10:00 a.m. – Players mingle in the hotel lobby catching up on phone calls, texts, and tweets, as the rain falls outside the team hotel on 15th Street. Head coach Bruce Boudreau is also in the lobby, looking calm, cool and collected. He’ll head to Verizon Center to watch the morning skate, but this time he’ll be heading to the visiting locker room. Boudreau spent four years as the bench boss of the Washington Capitals, so he knows this arena well.
10:15 a.m. – A group of diehard fans brave the rain and greet the players as they make the quick walk to the bus. Selanne, as usual, signs every last autograph.
10:25 a.m. – The pouring rain belts the team bus as it navigates the streets leading to Verizon Center. It’s been unusually warm here for the past two days, but colder weather is on the way.
10:30 a.m. – Bruce catches up with local media members outside the Ducks locker room about an hour prior to morning skate. Until yesterday, during the team’s optional skate, Boudreau hadn’t been inside Verizon Center since late 2011.
11:30 a.m. – The Ducks head out onto the ice for their game-day morning skate as Boudreau watches from the bench. Boudreau keeps it loose on the bench, cracking a smile here and there. As his players go through their usual drills, a local photographer gets up to the glass to snap photos of Bruce behind the bench.
11:55 a.m. – Bruce leaves the bench and greets the media down the hallway. His press conference is roughly 10 minutes in length and runs the gamut. From his time in Hershey of the American Hockey League, to his first year as an NHL coach, to his dismissal in Washington up to the present time as head coach of the Ducks, Bruce reminisces about his long-standing relationships with Capitals players.
“I thought they were really good relationships,” he says. “They were great guys. For a lot of them, just watching tapes of them, thinking we’ve played in Hershey together, we’ve won championships together. When you win a championship, no matter where you are, you always have a special bond with that group. That’ll be with me forever. At the end of the season, I’ll see a couple of them, but right now I won’t even look over at them tonight. Not once. I’ll be too afraid [laughs].”
Bruce gets the entire group laughing when he’s asked what first came to mind when he stepped into the arena on Saturday. “I hope the ice is better [laughs],” he says. He pauses a few seconds, and then gives his real answer. “I just saw [Verizon Center] and said, “Wow, it’s different from this [visiting] locker room.” I didn’t even know how to get into the building from a visitor’s standpoint. It’s all interesting.”
12:15 p.m. – The team boards the bus back to the hotel for some afternoon naptime before heading back to Verizon Center at four o’clock.
6:00 p.m. – Cam Fowler, Andrew Cogliano, Frederik Andersen, Nick Bonino, Kyle Palmieri, Matt Beleskey, Hampus Lindholm, Dustin Penner and Francois Beauchemin go through their dynamic warmup outside the locker room. It’s usually the same group of guys, give or take a few. The players have fun, and they all have certain routines. For example, once they complete the ladders portion of the warmup, Bonino, Fowler, Beauchemin and Palmieri run in a circle, but with little to no movement of their upper bodies. In other words, they look incredibly stiff. After that, Fowler and Palmieri run up to each other, graze each other’s arms, and then run away from each other. Finally, Bonino and Fowler run up to each other and leap into one another at the same time. Reasons behind their routine are unknown.
6:30 p.m. – Jonas Hiller leads the team onto the ice for pre-game warmup. Boudreau follows, and catches his first glimpse of the Verizon Center crowd.
7:07 p.m. – The puck drops and the game is officially underway. Immediately, a loud horn goes off three times, followed by a loud “Let’s go Caps!” chant from the sellout crowd of 18,506. The building is electric and it’s not long before the Capitals take an early 1-0 lead on a goal by Mikhail Grabovski.
7:25 p.m. – Nicklas Backstrom puts the Capitals up 2-0 with a power-play goal 8:23 into the first period. It’s not the start the Ducks or Boudreau want, but this team seems to have a bend-but-never-break mentality. The Ducks erased a two-goal deficit on Saturday to defeat the Islanders. The same is about to happen tonight.
