Greetings from Dallas, where it’s raining and just warm enough to not freeze. Icy rain and cold temperatures snarled air traffic the past few days and canceled the flight that was supposed to bring newly acquired left wing Tomas Fleischmann to Dallas on Saturday to join the Ducks for Sunday’s game against the Stars. But Fleischmann, acquired for Dany Heatley and a third-round pick in the June entry draft, was rebooked on another flight and arrived in Dallas on Sunday, around 2 p.m. Central time. He was assigned uniform number 41 but wasn’t likely to play Sunday night.
John Gibson was scheduled to start in goal for the Ducks. Jhonas Enroth was scheduled to start for Dallas, which was 0-3-2 in its previous five games.
When the Ducks acquired left wing Jiri Sekac from Montreal last Tuesday, they put him in the lineup the next day without benefit of a practice with the team. Coach Bruce Boudreau is inclined to avoid repeating that with Fleischmann and instead wait to get him into a game. The Ducks are scheduled to practice on Monday in Arizona before facing the Coyotes there on Tuesday.
“That’s what I’m thinking,” Boudreau said after the team’s morning skate Sunday at American Airlines Center. “At this stage it doesn’t hurt to have a practice. I thought Jiri was much better in his second game than his first game and he just got thrown in there, not knowing anybody. So this might be a blessing in disguise, a little bit. And I’m sure he’s as nervous as all get-out.”
Boudreau added, “We’ll see. I might get crazy. I’ve been there before….I’ve done a lot of crazy things.”
Boudreau coached Fleischmann with the Washington Capitals and with that team's top affiliate in Hershey, Pa., so he knows what the Ducks are getting.
“Very smart player. Very smart offensive mind. Can make a play, I think play in traffic,” Boudreau said. “To me -- and I haven’t seen him in four years -- gifted with the puck [and] decision-making. He cares. He plays both ends of the ice and he’s a really good person. Really creative. Your typical, skilled European but he’s been in North America for a long time now. He played junior in North America and he’s been here for a long time.”
Fleischmann, a native of Koprivnice, Czech Republic, played for Moose Jaw of the Western Hockey League in the 2002-03 and 2003-04 seasons before beginning his professional career.
Boudreau said he liked the speed and skill Sekac displayed on Thursday in the Ducks’ 4-2 victory over the Kings. Sekac earned an assist in that game, his first point as a Duck. He played mostly with Emerson Etem and Rickard Rakell.
“I thought the line itself was really good against L.A. I’m hoping it’s just not that it’s L.A. that brings out the best in us,” Boudreau said. “Everything is over time and see him do it again. Not just him, but as a group, we fore-checked well, but anybody can do anything once. Let’s see them do it time and time again and build up the good habits that can be continuous.”
Sekac said the Ducks haven’t thrown too much information at him at once and he thinks he can pick things up without difficulty.
“The system we’re playing is very comfortable and it makes sense a lot,” he said. “Nothing very hard or confusing….There’s still a lot of things to work on but nothing very confusing and you get used to it very quick.”