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By Adam Brady
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for the Ducks and Honda Center.
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POSTED ON Friday, 01.24.2014 / 3:29 PM
Kyle PalmieriMy Hometown is a new running series in Ducks Off the Ice, in which players take some time to talk about where they grew up.

Our latest subject is Kyle Palmieri:

Montvale, New Jersey

Location: Northeast New Jersey, close to the NY/NJ border

Population:
Approximately 8,000 

Area: 4.009 square miles

Founded:
1894

Current weather: 20° F and sunny with a low of 13° and a chance of snow tonight and this weekend

Palmieri on his hometown
I was born in Long Island, but I only lived there for a year or two, and I moved to Montvale when I was really little. It was your typical suburban town, but I lived on a farm, so it was a little different from most people. It was my grandparents’ farm, and they’ve had it for 50, 60 years now. It gave me a lot of space to do what I want, and I lived not far away from my grandparents. So, we always had plenty of family around, and the whole farm was run by family members. That was pretty cool.

Working on the farm
I have two older sisters and a younger brother, but I was the only person of my siblings not to work on the farm at some point. They worked in the store, which was kind of like a Trader Joe’s that has a little bit of everything. My two sisters worked there when they were old enough, until they went away to school, and a lot of my friends worked there too. They always hired kids looking to get work.

I was always so busy in the summers with hockey and everything else that it was tough for me to commit to anything, but I’d help out if they needed me. A lot of it was cash register, but I’d help stock shelves and stuff. I never worked in the fields or anything, but we lived amongst the fields, so if my mom needed something for dinner or anything, I could walk out and pick something out of the dirt.

Learning to play hockey there
My sisters were in gymnastics, and one of their teammates had a brother who played hockey. He was around my age, so 5 or 6 at the time, and they had a rink in their backyard. That’s where I tried on my first pair of ice skates. I slid around on the outdoor rink for awhile, and my dad saw how much I loved to play, so he wanted to build one at our house. My dad [Bruce] was never a hockey player, so we kind of both learned to skate at the same time. When I was probably 7 or 8 years old, he built me my first rink in one of the fields, because it gets too cold in the winter to farm. It was probably 100 feet from my house, so I could go out there and skate whenever I wanted.

My dad is a builder, so he picks up on that kind of stuff. He took it as a challenge to himself, something he had never done. He took care of it like you’ve never seen. He’d be out there in the middle of the night, filling the cracks and sweeping it. There were little boards about [ankle] high that went around the rink, and behind the net there were bigger boards. He put netting in and all that stuff. The boards lasted awhile until I started being able to shoot harder, and then we had to replace them every year. So, I started when I was around 8 and he’s been keeping it up for 14 years now and never missed a year. He takes it seriously.

Playing hockey growing up
It’s changed a lot in the years and gotten so much bigger there, but I had a rink within 10 minutes of my house that I played at up until I was 12 or 13. Then I started playing at a rink in West Orange, where the Devils used to practice.

Going back home
In the summers I live in Boston, but I go back home a lot. Most of the kids are starting to move out now, so it’s a pretty empty house. My brother is the only one at home. One sister lives in Georgia and the other one lives close to home. It’s only a couple of hours from Boston, so I like to get back there and hang out.

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POSTED ON Thursday, 01.16.2014 / 5:00 PM

As much as Wednesday night's game resonated with Ducks fans -- who watched their team score a club-record nine goals in a 9-1 trouncing of the Canucks at Honda Center -- it meant a little bit more to one family.

I got an email this morning from a friend named Thomas, who was a former staffer with the Ducks and Kings. It read:

My Uncle Dave Myers – a long time Ducks season ticket holder – passed away last night at 67. You guys put on one hell of a show to send him off. We had started hospice Monday. He wasn’t talking or opening his eyes since Tuesday. We put the game on last night to watch one last Ducks game with him. They say the hearing is the last to go – I am pretty sure he heard all nine Ducks goal horns last night! He grunted a few times throughout the game – usually after goal horns. When the final horn sounded – we turned off the TV and he gently drifted off at 10:30.

Ironically – he brought me to my first game in 1993. I don’t think I ever would have worked in hockey had he not.

Anyway – I thought I would pass on the story.

Here is a picture of Dave:

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POSTED ON Wednesday, 01.15.2014 / 6:33 PM
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Matt BeleskeyMy Hometown is a new running series in Ducks Off the Ice, in which players take some time to talk about where they grew up.

