Considering how he was helped off the ice after being drilled by the Kings' Jarret Stoll, it was no surprise that Cam Fowler didn't dress for the Ducks in their home game Monday night against San Jose.
Now the pertinent question: How long is Fowler going to be sidelined?
Coach Bruce Boudreau said the third-year defenseman might not be lost for too long after talking with him. The Ducks are listing Fowler as day-to-day with an upper-body injury.
But it was clear Saturday night that Fowler suffered an apparent head injury after being sent into the boards by Stoll early in the second period of the Ducks' 7-4 victory. Boudreau said, "When he's ready to play, he'll play."
Asked if could be something that keeps him out for a longer term, Boudreau said: "There's no sense of that right now. So we'll see as time goes on, as this week prolongs."
Fowler's absence put rookie defenseman Sami Vatanen back into the lineup after sitting out Saturday. Vatanen acquitted himself well in his NHL debut against Minnesota, getting a shot on goal and logging some power-play time in nearly 14 minutes.
The Ducks have been eager to work the mobile Vatanen into the blue-line mix, and now he'll be having a larger role, at least until Fowler gets back.
"I think as he gets more comfortable, I think he'll probably take more risks," Boudreau said. "Because he did do that, whether it be in Finland or whether it'd be in Norfolk.
"Right now he's been playing pretty close to the vest. But he's mobile. He's fearless. Those are the kind of guys you win with."
Those around the Ducks have noted how calm Vatanen is on the ice and that he took his first game in stride. The 21-year-old defender said playing in Finland's top pro league for three seasons prepared him for North America.
Ducks' Fowler sits out with upper-body injury
Orange County Register | Feb 5