In the run-up to the noon Pacific trade deadline, it was business as usual inside Honda Center as the Ducks took part in their morning skate.
The Ducks, currently riding a three-game winning streak and winners of two straight coming out of the Olympic break, are hosting a rare visitor tonight, the Montreal Canadiens. With the Canadiens comes a large media contingency, as was evident inside the packed hallways outside the Ducks locker room.
And inside the room, they converged upon Saku Koivu, the former 10-year captain of the Canadiens. Koivu played in 792 games with the Canadiens spanning 14 years, and ranked 10th on the all-time franchise list with 641 points.
“It’s always emotional,” he said of playing against the Canadiens. “It’s my fifth year here so time goes by real quickly. But there are still a lot of familiar faces on their staff and on the ice. I was there for so long, so every time I see the Habs logo on TV or when you face them, getting ready for those games is never easy.
“It brings a lot of memories, and it’s a fun one. Hopefully I’m going to have a chance to see people who I’ve known really well after the game.”
Tonight also happens to be Social Media Night, and defenseman Mark Fistric (@Fistric45) says it’s easy to get excited for a game against the Canadiens.
“It’s an easy game to get up for,” he said. “It’s exciting every time you play the Canadiens. It’s a big game for us because we need the points. We need to continue to push forward, and it’s always exciting when the Montreal Canadiens come to town.”
Kyle Palmieri (@kylepalmieri) was a healthy scratch for the game in Montreal back in October, so tonight’s game is going to be a “pretty cool” experience for the young winger. Palmieri is expected to take Dustin Penner’s spot as the top-line left winger alongside Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry.
“It’ll be a team I’m playing [against] for the first time,” he said. “We didn’t play a great game that night, so hopefully we can come out on home ice and have a good game. We need to be ready for them from the start and put together a full 60-minute effort.”
Anaheim owns an all-time record of 10-10-3 vs. Montreal, including a 5-5-1 mark at Honda Center. Since the start of the 2005-06 season, the Ducks have picked up 11-of-14 points in the seven contests between the two NHL clubs, going 5-1-1 since Dec. 10, 2005. In four career contests vs. his former team, Saku Koivu has one assist with six penalty minutes.
ABOUT SOCIAL MEDIA NIGHT
The Ducks are hosting their second annual Social Media Night tonight against the Montreal Canadiens. Throughout the night the Ducks will be highlighting their social media platforms -- including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the Ducks Mobile App -- with a number of pregame and in-game features:
-Fans will be encouraged to tweet and post photos to Instagram using the #DucksSocial hashtag, and those posts will be displayed in the arena and on the Prime Ticket broadcast during the game.
-A special “tweet your seat” promotion will be held during the game, in which fans can post their seat locations to Twitter and will be chosen at random for a seat upgrade.
-Ducks players who are active on Twitter will have their Twitter handles displayed on in-arena screens.
-Fans guess which Ducks player will score the game's first goal on social media to win autographed merchandise.
-Fans watching the game on the Prime Ticket broadcast can vote for their pre-game and intermission guests as well as tweet questions for color analyst Brian Hayward.
-Frequent Ducks Mobile App alerts will provide exclusive discounts in the Ducks Team Store.