7:35 p.m. – With 2:45 remaining in the opening frame, Cogliano converts on a rebound chance to get the Ducks on the board. The goal cuts the deficit in half and energizes the bench.
8:30 p.m. – The momentum carries over into the second period, as Saku Koivu chips one up and over the shoulder of Philipp Grubauer on a beautiful pass from defenseman Ben Lovejoy with 27 seconds remaining in the second period. Lovejoy practically goes coast to coast before one-handing a perfect pass into the slot to an uncovered Koivu. The normally frenzied Verizon Center crowd now sits in silence, surely stunned by the dramatic turn of events.
9:23 p.m. – Leave it up to 19-year-old rookie defenseman Hampus Lindholm to score the go-ahead goal, and the third unanswered tally by the Ducks, with just 5:36 remaining in regulation. It’s a wrist shot through traffic that Grubauer never sees, and Lindholm proceeds to celebrate in grand style by going down on one knee and fist-pumping like there’s no tomorrow. The Ducks are minutes away from their ninth consecutive victory, but it won’t come easy.
9:30 p.m. – Everyone in the building thinks Alex Ovechkin has tied the game with 3:09 remaining in regulation, but replays show his wrist shot clanging off the crossbar and dropping right on the goal line. After video review, the score remains 3-2 in favor of Anaheim. Boos rain down from the crowd.
9:35 p.m. – After Nick Bonino’s empty-net attempt gets stopped inside the crease, the Caps make one last rush up the ice, but to no avail. The Ducks gain possession and the final horn sounds. Anaheim wins this one, 3-2.
9:40 p.m. – Hampus Lindholm speaks with the media. “Getzlaf and those guys went hard to the net and the puck was bouncing right up the middle,” he says. “I got the puck on my stick and tried to make a quick move to get away from my forward. I got the puck on net, I saw it go in, and it was a pretty good feeling. It’s a huge goal and it’s fun for Bruce and those guys coming here and winning against their old team. It was a blast. And now we come home and celebrate Christmas with nine straight wins. It’s great.”
Lindholm is in the process of continuing his answer when Jonas Hiller comes into the locker room. All of a sudden, there’s a loud crash, and it’s Hiller, practically swallowed up by his stall. Hiller didn’t realize the bench seat was lifted up, so when he went to sit down, he sank into the storage compartment. After some laughs, Lindholm tries to compose himself as he finishes his train of thought.
9:50 p.m. – Bruce Boudreau goes out into the hallway to address the media. “I was as nervous as I’ll get,” he says. “It just looked different. I don’t think I made eye contact with one player all night long because I couldn’t. I was worried they might give me a pout or something [laughs]. I thought our guys were really good after the first 10 minutes. I think they were trying hard for the guys who were in Washington, like Bob [Woods] and myself. I think they were a little nervous at the beginning. But once we got our legs going, I thought we shut them down pretty good, except for that almost-goal at the end.” After his press conference ends, Bruce spends a few minutes hanging out with everyone around him before saying his goodbyes. Earlier in the day, Bruce said one of the things he misses most about Washington D.C. is the people. He makes sure he says goodbye to every single person before he makes his way to the team bus.
10:15 p.m. – The bus departs Verizon Center for the 35-minute commute to Washington Dulles International Airport, in Sterling, Virginia.
11:00 p.m. – Hiller stands in the walkway of the airplane and still has his locker room blooper on his mind. “Good thing I still had my gear on,” he says with a laugh.
11:49 p.m. – The team charter takes off from Dulles for a five-hour flight back to LAX. The league-leading Ducks come home riding a franchise-best nine-game winning streak, including a perfect 4-0 road trip entering the Christmas break. The Ducks won’t play again until Dec. 28, when they host the Phoenix Coyotes at Honda Center.
| CLICK HERE FOR MORE PHOTOS
Some of the sights within walking distance of the Ducks’ hotel in Washington D.C.
