Korbinian Holzer has been in the AHL all season for the Pacific Division’s Anaheim Ducks — but with the club still winless, sitting on only a single goal, and down Simon Despres (out for an injury sustained by a hit from Colorado Avalanche blue liner Tyson Barrie), the 27 year old Munich native will make his regular season debut.
Traded to the Ducks for Eric Brewer and a fifth round draft selection at the trade deadline last year, Holzer has played two games for the San Diego Gulls of the AHL this year; he’s now been called up to the NHL club in Anaheim, though, to help the team replace injuries in the lineup. He’ll make his first appearance this season — and his first on-ice appearance in a Ducks uniform — as the west coast franchise attempts to play well against the Minnesota Wild.
Anaheim is struggling so far this season; last year’s Pacific Division champions have lost all four of their first games this October, scoring only a single goal in the process. They only sit ahead of the Columbus Blue Jackets in the standings with one overtime loss — the two clubs are the only remaining franchises who have failed to record a single win in any situation during the early stages of the 2015-2016 season — and they’re taking on one of the league’s few teams that hasn’t lost in regulation yet.
Minnesota’s 3-0-1 record includes a hat trick from alternate captain Zach Parise and points for twelve different members of the lineup; if Anaheim hopes to win, Holzer and the rest of the Ducks will have to pull off a huge turnaround from the way they’ve been playing so far.
In addition to Holzer’s debut with the lineup, the Ducks have been led out for warmups by backup netminder Anton Khudobin. Traded to the club over the summer from the Carolina Hurricanes, Khudobin was pulled from his regular season debut with Anaheim after allowing three goals by the Arizona Coyotes on eight shots last week.