Our first subject is Matt Beleskey:

Midhurst in Central Ontario, Canada

Location: Southeast Canada, approximately 70 miles north of Toronto

Population:
3,000 (approximately)

Founded: early 1800s

Current weather: 23° F with snow showers

How it’s described: Midhurst is a small community located just north of Barrie amongst an area of 70-year-old pines. It is a 5-minute drive to the Bayfield Street shopping strip (the golden mile), 5-10 minutes to alpine and cross country skiing and 15-20 minutes from Wasaga Beach (largest fresh water beach in the world). Springwater Provincial Park is nearby where deer, bear, wolves and other animals can be viewed. There are also picnic areas and recreation areas where families and other groups can enjoy a day of fun and relaxation in the outdoors.

Beleskey on his hometown: "I was born in Windsor (Ontario) and moved to Midhurst when I was 3. My parents still live there now. It’s just a small village outside Barrie. It’s a pretty small, quiet town, or really a suburb outside of town. It was kind of the countryside, but not quite.”

On playing outdoor hockey: "I played quite a bit growing up. We had an outdoor rink in a park right by my house. I just had to hop the back fence and I was right there. I’d be there every day after school, or I’d go find a better one that had some boards or something. There were a lot of them to choose from back home, so I have my fair share of outdoor experience."

On the weather: "They just recently went through a week of -20 Celsius (-4° F). That was pretty cold, but I hear they got into the pluses the last day or two. They get two or three feet of snow in the backyard, and it’s pretty cold."

On getting back there: "I have a house out in Minesing, which is about 10 minutes from the house where I grew up, so I hang out there a lot during the summer. It’s got lots of mountain bike trails, and it’s right on a ski mountain, so you can bike around there. It’s quiet, kind of remote, but it’s great."

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POSTED ON Thursday, 01.02.2014 / 4:20 PM
Lovejoy talked about the birth of his first child today after practice.
It isn’t every day that a defensive play in a game with nine combined goals is considered the play of the game, but you could make an argument for the play Ben Lovejoy made two nights ago against the Sharks at Honda Center. With the Ducks clinging to a one-goal lead, Jonas Hiller went behind the net to chase a dumped puck, but it took a funny bounce off the glass and ended up on Joe Thornton’s stick in front. Thornton shot it immediately toward the abandoned net, only to be thwarted by Lovejoy’s diving save with the stick. Here’s a look at it.

Less than a minute later, Matt Beleskey scored to give the Ducks a two-goal lead and they never looked back in eventually downing the Sharks 6-3 for a key payback win.

But that play wasn’t even close to being the highlight of Lovejoy’s New Year’s Eve. That morning, his wife Avery gave birth to their first child, a daughter named Lila. The man who has for a long time been called "The Reverend" can now be called Father.

The Ducks had yesterday off, but after practice today at Honda Center, Lovejoy told the story:

How are you feeling after these last couple of days?
Personally, I’m doing very well. We took her home yesterday at 3:00. She slept and ate, on and off. She and Avery went to bed at about 9, and they were up on and off throughout the night. Eventually Avery took her and slept in the other room with her. They were both sound asleep when I got up at 7:30, and I left at 8:30. I’m very excited to get back there and hang out.

So what led up to the birth on Tuesday morning?
The day before, on the 30th, I was getting ready to leave for practice and Avery said, “Nope. We’re going to the hospital.” So we were in the hospital from about 9 to 2 that day. They told us to leave for a few hours, walk around and come back when contractions were a little closer. They never got closer, so at 10:30 at night, I told her, “We’re playing the Sharks tomorrow. I’m going to bed. Wake me up when you need to go to the hospital.” So 1:30 rolled around and she said, “We’re going.” I broke a few speed limits on our way to the hospital in Orange. We got there about 1:45, and the nurses were very impressed with how long we waited. They said we were going to have the baby quite quick, which in my mind meant like 45 minutes [laughs]. We were there from 1:45 to 10:24 in the morning, which is when she gave birth. So evidently I was very naïve, since I thought it would be a lot quicker than that.

Lila came out, the doctors checked her all out, I was there another hour and they were very healthy and everything. I told Avery I was playing the Sharks tonight and I had to go eat and get to the rink.

Lovejoy and wife Avery (from their wedding announcement in 2010.
Was there any thought of not playing the game?
Not in my mind. I’m sure Avery thought differently [laughs]. I had gotten texts at 8:30 that morning from Bruce wondering how things were going. I was very impressed with how supportive everyone was, throughout the whole team. Nobody expected me here for pregame skate or the game. They were like, Take care of things with your family. But I think they, like me, were extremely excited that it happened well before the game and that I was able to get here.

And that night, you may have had the play of the game with a great defensive play.
That was a very bad bounce off the glass. Jonas had carried us early and …

(Hiller is sitting two locker stalls away listening in…)

This guy right here, that we’re sitting next to and I’m pumping his tires right now. He’s bailed me out so many times, but in this case, he went back for a puck that was on the boards and it should not have exploded. But it bounced up and hit the glass, hit a stanchion and came out in front of the net. I went full extension and was able to get a piece of it.

