IRVINE – Max Jones recalled skating to the front of the Calgary Flames net to join teammate Tevor Zegras, who was already fighting for the position early in that October 18 game. Suddenly, as he was beating Rasmus Andersson of Calgary, Jones heard a click coming from his chest.
“‘ Z ’heard it too,” Jones recalled Wednesday in Great Park Ice.
Jones noticed something was wrong and skated straight to the Ducks bench and headed to the locker room under the stands of Scotiabank Saddledome. He didn’t know it then, but his 2021-22 season is over, after he had played just two of the Ducks ’three games.
He had suffered a ruptured chest muscle.
If all goes well and Jones doesn’t suffer any significant setbacks, he is expected to be fine when he starts training camp in September. Although he said he was “ready to go” and feels “strong” and “has no complaints right now,” the Ducks will keep him out of the last four games this season.
It’s just not worth the risk. Aggravating it in a pointless end-of-season game could mean a setback that could delay her return to the lineup for the start of next season.
“It’s frustrating,” Jones said in his first lengthy conversation with reporters since his injury. “For me, I understand. Those six months or whatever, were grinding and grinding and finding motivation as I could, just getting on track and doing my hard work every day and always looking at that end goal. Once that end goal. it’s delayed, maybe it took me a day to feel bad for myself.
“Okay, now there’s a new end goal for me.”
Jones, a 24-year-old left winger, missed the Ducks as much as he did. He found solace in joining his teammates whenever he could, including a trip to Washington for the annual rookie dinner. Mostly, he worked for himself in a silent fight to rehabilitate his injury.
Only recently has he been fit enough to join the Ducks for training, wearing a contactless red jersey on the ice. He also accompanied the team on their recent four-game trip along the East Coast.
“All this time, I’ve had a lot of ups and a lot of lows,” he said. “It’s super hard, especially at the beginning of the year, when you finish and look at the guys and you’re super excited and we’re winning and winning. It makes you happy and there is also a part of you that realizes that you are losing it. Looks like you’re watching matches and you’re kind of forgotten.
“Mentally, being close to young people meant the world to me.”
Undoubtedly, the Ducks could use Jones ’ability to make their way into the higher scoring areas in front of the opponent’s net this season. They needed a little more advantage for their game, especially after the enforcer Nicolas Deslauriers was changed before the March 21 deadline.
“The way he plays, we need more of that,” Ducks coach Dallas Eakins said of the 6-foot-3 Jones. “If you look at our team right now, we need more size. We need more strength. We need more (attitude ) in our game. He is in your face. He is someone with whom the other team is very upset all the time because he competes a lot.
“Speed and Size”.
Although his dismissal was difficult for him, Jones said he found solace and motivation in seeing right-back Troy Terry have an outstanding season in which he led the Ducks with 36 goals and 64 points. Jones and Terry were friends dating back to their teens.
“A big part of watching these games was seeing Troy,” Jones said. “Okay, if Troy can do it, so can I. It’s all a matter of confidence. If Troy is doing it, I’ll follow in his footsteps. This year has been a leader on the ice. This year has been a lot of watching and learning. , but I found time to look for other ways to be positive about it. “
Ducks’ Max Jones sets goals after season-ending injury – Press Telegram Source link Ducks’ Max Jones sets goals after season-ending injury – Press Telegram