By Kyle Shohara
The Ducks took to the ice this afternoon in retro gear for a weekend practice session at Honda Center, as they prepare for tomorrow’s matchup against the Ottawa Senators.
Anaheim enters tomorrow’s game winners of three straight after dropping the season opener in Colorado, 6-1. Since then, the Ducks have outscored their opponents 13-5, including a 6-0 blowout in their home opener on Thursday.
Sunday’s game marks the return of Bobby Ryan to Anaheim, and the first time Jakob Silfverberg faces his former team. Silfverberg has four goals in four games, and is only the third player in franchise history to score four times in his first four games with the Ducks, after Selanne in 1996 and Winnik (who scored five in the first four) last season.
The Ducks will look to stick to their game plan tomorrow night against the Senators.
“We just need to come out a play our game again,” said captain Ryan Getzlaf. “We had a lot of emotions going into that home opener. We need to channel that and do that at the beginning of every single game.”
“You’ve got to be prepared to play,” said linemate Corey Perry. “If we come out and play the same perfect period that we did the other night, we’re going to be successful. But, if we try and do too much or play too fancy, it’s going to hurt us. We’ve got to be ready to play.”
As part of Anaheim’s 20th anniversary season, the team will turn back the clock to 1993, including playing in retro Mighty Ducks jerseys tomorrow night. Several players were around when the team last wore those iconic jerseys, and they shared their thoughts on wearing them once more.
“It’s cool. This is part of building a tradition,” Getzlaf said. “It was fun, and it’s going to be cool to be out there in those colors again. I remember when we first got the equipment in the summertime when I was drafted. I was the standout guy in the summer league. It’s fun to put it on again.”
“It’s exciting,” said Perry. “It's what I was drafted in, and it was my first year here. It’s nice to see those colors back. 20 years, and here we are again.”
Although the trio of Nick Bonino, Kyle Palmieri and Emerson Etem weren’t yet members of the then-Mighty Ducks, they all expressed their excitement and respect for paying homage to 20 years of Ducks hockey.
“It’s great,” said Bonino. “It’s really cool they’re having guys from the first few teams here. There’s such a tradition here. It’s been 20 years.
“Especially with the movies, I think that’s the coolest thing for a lot of us. We grew up watching those movies. If it’s on TV these days, I’ll stop what I’m doing and watch it. I’ll say every line. It’ll be cool for the fans, and especially the players.”
|A young Nick Bonino wearing a Mighty Ducks pajama combo. |
Bonino’s ties to the Mighty Ducks actually go way back to when he was a kid. “I was a pretty cute kid,” he said. “I think I got a whole [Mighty Ducks] pajama suit for my birthday or Christmas. I was looking through the old photo albums, and found a nice one.”
“It has a lot of tradition, and you see how far this franchise has come since it started in the early ‘90s,” said Long Beach native Etem. “It’s only going uphill from here. I’m glad to be a part of it, and it’s going to be a special night.”
Palmieri says the first thing that comes to his mind are the old Mighty Ducks movies. “It makes me think about the movies,” he said. “My hometown [Montvale, New Jersey], Goldberg’s actually from there. It’s one of our hometown’s claims to fame.
“It’s awesome,” adds Palmieri, on bringing back the Mighty Ducks jersey for Throwback Night. “I wish we would’ve done it more often. We’ll hopefully get a win in front of the crowd, and do these jerseys well.”
Boudreau, on remembering (and honoring) the past: “I think it’s great that they do these things,” he said. “You have to remember the past. It’s a big part of the whole tradition of hockey."
Boudreau's face lit up when the topic of throwback hockey jerseys came up. “Hockey jerseys, in general, are the coolest things going,” he said. “When you can see something you haven’t seen in a while, I think it’s going to be extra special. I can’t wait to see them on [our players]. I just hope the results are different when we’re wearing them than when the first team wore them.”
Bonino, Palmieri and Mathieu Perreault were all on the ice again today, and are expected to be in tomorrow’s lineup. Bonino and Perreault were injured during Thursday’s game against the Rangers, while Palmieri hasn’t played since he left the game on October 6 in Winnipeg.
But, it all wasn’t good news at practice. When asked about the status of Dustin Penner, who left Thursday’s game with a lower-body injury, Boudreau said, “He’s probably not going to be available tomorrow.”
Although defenseman Sheldon Souray has been out of the lineup since undergoing wrist surgery in the offseason, Boudreau says the veteran blueliner is skating, albeit without pucks.
“He’s here, he’s working out, and every time I see him, he’s sweating,” said Boudreau. “He was skating on the ice the other day with no pucks, of course. Just to get his legs moving. With him, it’s just time. He’s got to follow the protocol of the timeline. We’ll have him when he’s ready.”