The White House
The White House is the oldest public building in the District of Columbia. And its address, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, is the most famous address in the United States. It is here where every President, except George Washington, has conducted the government of the Nation.
The White House was designed by Irish-born James Hoban and built between 1792 and 1800 of white-painted Aquia Creek sandstone in the Neoclassical style. Since 1792, the White House has become symbolic of the American Presidency throughout the world.
United States Capitol
The United States Capitol is the meeting place of the nation's legislature. The Capitol also houses an important collection of American art, and is an architectural achievement. In fact, like the federal buildings for the executive and judicial branches, the Capitol is built in the distinctive neoclassical style with a white exterior.
Construction of the U.S. Capitol began in 1793, and in November 1800, the U.S. Congress met in the first completed portion of the building, the north wing. The Capitol represents the freedom and ideals of the Nation.
United States Treasury Building
The United States Treasury Building, located at 1500 Pennsylvania Avenue, is a National Historic Landmark building and the headquarters of the United States Department of the Treasury.
The Department of the Treasury is an executive department and the treasury of the U.S. federal government, and was established by an Act of Congress in 1789 to manage government revenue.
The first Secretary of the Treasury was Alexander Hamilton, who was sworn into office on Sept. 11, 1789. A bronze statue of Hamilton was dedicated on May 17, 1923, and can be found on the south patio of the U.S. Treasury Building. An image of the Treasury Building can be found on the back of the United States ten-dollar bill.
Old Post Office Pavilion
The Old Post Office Pavilion is a historic building located at 1100 Pennsylvania Avenue NW. Construction was completed in 1899, and it was used as the city's main post office until 1914. The Old Post Office Pavilion, officially renamed the Nancy Hanks Center in 1983, was nearly torn down during the construction of the Federal Triangle complex in the 1920s.
It was nearly demolished again 50 years later to make way for completion of Federal Triangle [10 large city and federal office buildings, all of which are part of the Pennsylvania Avenue National Historic Site]. The structure is the third tallest building in the city, and the 270-foot-high observation deck in the 315-foot-high tower offers views of the city.
10:00 a.m. – Players make their way across the parking lot to Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum for an optional skate prior to Saturday’s game against the New York Islanders. The walk is short (five minutes at most), so everyone opts for the fresh air. Fans wait in the lot right outside the hotel in hopes of getting autographs, and at one point can be seen chasing down Teemu Selanne as he makes his way to the optional skate. A group of about 15 fans move in unison around Selanne, who signs every single piece of memorabilia.
11:30 a.m. – Players begin making their way onto the ice inside Nassau Coliseum. It’s an old barn with plenty of history and character. Most of the seats are either blue or green, and the stairs are rickety and narrow. Originally opened on Feb. 11, 1972, Nassau is currently the second-oldest arena in the NHL. Only Madison Square Garden, which opened in 1968, is older.
11:55 a.m. – Some of the younger guys, including Kyle Palmieri, Patrick Maroon, Nick Bonino and Mathieu Perreault find great enjoyment from setting a big screen in front of goaltender Frederik Andersen while the 43-year-old Teemu Selanne floats shots in from the point. Though Selanne won’t play tonight, he skates at every opportunity. Head coach Bruce Boudreau once said the only way to prevent him from skating would be to hide his skates somewhere.
12:00 p.m. – Kyle Palmieri comes off the ice and is the center of attention from reporters in the locker room. Palmieri was born in Smithtown, N.Y., on the North Shore of Long Island, but grew up in Montvale, New Jersey. He had over 100 friends and family in attendance for the game in Newark, and says about 40-50 will be in attendance tonight. Palmieri was the overtime hero in Jersey, and good things will happen once again later tonight.
