For a month, the Anaheim Ducks have waited and waited to see Saku Koviu return to the lineup, after taking a hit up high from Brandon Dubinsky of the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Making his return against the Calgary Flames, Saku made an immediate impact, reuniting with Andrew Cogliano and Daniel Winnik – and getting two assists on the night.
On his first helper, he created the turnover and gave it to Cogliano who showed great patience in setting up Sami Vatanen for his third goal of the year.
He then started the Cogliano goal by moving the puck up the ice to Cogliano who then went back and forth with Winnik for the goal.
It wasn’t only on the scoreboard that Koivu made his presence known. Taking 18-faceoffs on the night, Koivu won 11 of them for a percentage of 61. Koivu was the go-to guy in the defensive zone, taking five of the thirteen opportunities in Ducks’ zone, winning four of them.
If his absence wasn’t noticeable while he was out (which it was), it was certainly cleared up against the Flames. The chemistry he has showed with Cogliano and Winnik give the Ducks two lines that can take over games at times, and when they are atop their game at the same time – we saw what could happen.
With the Ducks having the most man games lost due to injuries in the league, it’s good to see any player return to the lineup, it’s even better to see them perform like Koivu did and reminds you just how good they could be once they get 100% healthy once again.