By Kyle Shohara
After 10 days away from the ice, the Ducks convened at THE RINKS – Anaheim ICE for an hour-long practice this afternoon.
Many of the Ducks went out of town for most of the break, including defenseman Luca Sbisa, who surprised his parents with an unannounced visit back home to Switzerland.
“I flew straight home after the Nashville game,” he said. “I felt like I needed that to refresh my mind. It was a good thing to go home and spend time at home.”
Sbisa says he stayed at his parents’ house during his visit.
“I told my sister I was coming home, and I had my buddy pick me up from the airport,” he said. “I got in, put my stuff in my room, locked my door, and I sat on the couch.
“They came in and were like, ‘Oh my god, what are you doing here?’ I got back to Anaheim on Monday.”
St. Louis native Patrick Maroon flew back home to spend time with his five-year-old son, Anthony. Maroon says the Olympic break gave him a chance to bond with his son.
“Going back to being a dad is always a fun thing,” he said. “You don’t get to see him much during the season. That break was much needed. We had a blast.
“We went skating four times, and he’s always so excited when I bring him on the ice. We got some bonding time. He loves seeing me play in the National Hockey League. I enjoy it as much as he does.”
DUCKS OLYMPIANS IMPRESSING BOUDREAU
Six of the seven Olympian Ducks remain in contention for the gold medal. Those players are Cam Fowler (USA), Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry (Canada), Teemu Selanne and Sami Vatanen (Finland), and Jakob Silfverberg (Sweden). Only Jonas Hiller (Switzerland) will be going home without a medal, after a disappointing 3-1 loss to Latvia on Tuesday.
Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau was asked if he’s gotten emotionally invested in the Olympic hockey competition as a viewer.
“You know where the emotional thing is? It’s the proudness of how our players have played,” he said. “Hiller gets two shutouts, and you look at [Sami] Vatanen and ‘T’ [Teemu Selanne] and what they’re doing. I thought Getzlaf and Perry were the two best players on the ice today.
“It makes you proud. Cam Fowler is getting rave reviews for the U.S. team. We’ve got some good players, and a lot of them are playing in the Olympics.”
GOLD MEDAL PREDICTIONS
Will it be the United States, Canada, Finland or Sweden? Only time will tell, but Sbisa predicts a United States vs. Finland gold medal game, with the edge going to Finland.
“They’ve always medaled,” he said. “That’s [Teemu’s] sixth time. He’s been there five times and has always finished second or third. It would be nice for him to get that gold.”
Maroon says it’s an easy choice. “I’m going USA all the way. Hopefully they bring one home, and hopefully Cam does, too.”
The Ducks went through their first practice in 10 days, and Boudreau says it was simply to get their hockey legs back.
“You have to understand this isn’t like training camp where you can skate them overly hard the first day,” he said. “In training camp, they’ve been skating for a month already. It’s like coming off your first day of getting on the ice.
“We were pretty cognizant of not wanting to get anybody pulling their groins,” he said. “That’s why we had them doing laps instead of stops and starts. We will upgrade it every day. Tomorrow will be a lot sharper.”
Boudreau says he expects Hiller to return to practice on Monday.
Goaltender John Gibson is here to see some practice time, while Viktor Fasth is at full health, according to Boudreau.