Greetings from Dallas, where the Ducks, who were inexplicably flat in a 2-0 loss at St. Louis on Thursday, will complete a back-to-back sequence by facing the Stars on Friday at American Airlines Center.
The Ducks will have at least one lineup change against the Stars, out of necessity. With defenseman Mark Fistric ruled out because of an upper-body injury, defenseman Josh Manson is expected to make his NHL debut. Coach Bruce Boudreau also said that left wing Patrick Maroon, injured in the third game of the season and expected to be out a month, is healing quickly and will be a game-time decision. But it's "more probable" that Maroon will return on Sunday at Colorado, Boudreau said.
If Manson's name sounds familiar, there's a reason. He's the son of former NHL tough guy Dave "Charlie" Manson, who ranks 13th on the all-time penalty minutes list with 2,792. Dave Manson, also a defenseman, on Friday was named interim coach of the Prince Albert Raiders of the Western Hockey League, the junior team he played for.
Josh played at Northeastern University and was drafted by the Ducks in the sixth round (160th overall) of the 2011 entry draft. He signed with them in March and played nine games with Norfolk (Va.) of the American Hockey League last season. He was recalled earlier this week.
The natural question is whether Josh plays like his dad, who was among the league's most feared fighters during a 16-season NHL career.
"I don't know if I'm that aggressive. He played pretty tough," Josh said after the Ducks' optional morning skate. "But I'm going to do the best I can to replicate his game because he was pretty successful in his career."
Josh Manson, who's listed at 6 foot 3 and 217 pounds, was born in October 1991, while his dad played for the Blackhawks. Dave Manson played for the Stars in the 1999-2000 and 2001-02 seasons, and Josh has memories of visiting the American Airlines Center and Reunion Arena, which preceded it.
"We've traveled everywhere including here. I've been in this rink a couple times. I think the last time was when they were in the playoffs against New Jersey," he said of the 1999-2000 Stanley Cup final. "So it's been a while but it's a good time to be back, I think."
Ducks Coach Bruce Boudreau, who knows Dave Manson, said he sees some of the father's game in the son's game.
"He's a mobile, right-handed defenseman that can play physical like his dad," Boudreau said. "Simple as far as just getting the puck and moving the puck. He had a good camp. He had a good end of the season after college last year in Norfolk. We've got a lot of faith in him. We think he's going to be a good player and we'll see how he goes tonight."
Asked if he felt old coaching the sons of players he played with or against, Boudreau laughed. "I just feel old sometimes," said Boudreau, who is 59.