Perry was injured during the first period of the Ducks’ 5-4 victory at Minnesota on Friday, when Wild defenseman Keith Ballard hit him with a hip check and upended him. Perry didn’t return in that game but accompanied the team to Winnipeg for Sunday’s game against the Jets. He got treatment on Saturday and was wearing a small brace on his left knee.
“It’s all right. A little stiff, but it will heal,” said Perry, who leads the Ducks with 14 goals and ranked fifth in the NHL through Friday’s games.
Asked if he thinks it’s a bad injury, he shook his head negatively. “No, I don’t think so,” he said. “We’ll take some time and let it heal. I’ll be back. I don’t think it’s anything too serious.”
A team spokesman said only that Perry had suffered a knee injury and that Perry will be re-evaluated when the team returns to Southern California after Sunday’s game. The Ducks recalled forward Rickard Rakell from Norfolk (Va.) of the American Hockey League, and he practiced with the team Saturday, centering for Andrew Cogliano and Jakob Silfverberg.
Perry said he knew he was about to be hit but couldn’t elude Ballard. “I saw him coming. I had nowhere to go. He just got me in an awkward position and kind of hit me low,” Perry said.
“It’s just one of those things where I had no real estate, nowhere to go. He hit me.”
Coach Bruce Boudreau said seeing Perry walking around on Saturday was a positive sign but Boudreau is still concerned.
“Until you get an MRI, I’ve had injuries of that sort before, so you’re always thinking, ‘Hey, this isn’t bad,’” Boudreau said. “You’re hoping it’s not bad but you don’t know.”
Boudreau also indicated he wasn’t sure the hit was entirely clean.
“You’re allowed to do a hip check. I think if you go too low it’s called clipping or something and you can get a penalty for that,” Boudreau said. “I thought the contact was just above the knee. Just at the knee. It wasn’t a hip check at the hip, which I thought the intention of a hit like that is. I was a little surprised when I saw it on the replay. I thought it was lower than I first thought it was but I don’t know if that’s by definition bad or good. I don’t know if there’s a line where they say, ‘If you hit a guy that low there’s a penalty.'”
Boudreau also said he’s hoping Rakell will take advantage of this opportunity. “If I was him and I’d just gone to the minors and bussed up to Springfield, which is 13 hours, I’m going, ‘Holy, schmoly, I’m going to play my butt off and not go back there again,’” Boudreau said. “He played two games and played really well. That boded well for his confidence. Now he’s coming back not doubting himself. That’s the hope.”