4:00 p.m. – The Ducks begin to make their way to Nassau Coliseum. The lower level of the arena is a maze of tunnels and hallways, and the Ducks locker room is situated at the end of a long, narrow hallway. It’s a small locker room that has a real damp, gymnasium-type feel to it.
6:25 p.m. – Mark Fistric is the first player to step out of the locker room for pre-game warmup. He waits in the tunnel, bent over, deep in thought before stepping onto the ice. Following him is starting goaltender Frederik Andersen, who takes a few steps down the hallway for some quiet time before making his way onto the ice.
Palmieri is one of the more vocal guys prior to warmup. As he steps out, he says, “Atta boy Freddy! Here we go Fisty [Fistric]!” He lines up in front of Fistric and gives two stick whacks on his shin pads before the rest of the team comes out. Once they do, he calls each of them by a certain nickname. Perhaps the best one is “chainsaw,” though the identity of that player remains a mystery.
6:30 p.m. – The Ducks are greeted by a large group of fans lining the glass. Jerseys of all kinds can be seen, including the current home and away jerseys, third jerseys, and classic Mighty Ducks sweaters. This is the largest turnout of Ducks fans so far on this trip, and they’re in for a good one tonight.
8:45 p.m. – Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf cuts the two-goal deficit in half by finishing a rebound chance in front of a mass of players surrounding Islanders goaltender Evgeni Nabokov just 70 seconds into the third period. A loud roar erupts from the Ducks faithful in attendance as Getzlaf ignites an impressive third period rally.
9:05 p.m. – Mathieu Perreault wins a crucial offensive-zone draw and spins off of Frans Nielsen to bury a wide open chance that ties the game with 9:28 remaining in regulation. Perreault (5-10, 185 pounds) celebrates every goal like it’s his first, and this time leaps into the arms of the much bigger Mark Fistric (6-2, 230), who practically mauls him.
9:10 p.m. – Kyle Palmieri caps off a furious third period rally to score the go-ahead goal and eventual game-winner with 6:16 remaining in regulation. The goal is his second game-winner in as many nights, and the second in front of friends and family.
9:28 p.m. – Getzlaf scores into an empty net with 21.6 seconds remaining as Ducks fans say goodbye to their hats. The victory is sealed and the Ducks set a club record with their eighth consecutive road victory. The eight-game winning streak is the longest streak in the NHL this season. There have been three win streaks in the NHL this season of seven games or more – twice by Anaheim (8 and 7) and once by Vancouver (7).
10:00 p.m. – Rookie defenseman Hampus Lindholm and Bruce Boudreau walk together on the way to the team bus in the loading zone of the arena. The 19-year-old has a bag of goodies and asks his coach, “Would you like some Swedish candy?” to which Boudreau replies, “What is Swedish candy?”
11:20 p.m. – The team departs Republic Airport in East Farmingdale, New York, for a 54-minute flight to Washington Dulles International Airport.
12:14 a.m. – Upon stepping out of the airplane in D.C., Cam Fowler can’t believe it’s currently 66 degrees here. When told tomorrow’s expected temperature is supposed to be in the 70s, his eye widen as he says, “Are you kidding me?”
12:45 a.m. – The Ducks arrive at the hotel located within walking distance of the Washington Monument, U.S. Department of Treasury, and The White House. They will play the Capitals on Monday night, not far away at Verizon Center.
| PHOTOS FROM DAY 5
9:00 a.m. – Players start making their way downstairs to the hotel’s restaurant for breakfast before their 11:30 morning skate at Prudential Center. This is the third day in Jersey City, but the team will bus to Uniondale, New York immediately after tonight’s game in Newark. Anaheim will take on the Islanders tomorrow night at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
10:00 a.m. – The Ducks board their bus set for Prudential Center, normally a 20-minute commute. But traffic comes into play this time around and the duration of the trip turns into 33 minutes in length. Nevertheless, the Ducks arrive and prepare for their skate.
