Now he’s out of the lineup.
It wasn’t because of anything Fleischmann did or didn’t do when he played in Game 3 and Game 4 at Winnipeg due to the injury suffered to center Chris Wagner. He became expendable because center Nate Thompson is ready and will play Thursday night in Game 1 of the Ducks-Flames Western Conference semifinal series at Honda Center.
“Fleischmann was great for us,” Ducks Coach Bruce Boudreau said after the morning skate. “It goes to our depth that if things don’t go right, we’ve got guys. Jiri Sekac played great for us … we could put [him] in up front.
“Nate being a natural centerman and a penalty-killer and a faceoff guy is a vital guy to our team. He’s been a vital guy for the whole year.”
Thompson, who had 18 points in 80 regular-season games, was out because of an upper-body injury suffered at the end of the regular season. The eight days between the playoff rounds greatly assisted the healing process.
“Like I said, it’s tough to watch,” Thompson said of the first round. “But hopefully tonight is the night I can get in there … my legs will be moving, I can tell you that.”
Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf had one of the better lines of the morning when asked the inevitable question about the Flames occupying the underdog role against the Ducks. Anaheim finished 12 points ahead of the Flames in the regular season.
"Those are media-mind games," Getzlaf said. "I said the same thing last series. This isn't about playing games in the media -- or who's the favorites.
"We're all here. We're all in the playoffs. There's eight great teams in our conference that deserve to be here."