when
considering that five of those loses were at home, where they had been
invincible for the majority of the season...
obviously their issues range beyond Bonino's injury - but the good news
is that Anaheim still sports the best record in all of hockey and face a
cupcake schedule down the stretch.