As tempting as it is to want to play at the first sign of health, Ducks right wing Corey Perry and defenseman Francois Beauchemin are also weighing the misery of missing even more games.
So on Sunday, Beauchemin, out since suffering a broken finger while blocking a puck on Nov. 25, said he will skip Anaheim's Monday game against Pacific Division rival San Jose, and Ducks Coach Bruce Boudreau said Perry will likely sit, too.
"I might just take five more days [of healing]," Beauchemin said, with the Ducks not playing again until Saturday in Arizona. "I just don't want to risk it. As much as I want to play, I think it's better for me and the team."
The Ducks (22-8-5) can always use the services of Beauchemin and Perry, who scored 11 goals in Anaheim's first 13 games, but the team has also been hampered by more than 180 man-games lost due to injuries and mumps.
Perry, after spraining his knee Dec. 5, returned to skating last Monday and said after Sunday's session that the knee feels good. That's in practice, Boudreau cautioned.
"What happens if something bad happens in game 36 and you lose 'em for eight more weeks?" Boudreau said. "If you're Corey Perry in a game, people want to hit you."
The competitive Perry conceded, "You don't want to come back too early. You've got to feel 100%."
Beauchemin said that while his finger isn't inhibiting his power shooting, "it's more the battles against the walls, one-on-ones, pushing guys … 90% of my game … this is where I'll feel a little bit of pain."
Defenseman Hampus Lindholm (lower-body injury) said Sunday he feels fine to play Monday after being kept out of Friday's loss in Ottawa. Boudreau said the team should get medical test results back from forward Kyle Palmieri (shoulder) on Monday.
The tentative play of Ducks center Rickard Rakell through the first two months of the season caused a demotion to the minor leagues after a stretch of nine healthy scratches and just three assists through 26 games.
Rakell was supposed to be the Ducks' third-line center when the season began, but he shrank in a head-to-head competition with rookie William Karlsson, becoming a disposable commodity.
In seven games since his return, however, Rakell has four assists and is playing with noticeably more energy, admitting it was the kick in the rear he needed.
"Going to the minors, I played pretty well, and it was like, 'This is who I am, I have to play like this,' " Rakell said. "Now, I know I can."
In Thursday's win at Montreal, Rakell assisted Matt Beleskey's game-winning goal in the third period by slicing through defenders to nearly score himself. He lost the puck in the crease, but instead of giving up on the play, he found it and passed neatly to Beleskey.
"Wake-up call," Boudreau said. "I don't want to anoint him yet, but he's done well."
VS. SAN JOSE SHARKS
When: 7 p.m.
On the air: TV: Prime Ticket. Radio: AM 830.
ETC.: When the Ducks played at San Jose on Nov. 29, there was talk the slumping hosts were close to firing Coach Todd McLellan. Now the Sharks are riding a five-game winning streak and have pulled into second place, seven points behind the Ducks. San Jose has outscored Anaheim by a combined 5-1 in the first period of two victories this season.