11:30 a.m. – Unlike two days ago when the Ducks had to make a long trek to the practice rink's sheet of ice from their locker room, today’s walk is a short trip through a hallway and onto Prudential Center ice. Morning skates are generally 30 minutes or less in length, and today’s session is no different. Players start coming off the ice around 11:55 as head coach Bruce Boudreau gets ready to address the media.
12:00 p.m. – Boudreau is greeted by a large gathering of media members who have assembled outside the Ducks locker room. He answers various questions, including the team’s extensive travel, the ageless Teemu Selanne and the emergence of 19-year-old rookie defenseman Hampus Lindholm.
12:30 p.m. – Players board the bus for the drive back to the team hotel. The routine is the same pretty much across the board: pregame nap followed by a light snack before taking the bus back to the arena for the game.
1:30 p.m. – Alonzo López (@BonzoMarchi) is the winner the @AnaheimDucks ticket giveaway contest for tonight’s game. Fans are given clues on the whereabouts of the tickets, and Alonzo is the first person to arrive at the hockey player sculpture outside of Prudential Center.
5:00 p.m. – A large group of fans are waiting behind the arena for a chance to meet the Ducks as they get off the bus. Andrew Cogliano is one of the first off, and signs autographs and takes photos with Ducks fans before heading inside the arena. Teemu Selanne draws the loudest ovation as he steps off the bus.
6:30 p.m. – The Ducks step onto the ice for pregame warmup in front a large group of Ducks fans along the glass. Some traveled from Southern California, while one fan drove from Georgia to watch her favorite team play.
7:07 p.m. – The puck drops and Anaheim’s second game of the road trip is officially underway.
9:35 p.m. – Montvale, New Jersey native Kyle Palmieri scores on a nifty wraparound in overtime to give the Ducks a 3-2 victory in front of over 100 friends and family. Palmieri is mobbed along the boards by his linemates. It’s a fitting end for the hometown hero.
10:00 p.m. – After finishing his postgame interviews, Palmieri walks down the hall and opens a set of double doors. A loud cheer erupts as he opens the doors. He signs autographs, takes pictures, and shares a tender moment with his mom, who embraces him in a hug.
10:35 p.m. – The buses depart Prudential Center for an hour-long bus ride to Uniondale, New York, the site of Saturday night’s game against the New York Islanders.
11:35 p.m. – After encountering heavy traffic getting out of Newark, the team arrives in Uniondale. The team hotel is directly across the parking lot from Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, where the Trans Siberian Orchestra is finishing up their concert. TSO fans mingle in the hotel lobby as players make their way to their rooms.
|PHOTOS FROM DAY 4|
11:30 a.m. – Players board the bus for an afternoon practice at Prudential Center across the river in Newark, New Jersey. This will be the first time the team skates on the main sheet, as yesterday the Ducks took part in a 40-minute practice across the hallway at AmeriHealth Pavilion.
12:00 p.m. – The bus arrives at Prudential Center and players make their way through the labyrinth of walkways that make up the ground level of the arena. First-timers can easily get lost trying to find a way out of here.
12:45 p.m. – Arena lights are turned on to fully illuminate the inside of Prudential Center, and the Ducks start making their way onto the ice for what will be a 45-minute practice.
Much like Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Prudential Center’s rafters are filled with banners chronicling the team’s success. And in one corner hangs Scott Niedermayer’s retired #27 banner. Niedermayer had his jersey retired in a ceremony at Prudential Center on Dec. 16, 2011 prior to New Jersey’s game against the Dallas Stars. The Hall-of-Famer captured three Stanley Cups with the Devils and won the Norris Trophy as the NHL’s top defenseman in 2003-04.
1:00 p.m. – Head coach Bruce Boudreau blows his whistle to signal the start of practice. Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry and Dustin Penner skate on their usual line, while Jakob Silfverberg takes shifts with Andrew Cogliano and Saku Koivu. Silfverberg scored a goal two nights ago in his return to the lineup, and his line with Cogliano and Koivu was a threat throughout the game.
