Wednesday, 10.5.2011 / 10:07 AM PT
A few notes as the Ducks continue their week in Finland, with the season opener just this far away:
- The Ducks used today to play a little pond hockey (or "shinny") in front of about 150 fans from both Finland and back home this afternoon at Hartwall Areena, where they open the season Friday against the Sabres. Players were split into two teams -- Canada and Europe/USA -- and played a two-on-two scrimmage that, according to Dan Wood's story, also included some three-on-three and even one-on-one. “Being a Canadian, I have to say the Canadians kicked butt again today,” Carlyle said. “The Europeans had all the skill on their side, but the Canadians came through again.”
Of the unusual practice day, Carlyle explained, "With the schedule we’ve been presented, the number of commitments and the people pulling at us in different directions, we felt it was a good day just to have some fun – just kind of like go back to your roots and play a little bit of shinny."
You can watch some video from the day as well as a video recap of the reception for traveling Ducks fans the team took part in afterward. Also, here are some photos from today (there is something about this goalies one that I think is kinda cool).
- Temperatures are in the 50s with some rain in Finland, but the Ducks definitely aren't missing much weather-wise back home. It's in the low 60s here with rain all day. (At least that's what weather.com says. I don't have windows in my office down here.)
- George Parros' wife Tiffany delivered twins earlier this week, a girl named Lola and a boy named James, after which Georgie tweeted: I guess i'm a full blown adult now, my wife gave birth to a beautiful baby boy and girl yesterday.
- Just a reminder we have all Ducks tweets from Finland, as well as a boatload of other content on this NHL Premiere page.
- Jeff Miller, who has done a tremendous job covering the Ducks in Finland so far, had this story on Teemu Selanne's impact on Finnish hockey fans, notably after yesterday's exhibition with Jokerit. Included the great lines in the story:
When the game and the ceremony and the cheering had ended, this is how Teemu Selanne ended the night:
But only after first sending a young girl away shrieking with delight because he posed with her for a picture.
Only after a man in a Ducks jersey, desperate just to get close to Selanne, didn't notice half of his body was being closed in a gate by a security guard assigned to keep the fans corralled.
Only after a kid so in need of an autograph, but with nothing for Selanne to sign, that he removed one of his shoes and handed it to Teemu as he hopped on one leg.
- Corey Perry, the reigning Hart Trophy winner (just needed to mention that again) is featured in a lengthy story by Pierre Lebrun (including video interview) that was on the front page of ESPN.com today.
- The 2011-12 Ducks media guide had been converted into online form.
- The Ducks roster has been finalized at 24 players, with defensemen Toni Lydman (shoulder) and Matt Smaby (thumb) placed on injured reserve to start the season. That means it's official that likeable guys like Andrew Gordon and 19-year-old Devante Smith-Pelly have officially made it to opening night.