Thursday afternoon provided some good news for the Norfolk Admirals.
Thursday night, maybe not so much.
As the Admirals were travelling Thursday from Newfoundland to Norfolk, site of the next three games of their second-round American Hockey League playoff series against the St. John’s IceCaps, word came out that the National Hockey League’s Anaheim Ducks had assigned forward Emerson Etem to their farm team.
Tha could be big for the Admirals, since Etem (24-30-54 in 50 games) was their leading scorer in the regular season.
However, in the Ducks’ 3-2 win over the Los Angeles Kings in Game 3 of their NHL Western Conference semifinal, Anaheim forward Matt Beleskey was rattled on a big hit midway through the third period and did not return.
If a replacement is needed — and the Ducks go by a first-out, first-back policy — Etem, who played the first two games of he series, might be returning cross-continent to his native California.
Both Game 4 of the Ducks-Kings series (L.A. leads 2-1) and the IceCaps-Admirals matchup (tied 1-1) are Saturday night.
Meanwhile, Anaheim goalie Frederik Andersen is also listed day-to-day after leaving Thursday’s game, also midway through the third.
Jonas Hiller, who finished up the game, is the only other goalie on the Ducks’ roster, so if Andersen can’t go, Anaheim may very well find itself promoting John Gibson from Norfolk.
Gisbon has been sparkling in the Calder Cup playoffs so far, with a 1.45 goals-against average and .955 percentage. In the first two games against the IceCaps, he allowed just three goals on 84 shots.