Losing Joffrey Lupul: Anaheim Ducks Gain Ground with Surging Dan Sexton

SKCorrespondent IDecember 18, 2009

GLENDALE, AZ - SEPTEMBER 18:  Dan Sexton #42 of the Anaheim Ducks skates with the puck during the preseason NHL game against the Phoenix Coyotes at Jobing.com Arena on September 19, 2009 in Glendale, Arizona.  The Ducks defeated the Coyotes 4-3 in overtime.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

With Joffrey Lupul out of the line-up for the next six to eight weeks while he recovers from back surgery, the Ducks are going to continue to look elsewhere for scoring options.

No problem.

Dan Sexton and his second-linemates Saku Koivu and Bobby Ryan are picking up the slack, the energy, and the game winning goals that have been lacking from the lineup since the season started. 

They're doing it better than expected and I don't think anyone is complaining. 

Thankfully the Ducks have been working on boosting their scoring outlet since the season started. While it looks like they may have found the perfect replacement with Sexton in the line up, there are still questions that surround Lupul's absence. 

How many of you are noticing that without Lupul in the lineup or the services of Luca Sbisa this season, the Ducks have essentially received nothing for the final year of Chris Pronger's contract?

Let's face it, Pronger was a valuable asset, and if the Ducks still had his services, or multiple players to fill the absence of his body on the blue line, the current trade wouldn't seem so ugly.

Of course, what the future holds for this trade remains to be seen. There is a chance that Lupul will come back into the lineup this season, or even next, and continue to provide for the team as he had done during his short return to earlier this month.

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Likewise, the Ducks are going to be blessed with a young talented blue-liner next season, and hopefully they will benefit from having multiple draft picks turn valuable in the future. However, draft picks don't always turn profit.

There is a chance the Ducks will miss Lupul as much as they did when he was out earlier this season. Then again, chances are they won’t miss his 10 goals in 23 games, four of which came during his three game appearance earlier this month. 

At least not while the second line is producing the way they have been.

Which begs another question: what will become of the young Sexton when Lupul, Ryan Carter, and Teemu Selanne return in the upcoming months? 

Undoubtedly the Ducks are benefiting from Sexton's physical energy, passing ability, and goal scoring touch. If he is able to continue on the current path he is riding, the Ducks might find themselves with a few extra healthy scratches in the lineup on a nightly basis. 

A struggling team is certainly not complaining about the up and coming talent in their lineup. They have no complaints about winning either.


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