Ducks Radio Analyst
Through the streets of Philadelphia, the Ducks wound their way Friday morning to the University of Pennsylvania’s “Class of 1923” Arena, quite the unusual venue for an NHL team to practice.
Practice the Ducks did, however, in the 40-year-old building, a $3.2 million project begun in 1968, completed as a “state-of-the-art” facility four years later and still home to both the Penn and Drexel club hockey teams. It also stands as the largest class donation in Penn’s history.
Modern on the outside, the 60,000-square-foot, 2,900-seat facility is something else again on the inside, certainly with its share of “character.”
Unlike many “dirty and dungy” rinks in Canada, Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said, Penn’s ice rink, while old, is “an upscale arena.”
The out-of-the-ordinary setting nonetheless enabled the Ducks to prepare for Saturday night’s meeting with the Philadelphia Flyers at Wachovia Center.
On the heels of Thursday night’s impressive 6-1 victory at Boston, the Ducks (1-1-1) will look for a second consecutive triumph against a Flyers team that opened the season 3-0 but dropped a 5-4, home-ice decision to rival Pittsburgh on Thursday.
“We’re going into an emotional building,” Carlyle said. “They’ll be looking to regain their swagger.”
It will be the Ducks’ first chance to see former teammate Chris Pronger in a Philadelphia uniform. Pronger, dealt to the Flyers in June for winger Joffrey Lupul, promising young defenseman Luca Sbisa
and a nice collection of draft picks, has four assists, a plus-4 mark and a team-high 18 penalty minutes in four games.
The Ducks’ victory over the Bruins featured two goals each from Teemu Selanne
and Corey Perry
, one apiece from Evgeny Artyukhin and Bobby Ryan
, and a perfect 6-for-6, penalty-killing effort.
Carlyle also pointed to an impressive total of 15 blocked shots that featured two each from Perry, Lupul, Ryan Getzlaf
and defensemen Nick Boynton and Ryan Whitney.
Newly acquired center Saku Koivu
also turned in a sparkling effort, at both ends of the ice, picking up an assist and winning 11 of 18 faceoffs.
“We had contributions from a lot of people,” Carlyle said.
Carlyle pointed to a “carryover” from Tuesday night’s 4-3, overtime loss at Minnesota.
“You can’t lose sight of the fact we blew a three-goal lead,” he said. “We needed a response. There was a lot of pressure on our hockey team.”