Irvine – Ricard Raquel played eight games to begin 2021-22, scoring four goals and looking like his old productive self again after a couple of rocky seasons in which his scoring touches left him. He was then ruled out of 10 games with an upper body injury.
Now, he is on the verge of a return to the lineup, eager to rejoin a team that regained its mojo during an 8-1-1 streak while being sidelined . He can’t wait to join the fun on Sunday, starting a two-game trip to play the Predators and Colorado Avalanche in Nashville with the Ducks.
“Just the confidence I feel is going through our whole group now, the belief that we can play with any team in this league when we’re playing like that,” Raquel said of what he told the Ducks. have seen. So different from last season or the first one.
“The feeling in the locker room is great, so it’s really fun to watch,” he said. “But at the same time, you want to be a part of it. I’m really happy that I’m at the point now where I feel like I can come back and help the team. I love what we’re doing.” Everyone is really proud of that.
“We have pretty much the same team that we had last year, and we’re taking these steps as we have. But at the same time, this is where it’s going to be tough, after 20 games and it’s going to be tough.” Carrying all the way (to the end of the 82-game season). We just want to keep pushing.”
Raquel’s impending return to the Ducks lineup gives coach Dallas Eakins more options as the Ducks near the one-quarter mark of the season. His top-line leftist Adam Heinrich, center Ryan Getzlaff and right-winger Troy Terry have been the Ducks’ biggest producers of all time.
Terry, who has 22 points, Gretzlaff (19 points) and Heinrich (15 points) are the Ducks’ leading scorers through 18 games. Terry has a 16-game scoring streak, the third longest in duck history. Only Cory Perry (19 games) and Teemu Selene (17 games) have had long streaks.
Raquel is likely to slot into the second row, joining left wing Sonny Milano and rookie center Trevor Zegrass. Eakins had tough guy Nicolas Deslauriers in the last five games with Milano and Zegrass if opponents took liberties with Milano and Zegrass.
“I’m just going to feed what everyone else on the team is feeling,” Raquel said of his hopes for his return to the lineup. “I love to be back when the team is winning and feeling good. It has given me more time to get back to feeling as good as I can.
“I’m really happy about that.”
So, it is not as if Raquel feels she has to carry a heavy load and score five goals in her comeback.
“I mean, I would,” he said, laughing at a group of journalists and broadcasters. “I’ll take it. I’m still concerned about my game and what I can contribute. Obviously, it gets a lot easier when everyone’s playing well. I’m just going to get into it.” ”
Raquel had this to say when asked for an explanation for the Ducks’ increase in offense and wins during a 10-game absence:
“We always thought we had a good team, but last year, we want to forget that because no one has reached their standard of what they can do on the ice. Obviously, we feel a lot better this year. We think we’re a different team than we were last year. I think the good thing is that we think we can be even better.”