Absent from practice is goaltender Viktor Fasth, who was sent back to Anaheim earlier in the day to resume skating and continue his recovery. Fasth has been dealing with a lower-body injury he suffered in pre-game warm up on Nov. 22 against Tampa Bay at Honda Center, forcing him to miss nine consecutive games.
“He’s not ready to play this weekend,” said Boudreau. “If he could’ve gotten a couple good practices in, then there would’ve been a chance he could play. But, we decided we’d be pushing it a bit.
“I’m sure Vik is frustrated. We’re frustrated only because we love Vik. He’s frustrated on a personal level because he works so hard at the game. To have something impeding the way you want to feel as a goalie, I think you have to feel perfect as a goalie. As a player, you can play with all the bumps and bruises and sore legs and arms. But I think as a goalie, you’ve got to really feel good.”
2:00 p.m. – The affable Kent French (@KentFrench) makes his way into the locker room and asks players lighthearted Christmas-related questions, such as, “If you had one teammate to buy a gift for, who would it be, and what would it be?” Nick Bonino and hair growth products seem to be popular answers among those being interviewed. Perhaps the best answer comes from Getzlaf, who says he’ll buy Nick a hairpiece. “He’s really struggling with this whole thing, much like I was about five years ago when it started to go. I gave up a couple years back, so I just shaved it. Bones is just hanging on, so we’d like to give him a nice hairpiece.”
2:30 p.m. – Players make their way out of Prudential Center and back onto the bus, where it will take them back to the hotel in Jersey City.
3:00 p.m. – The bus takes a scenic route back to the hotel, showing off New York City’s impressive skyline. As the bus pulls into the hotel, players begin planning their next moves. For some, it’s a chance to enjoy a late-afternoon nap. For others, a quick walk down the street for a post-practice meal.
BEHIND-THE-SCENES PHOTOS FROM DAY 3
1:30 a.m. – With practice scheduled for one o'clock in the afternoon at AmeriHealth Pavilion, adjacent to Prudential Center, players quickly head up to their rooms for some much needed sleep at the team hotel in Jersey City.
10:30 a.m. – Teemu Selanne has a sit-down interview with the NHL Network for the upcoming series “NHL Revealed: A Season Like No Other.” The seven-part series, premiering on the NBC Sports Network in the U.S. on Jan. 22, will follow more than two dozen of the league’s top stars – on and off the ice – as they participate in 2013-14 regular-season games, including the four 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series™ games. The Ducks and Kings will square off at Dodger Stadium on Jan. 25.
After his 30-minute interview wraps up, Selanne grabs a quick bite before catching the team bus to practice. His breakfast of choice: Oatmeal with wheat toast and a cup of coffee (black). "I always drink my coffee black. Always," he says.
11:30 a.m. – The Ducks board a bus bound for AmeriHealth Pavilion in Newark. The 15-minute bus ride includes a ride over the Passaic River by way of the Pulaski Skyway (a four-lane bridge-causeway that connects Jersey City to Newark).
What’s unique about AmeriHealth Pavilion is that it’s connected to Prudential Center, making it convenient for the equipment and training staff. With that being said, the walk from the visiting locker room to the practice rink is a long one. After the 40-minute practice, goaltender Jonas Hiller makes it about a quarter distance before he says, “I could just sit here and relax for a bit.” Hiller keeps going and eventually makes his way back to the locker room in full gear.
12:00 p.m. – The Ottawa Senators are wrapping up their morning skate at Prudential Center as the Ducks begin their stretching exercises in the hallway. Jakob Silfverberg and Sens defenseman Erik Karlsson share laughs while Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry and former Duck Bobby Ryan catch up with each other at the end of the hall. Silfverberg was drafted by the Senators in 2009 and made his NHL debut last season before being traded to the Ducks for Ryan last summer.
