By Kyle Shohara
The Ducks began their first on-ice portion of training camp today at THE RINKS – Anaheim ICE, as three separate sessions were held at the team’s practice facility.
Fans in attendance got their first glimpse of the team, including offseason acquisition Jakob Silfverberg, who skated on a line with Teemu Selanne and Nick Bonino.
“It was a pretty tough practice, but at the same point it was a lot of fun,” said Silfverberg. “You get to meet a lot of guys and watch and learn. So far, it’s a lot of fun.”
The 22-year-old begins his second NHL season after a successful rookie campaign in Ottawa, where he tallied 10 goals and 19 points with a +9 rating in 48 games. He also added four points (2g/2a) in 10 playoff games.
Silfverberg is close friends with goaltender Viktor Fasth and said he’s gotten to know a lot of the guys during his time here, his first venture to Southern California.
“I gotta say, it’s amazing,” he said. “The weather is so nice and the people here seem super nice, too. So far, I’ve enjoyed it a lot and I hope it gets better from here.”
Head coach Bruce Boudreau was impressed with Silfverberg early on, saying, “He looks like he’s going to be a good player. His skating stride is so nice and when he gets the puck, he’s off. I haven’t talked to Bones [Bonino] or Teemu, but quite frankly, I think they enjoy playing with him.”
PENNER SKATES WITH FAMILIAR FACES
As expected, Dustin Penner skated on a line with Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry during the first on-ice session of the day. The trio last played on a line together during Anaheim’s 2007 Stanley Cup championship season, and Penner said he enjoyed the moment.
“It was a lot of fun to be out there with those guys again,” he said. “It’s déjà vu. I keep noticing things like that over and over again. The guys, the atmosphere, and just being here at Anaheim Ice. We were even looking at pictures from eight or nine years ago from the guys who were here.”
Penner, who’s known for his sense of humor, said it was his mother who “led the charge” for him to get number 17. “She didn’t want to change the number on the jersey she had at home,” he said.
On his offseason training, Penner said he did a lot of yoga to help with his flexibility. “As you get older, keeping your flexibility and range of motion is important to stave off injuries. You can have more of a push, as far as in the corners and maintaining it. I focused more on the flexibility part and keeping [my] body healthy.”
Perry hopes the trio can regain the chemistry that made them so lethal some six years ago. “It’s going to be good,” he said. “Hopefully we can get back to where we were when he was here. We were a dominant line. Once he gets going, there aren’t too many guys who can stop him with that big body.”
SOMETHING TO PROVE
Ducks defenseman Cam Fowler enters his fourth NHL season and comes into camp ready to take the next step in his career. Fortunately for Fowler, he has guys like Selanne who push him early on.
“Those guys, especially ‘T’ [Selanne], he always comes out in great condition and he’s one of the fastest guys out there,” Fowler said. “He pushes us young guys and makes it challenging for us, which gets us prepared for the year.”
Adds Fowler, “I’m trying to continue to grow every day as a player. I’m not a rookie anymore. I’ve been here for three years now, and I know my teammates and coaches rely on me.
“And also with it being an Olympic year, I need to prove I’m a top-caliber player to try and represent my country. If that’s not motivation, then I don’t know what is.”
SPEED, SPEED, SPEED
The line combination of Andrew Cogliano, Saku Koivu and Emerson Etem had defensemen at their mercy during their on-ice session this afternoon, and Boudreau was impressed with what he saw.
“I’ve got to believe the speed of those guys is going to create a little bit of havoc with anybody they play against, because they play with enthusiasm all the time as well,” he said, though he noted it’s still very early in training camp. “They were going around the [defensemen] where the other groups weren’t able to. It’s what you see right now, but I was impressed with them.”
ON-ICE SESSIONS CONTINUE TOMORROW, WEEKEND
From Friday, Sept. 13 through Sunday, Sept. 15, the team will take the ice at 10 a.m. and follow with a 12 p.m. scrimmage each day. All times are tentative, so fans are encouraged to visit AnaheimDucks.com for updates. The remainder of the club’s practice schedule will be announced at a later date.
Friday, Sept. 13: Practice 10 a.m. - 11:15 a.m.; Scrimmage: 12 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 14: Practice 10 a.m. - 11:15 a.m.; Scrimmage: 12 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 15: Practice 10 a.m. - 11:15 a.m.; Scrimmage: 12 p.m.
Monday, Sept. 16: Anaheim vs. Phoenix, 7 p.m. at Honda Center
Tuesday, Sept. 17: Anaheim vs. Los Angeles, 7 p.m. at Honda Center
Wednesday, Sept. 18: Anaheim at Colorado, 6 p.m. PDT at Pepsi Center
THE RINKS - Anaheim ICE presented by Honda is located at 300 West Lincoln Avenue in Anaheim (one mile east of the 5 freeway off the Lincoln Ave. exit). Parking is available in two separate structures adjacent to the facility.