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At the Rink blog

Roy, Selanne feel opening-night butterflies

Wednesday, 10.02.2013 / 4:22 PM

By Rick Sadowski  -  NHL.com Correspondent / 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

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2013-2014 At the Rink Blog
Roy, Selanne feel opening-night butterflies

DENVER -- Patrick Roy and Teemu Selanne will mark individual milestones Wednesday night at the Pepsi Center when the Colorado Avalanche and Anaheim Ducks begin regular-season play.

It will be Roy's first NHL game as a head coach when he goes behind the Avalanche bench. For Selanne, who has told the Ducks he plans to retire after the season, it will be his 22nd and final opening night.

"Yes, I'm nervous," Roy said following the morning skate. "There's nothing wrong for me to be nervous. I'm a proud person and I want to do well. I care, and when you care you have to be a bit nervous. I'm curious also to see the difference between preseason and how the (opposing) coaches are going to deal during the games, the adjustments I'm going to have to make. I'm convinced I'm going to learn a lot this year.

"We're excited and we would love to have a good start. We're playing against a good team and we'll have to be ready for them. We want to surprise the world of hockey. I look at all the predictions and nobody puts us in the playoffs, but we have the right to prove people wrong."

Selanne, 43, said he's very comfortable to call it a career after this season. He ranks 11th on the League's all-time goal-scoring list with 675, is 40th in assists with 755 and 15th in points with 1,430.

"This time I announced it right away," he said Wednesday. "I almost feel like a big thing in my chest disappeared. You just have to enjoy every day. Right now I have a really good feeling. Every day is going to be fun. You look at things a bit different when you know it's going to be one of the last days you go into a city. It's going to be a little bit different of an approach, but the main focus is still hockey."

After all these years, Selanne said that opening night remains as exciting as ever.

"Oh yeah, absolutely," he said. "Last night I started feeling it. Your body knows; it's like a racehorse, your body starts reacting differently and your mind is a little more focused. You get those butterflies and that's a good feeling."

Selanne said he's happy that Roy, who turns 48 on Saturday, has returned to Colorado as a coach.

"I think it's great," he said. "I always said I'm so happy to see older players who have retired back in the business because they have so much to give with their experience. He's a perfect example. He has a passion for hockey and I know he's going to be a really good one. You hope that those guys are going to succeed."

But Selanne didn't sound like he's interested in taking a similar route once his playing days end.

"I don't know how those guys are doing it," he said. "It takes more time than when they played. You can't make 25 guys happy. You try, but there are tough decisions you have to make."

Here are the projected lineups for the Ducks and Avalanche:

DUCKS

Patrick Maroon -- Ryan Getzlaf -- Corey Perry

Jakob Silfverberg -- Mathieu Perreault -- Teemu Selanne

Andrew Cogliano -- Saku Koivu -- Daniel Winnik

Matt Beleskey -- Nick Bonino -- Kyle Palmieri

Cam Fowler -- Francois Beauchemin

Bryan Allen -- Sami Vatanen

Mark Fistric -- Ben Lovejoy

Viktor Fasth

Jonas Hiller

Scratches: Peter Holland, Hampus Lindholm, Dustin Penner

Injured: Emerson Etem (lower body), Luca Sbisa (ankle), Sheldon Souray (wrist)

Notes: Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said Penner won't play Wednesday because he didn't have a good training camp and wants to reward the players who did. ... The Ducks assigned right wing Devante Smith-Pelly to Norfolk of the American Hockey League and activated Silfverberg from injured reserve. Silfverberg had a lower-body injury.

AVALANCHE

Ryan O'Reilly -- Matt Duchene -- Steve Downie

Gabriel Landeskog -- Paul Stastny -- Alex Tanguay

Jamie McGinn -- Nathan MacKinnon -- PA Parenteau

Cody McLeod -- John Mitchell -- Patrick Bordeleau

Erik Johnson -- Jan Hejda

Cory Sarich -- Andre Benoit

Tyson Barrie -- Nate Guenin

Semyon Varlamov

Jean-Sebastien Giguere

Scratches: Marc-Andre Cliche, Nick Holden, Matt Hunwick

Injured: Ryan Wilson (knee)

Notes: Guenin, 30, will be playing his first NHL game since 2011-12 when he played in 15 games for the Ducks. He's played in 32 NHL games in seven previous seasons as a pro. "I was given an opportunity in the preseason and now I'm here," said Guenin, who signed with the Avalanche as a free agent in July. "I never quit. I always thought I could play (in the NHL). I know this is only one game. I've been here before and then back to the minors in a couple weeks, so I have to keep doing my job and make a good impression."

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