1:00 p.m. – Head coach Bruce Boudreau leads his team through a brisk 40-minute practice. Despite getting in late last night, Boudreau says the practice serves as a way to flush the legs after a game the night before.
“We practiced hard, but it was just 40 minutes of up and down,” he says. “We wanted to make sure they get the lactic acid out of their legs. They went from a long flight back into here. I thought it was good work for them.”
2:15 p.m. – As the rest of the players go their separate ways, Cam Fowler, Kyle Palmieri and Dustin Penner are heading to New York City for separate in-studio interviews. For Fowler and Palmieri, the site is the NHL Live Studio for an interview with Steve Mears and E.J. Hradek on NHL Live. In addition, the two will be interviewed by several NHL.com writers in the NHL offices next door. Penner will go on Fox Sports 1’s ‘Crowd Goes Wild’ show.
3:00 p.m. – Cam and Kyle arrive in NYC and take a quick tour of the NHL offices before splitting off into one-on-one interviews with NHL.com writers. Afterward, both are mic’d up for NHL Network promo reads. Fowler goes first and his first line is simple: I’m Cam Fowler of the Anaheim Ducks and you’re watching the NHL Network. Not so easy after all, as Fowler flubs it by saying he’s a member of the “NHL Ducks.” This draws a big laugh from those inside the small studio. He ends up nailing his second take. Palmieri is mostly flawless.
3:30 p.m. – The duo heads next door to the NHL Powered By Reebok Store to knock out some social media content for the league. A funny moment occurs when Cam’s T-shirt gets caught up with his collared shirt, so Kyle comes to the rescue. Teamwork at its finest.
WATCH: CAM AND KYLE ON NHL LIVE: PART 1 | PART 2 | PART 3
4:00 p.m. – The NHL Live in-studio taping is complete, and Cam and Kyle show some #DucksDedication by holding up a rally towel inside the store before exploring Times Square.
8:30 p.m. – The remaining players convene in the hotel’s lobby before heading out to a team dinner in New York City.
|Teemu Selanne signs autographs outside the team's hotel prior to their morning skate.
10:10 a.m. - The day started with the team departing their hotel for the morning skate at JLA. As always, there's a group of diehard fans waiting outside hoping to meet their favorite players. Despite the cold temperatures (temperatures in the mid-20s with a wind chill of 15 degrees), Teemu Selanne made sure to sign autographs and take pictures with each person outside the hotel. It's just another reason why fans around the world love Selanne. After he spent five minutes mingling with the fans, he came aboard the bus and proclaimed, "Boy, it's a bit cold outside, huh?"
10:30 a.m. - After a brief bus ride to Joe Louis Arena, the Ducks began their normal morning routines. Some guys were in the hallway stretching while others were on the visiting bench watching the Red Wings go through their morning skate. After sticks were cut and taped, and the Zambonis finished smoothing out the ice, it was time for the Ducks to skate.
11:00 a.m. - Head coach Bruce Boudreau watched from the bench as his players went through their usual gameday drills. "Let's have some energy out here, boys!," he could be heard saying from the bench. Among the skaters was forward Jakob Silfverberg, who will play tonight for the first time since Oct. 25 at Ottawa. The 23-year-old Swede skated on a line with Saku Koivu and Andrew Cogliano.
12:15 p.m. - Defenseman Cam Fowler was the center of attention after the morning skate. Fowler grew up in nearby Farmington Hills, and played at Joe Louis Arena as a kid. He made his NHL debut in this arena on Oct. 8, 2010, and expects another large group of friends and family for tonight's game.
“It’s great. It’s a special place for me,” he said. “I’ve been in this building a lot growing up. To come back and play against the team I watched growing up, and playing in front of my friends and family is something that’s special to me. It’s something I’m looking forward to.”
12:30 p.m. – The team boards the bus and heads back to the hotel for some food and rest.
