ANAHEIM – Even with many more cuts necessary after an 18-player trim Saturday, the Ducks’ expected opening night roster started to take shape at the midpoint of training camp.
Ducks coach Randy Carlyle may be putting some forward lines in place. Two were kept together in Saturday’s practice after their 4-2 exhibition win over the Kings, with Rickard Rakell centering wingers Andrew Cogliano and Jakob Silfverberg and Antoine Vermette between Nick Ritchie and Ondrej Kase.
And there appears to be the reunion of Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry as linemates after the two largely played apart from each other last season. Perry did finish up with Getzlaf in the playoffs after Patrick Eaves went down to injury.
“You looked at practice today, we had five lines and 10 (defensemen),” Carlyle said. “Yeah, there’s still some competition for positions. We wanted to get our group back together now and we’re going to add people and subtract people as we go forward in these next two exhibition games.
“This is the last opportunity for some players to make a showing.”
The Ducks have kept a larger camp for a longer period of time in this particular September but plenty of decision-making will occur after games Sunday at home against expansion Vegas and Monday against Arizona in Tucson. Carlyle wants to ice his lineup over the final two contests.
Two that remain in camp are forward prospects Max Jones and Sam Steel, with both likely to play in Arizona. Jacob Larsson, who’s in the lead for an opening in the defense corps, figures to play against Vegas with Andy Welinski. Francois Beauchemin and Brandon Montour are being tried out as partners.
Kevin Bieksa, a veteran of many camps between Vancouver and Anaheim, sees the need to keep more bodies around camp with three games in four nights. Getting the final group together is preferable, particularly with the Ducks opening the year without Ryan Kesler, Hampus Lindholm and Sami Vatanen.
“At some point or another, there’s always one or two guys injured,” Bieksa said. “This team is very deep. Everyone talks about how deep this team is but it is. We have two pretty good defensemen that are out. We’re hoping that it’s not going to make that big of a dent in our lineup.
“We have a lot of good players in the AHL that can step up if they need to. We’ve got a lot of good forwards. We’re going to have to have a good start and we’re going to be a little shorthanded but we’re still are going to have…