Anaheim Ducks defenceman Kevin Bieksa is out indefinitely with a hand injury, the team announced Thursday.
Those acquainted with Bieksa’s fight on Tuesday against Philadelphia Flyers defenceman Radko Gudas may think that his “Superman punch” was the cause of the injury, but he led with his right in that incident. The injury is to his left hand.
As of now, there is no timetable for Bieksa’s return.
The injury is he latest to a depleted Ducks blueline, with Cam Fowler and Sami Vatanen already on the shelf.
Anaheim luckily got Hampus Lindholm back earlier on Tuesday after missing the first seven games of the season.
Bieksa will sit out the remainder of the Ducks’ current road trip at the very least and head coach Randy Carlyle said that he’ll be assessed back in California to determine the full extent of the injury.
And while it’s hard to pin down exactly when the injury occurred, it does seem to have at least something to do with the aforementioned Gudas fight and the viral punch that drilled the defenceman in a way that turned heads in the UFC.
“I’m going to say it wasn’t the hand that delivered the punch,” said Carlyle.
But as Bieksa braces his fall on top of Gudas, he appears to go down on his left for support. That’s not to say there’s anything wrong with his approach to the fight or even the “Superman punch” in question.
And besides, Bieksa’s used the move before against Mike Richards. That was way back in 2009 when he was a member of the Vancouver Canucks. The punch was surprising and saw Bieksa take flight momentarily, but Richards didn’t go down like a sack of potatoes after the one punch.
The bottom line here is that the Ducks are without yet another defenceman and they’ll have to make yet another adjustment. They’re already 49 man games down this season.
“You can only coach the players that are available to you and sometimes injuries take their toll,” Carlyle said. “What you do is you play to your group. And it’s got to be replaced by committee. It’s not one or two individuals. It’s got to be a hockey club that’s got to go out and play a structured hockey game and outwork the opposition in some critical areas.”