About Joe Louis Arena
JLA opened on Dec. 12, 1979 and is the fourth oldest NHL venue after Madison Square Garden (New York City), Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum (Long Island) and Rexall Place (Edmonton). The arena, named after boxer and former heavyweight champion Joe Louis, replaced Olympia Stadium as the home of the Detroit Red Wings.
Remnants of the old Olympia Stadium still exist within Joe Louis Arena, including a street sign hanging on the wall just outside the home and away locker rooms.
JLA has the look and feel of a historic and classic hockey arena. There's a certain smell that can't really be described, and the stairs and seats around the concourse have a real old-school vibe.
“It's like every old building. It has history," said Koivu. "You look back in the days when they won the Cups, and you look at the names on the wall. When you walk into the building, it has that old hockey rink smell. It's a fun building, but by no means is it an easy one."
The banners hanging from the rafters serve as a constant reminder of the rich history and success of this Original Six franchise, while the outside of the arena has a big banner that showcases the team's core players.
The walls are adorned with the names of players from the past, and a walk through the hallway leading to the Red Wings locker room has plaques of previous teams and photos of some of the game's most iconic figures.
Directly across from JLA is Windsor, Ontario. Detroit and Windsor are separated by the Detroit River, which had big sheets of ice at its surface this morning.
|Players, coaches and broadcasters board their charter bound for Detroit.
9:30 a.m. – Wheels are up and the Ducks are in the air. A group of Ducks, including Francois Beauchemin, Cam Fowler, Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry and Mathieu Perreault can be seen playing a card game together, while in the back of aircraft, Tim Jackman catches up on some sleep. It’s an upbeat and lighthearted group that begins the road trip on a five-game winning streak, with the most recent victory coming last night in a 3-2 victory over the Edmonton Oilers at Honda Center. The victory represented Anaheim’s 13th at Honda Center (13-0-2), and the Ducks remain the only team unbeaten in regulation at home.The Ducks are currently second in the NHL with 51 points, just two behind front-running Chicago.
|The Ducks are greeted with a temperature of 19 degrees fahrenheit at Detroit Metro Airport in Romulus, Michigan.
4:19 p.m. - The team’s charter touches down in frigid Detroit, where the temperature outside reads 19 degrees with a breeze. Players, coaches and broadcasters patiently wait as their bags are unloaded off the plane and onto two busses bound for the team’s downtown hotel.
5:15 p.m. – The Ducks arrive at their downtown hotel just after sundown, and a group of diehard fans wait patiently for their favorite players to sign autographs. Many of these fans were braving the coldness with Ducks jackets and hoodies. A lone Red Wings fan was among the onlookers.
Players then participated in a team stretch in one of the ballrooms within the hotel.
The Ducks will head to Joe Louis Arena tomorrow morning for a game-day skate before their contest against the Detroit Red Wings at 4:30 p.m. PT on Prime Ticket.
Stay tuned for pre- and postgame coverage from Joe Louis Arena, in Anaheim's only visit to Detroit during the regular season.
|The view from the team's downtown hotel in Detroit.
Detroit is the most populous city in the state of Michigan, and is situated in Wayne County. Known as the world’s traditional automotive center, Detroit celebrates its rich history in the automotive and music industries with two well-known nicknames: The Motor City and Motown.
Detroit is the oldest city in the Midwest (founded on July 24, 1701 by the French explorer Antoine Laumet de La Mothe, sieur de Cadillac), and the only one from which one can look south to Canada. The Detroit River divides Detroit from Windsor, Ontario.
Check back Monday morning as the Ducks fly out to Detroit, where they open the trip against the rival Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena.
Ducks Road Games
Tuesday, December 17 at Detroit Red Wings
Friday, December 20 at New Jersey Devils
Saturday, December 21 at New York Islanders
Monday, December 23 at Washington Capitals
We want to hear from you, fans! What would you like to see us cover on the trip? Reply in the comments below or tweet at us using hashtag #DucksFlyTogether