After the game, when the other players were going to various New Year’s Eve celebrations, you headed to the hospital.

Yeah, I did very little partying. It was a very satisfying night. I was exhausted during the game. I had a lot of adrenaline, but I had to play a smart game. I did not have a lot of jump in my legs. I took 38-second shifts, which I looked at after the game. And afterward, I drove to the hospital, and it was just a very satisfied feeling. I was very happy, my wife was very happy and … I couldn’t tell what my daughter was thinking [laughs]. It was just an all-around amazing day.

Did she watch the game from the hospital?
No, she didn’t. They didn’t get it in the hospital, apparently. But actually, the nurse who spent the whole day with Avery yesterday was at the game. That was pretty cool. She was very excited, and she was tremendous.

Did you make it to midnight?
I did. I hung out till after midnight at the hospital, and then I went home to sleep. Avery got some sleep and Lila went to the nursery for awhile. Yesterday we got some tests done and signed some papers, and when the nurses were ready, they allowed us to come home.

So, are you ready for all this fatherhood stuff?
I am. I am a very prepared guy in everything I do. I waited until I was almost 30 on purpose. I was not ready for this as a 23- or 24-year-old. I had some growing up to do. I keep getting texts and calls from my dad, who I think is trying to make me nervous, because he’s telling me about how nervous he was. I’m really quite confident that we’re gonna do a good job, and I’m very excited to balance Avery, Lila and ice hockey.

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POSTED ON Thursday, 12.19.2013 / 1:23 PM

With the Ducks in the New Jersey/New York area for the next few days, Dustin Penner stopped by the Fox Sports 1 studios to be a guest on a show called Crowd Goes Wild. He was of course asked about his pancake incident during his time in LA, and then came an actual hockey question from fetching British co-host Georgie Thompson. As soon as she asked Penner a question -- something about a "scoring surge" -- Penner couldn't resist turning on the charmp. "That's a lovely accent," he said, in a soft voice. "Is that ... New Jersey?"

Thompson, who is actually from England, joked that it's either New Jersey or Australian, after which Penner pretended to forget what the question was. Here's the video, which has some more Penner gems, including a joke that the team's "rookie dinner" would come at Applebee's that night:

Later, Penner endured their Questions Out of Left Field segment, in which he pulls out his tooth and when asked which oc the Real Housewives he'd want to be with, replies, "Absolutely none of them."



He then took on co-host Katie Nolan in a game called "Hockey Dentist" in which each of them tried to knock out the teeth on a large photo of normal host Regis Phibin. After she came up empty, Penner -- clearly better with a puck than a street hockey ball -- gets off to a slow start before knocking out a few Chiclets.


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POSTED ON Tuesday, 12.10.2013 / 7:41 PM

One of the funnier moments from today's Reading is the GOAL Day at Arovista Elementary School in Brea came during the assembly held for 250 kids grades four through six. Host Kent French was going through his opening remarks, as Francois Beauchemin and Nick Bonino were seated behind a curtain and getting ready to read to the kids.

Kent said to the kids, "I'm about to introduce to you some good friends of mine..." and a voice came booming over the PA system from backstage that was unmistakably Beauchemin: "We're not good friends."

No one laughed harder than Beauchemin himself, as Frenchie tried to compose himself and quietly said, "Well, I thought we were friends."

Here's a look at the video that a Ducks staffer happened to be shooting during the moment. You can barely hear Beauch, but you can plainly see his self-satisfaction.

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POSTED ON Monday, 12.02.2013 / 1:57 PM
As we move into December, that means we say goodbye to Movember, where many Ducks (and their fans) grew mustaches to support the cause that brings awareness to men's health issues.

Back in the early days of November, we talked to a few Ducks to discuss who would have the best mustache:


As you can see below, a few Ducks had some pretty good growth above the upper lip:









And the Ducks staff got into the spirit (click the image for a larger version):



Some of the players have kept their 'staches for now, but Jonas Hiller was one Duck who documented the eradication of his, posting this photo on his Facebook page. The hair, as you can see, was noticeably untouched.

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POSTED ON Monday, 12.02.2013 / 1:43 PM

The timing is good, since he just scored his first goal as a Duck to help Anaheim secure a point last Saturday night in San Jose. So, as seen in the latest edition of Ducks Digest, we got to know Ben Lovejoy a bit more with some pop culture questions. (Thanks to Ducks staffer Kyle Shohara for compiling these.)

TV show you can't live without
Parks and Recreation

Embarrassing song/artist on your iPod
I have a couple of One Direction songs

Funniest guy on the team
I honestly enjoy Bones [Nick Bonino] the most because he gets picked on a lot, but he’s good at laughing at himself. [Nick chimes in with “and making jokes back at people”].

Most embarrassing moment. 
I have no embarrassing moments. I’m never embarrassed with myself. That’s it.

Favorite road city
Playing in Boston. It was the team I grew up cheering for. I always have a lot of people come there. I love going there.

Favorite restaurant in Orange County
There are a lot to choose from. I like going to brunch at Pain du Monde. There are a couple of them around. That’s my favorite.

Best-dressed on the team
I think Matt Beleskey always looks good. He wears stuff that I would not be comfortable wearing, but he does it with confidence, and he looks good.

Worst-dressed on the team
Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf look like they bought a lot of high-end suits when they came into the league about nine years ago.

Electronic item you can't live without
I get made fun of a lot, but I’m addicted to my phone. It’s probably my most prized possession.

One thing you have to do pregame
I have to do so many things pregame. I don’t call them superstitions. I call them rituals or routines because routines doesn’t sound as weird.


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POSTED ON Wednesday, 11.27.2013 / 2:43 PM

As seen in the latest edition of Ducks Digest, we got to know Cam Fowler a bit more with some pop culture questions. (Thanks to Ducks staffer Kyle Shohara for compiling these.)

TV show you can't live without
Big Bang Theory or Seinfeld

Embarrassing song/artist on your iPod
Miley Cyrus

Funniest guy on the team
I’d say Andrew Cogliano or Nick Bonino

Most embarrassing moment. On ice or off.
I have plenty of them. When I was younger, we were at a tournament and the lights were off while we were skating around. I stepped on a puck and just buried myself right into the boards.

Favorite road city
Chicago. It’s a great city that has a little bit of everything. Great restaurants. It’s one of my favorite road arenas just to play in. It’s always sold out, loud, and has a lot of energy.

Favorite restaurant in Orange County
That’s a tough one. I like Cucina Roma and The Cannery.

Best-dressed on the team
I’d have to say Sheldon Souray. He can pull some stuff off that I can’t.

Worst-dressed on the team
Maybe Ryan Getzlaf? He’s the first guy I thought of. Most guys are pretty well-dressed, I’d say.

Electronic item you can't live without
My phone.

Why are goalies so weird?
You’ve gotta be weird if you’re going to sit in front of the net and take 100 mile-per-hour shots at you. You’ve gotta be a little different if you’re doing that.

One thing you HAVE to do pregame
I have to nap. It kind of messes me up if I don’t nap. I also need to get my pasta in me and shut it down. Hour-and-a-half nap for me. I used to be a little bit longer, but I’d wake up and just feel a little sluggish, so an hour-and-a-half is a good number. I get up, shower, and always have a bowl of Raisin Bran cereal, and then I come to the rink.


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POSTED ON Friday, 11.15.2013 / 2:09 PM
Every year during the first day of training camp, our team photographer shoots portrait shots of various Ducks to use in Ducks Digest and elsewhere. Some are more ... let's say interesting ... than others. A recent look through the collection for this season revealed a few beauties: 

"Hello, ladies."


Don't mess with Kyle Palmieri. Seriously.



"You are getting verrrrrrrry sleeeeeepy..."



Not sure what the photographer had in mind for this one.



One Swede was ready for the shot. One was not.


Ben Lovejoy, catalog model



Cam Fowler is not impressed.


And finally, one for the ladies...

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HOME
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PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - ANA 82 54 20 8 266 209 116
2 y - COL 82 52 22 8 250 220 112
3 x - STL 82 52 23 7 248 191 111
4 x - SJS 82 51 22 9 249 200 111
5 x - CHI 82 46 21 15 267 220 107
6 x - LAK 82 46 28 8 206 174 100
7 x - MIN 82 43 27 12 207 206 98
8 x - DAL 82 40 31 11 235 228 91
9 PHX 82 37 30 15 216 231 89
10 NSH 82 38 32 12 216 242 88
11 WPG 82 37 35 10 227 237 84
12 VAN 82 36 35 11 196 223 83
13 CGY 82 35 40 7 209 241 77
14 EDM 82 29 44 9 203 270 67

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
R. Getzlaf 77 31 56 28 87
C. Perry 81 43 39 32 82
N. Bonino 77 22 27 14 49
M. Perreault 69 18 25 13 43
A. Cogliano 82 21 21 13 42
C. Fowler 70 6 30 15 36
K. Palmieri 71 14 17 9 31
D. Winnik 76 6 24 6 30
H. Lindholm 78 6 24 29 30
S. Koivu 65 11 18 3 29
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
F. Andersen 20 5 0 .923 2.29
J. Hiller 29 13 7 .911 2.48

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