On the Road with the Ducks
When the Ducks are in Detroit for their Western Conference Finals series with the Red Wings, AnaheimDucks.com is with them. (All times Pacific.)
By Adam Brady
Updated Sunday, May 20 at 4:23 p.m.
The Ducks left Detroit right after their dramatic overtime victory in Game 5. They are flying back to Orange County and plan to arrive at approximately 10 p.m.
Updated Sunday, May 20 at 12:14 p.m.
The Red Wings pregame festivities are pretty impressive, using a song familiar to Ducks fans - "Ladies and Gentleman" by Saliva. They have skaters cruising around the ice with giant Red Wings flags and when the music launches, streamers shoot from stands.
Updated Sunday, May 20 at 12:04 p.m.
The Ducks warm up 20 minutes before the puck drop for Game 5.
Updated Sunday, May 20 at 10:34 a.m.
The Ducks arrived at Joe Louis Arena for Game 5 at approximately 1 p.m. Detroit time. They will hit the ice for warmups later.
A few sites on the way to Joe Louis:
Only in Detroit.
The old Tiger Stadium. Comerica Park, which opened in 2000, is a gorgeous ballpark right in the middle of downtown Detroit. Several Ducks staffers were there last night to watch the Tigers hang on and beat St. Louis 8-7 in front of a sold out crowd of 42,625.
One of the many photos in the hallways of the lower level at Joe Louis. Now you know why they call this Hockeytown. Even the Dave Coulier All-Star/Celebrity game sells out.
Updated Saturday, May 19 at 1:33 p.m.
Randy Carlyle spoke to the media after the Ducks' practice Saturday afternoon, touching on topics that included Chris Pronger's comments about the officiating yesterday and about Teemu Selanne's compliments for Ryan Getzlaf.
Updated Saturday, May 19 at 10:52 a.m.
Some mediocre-quality photos and video from today's practice:
Updated Saturday, May 19 at 10:04 a.m.
The Ducks hit the Joe Louis Arena ice for practice in about a half hour. We'll have some pictures for you at that time.
Updated Friday, May 18 at 5:48 p.m.
Soon after arriving in Detroit, Randy Carlyle, Scott Niedermayer and Chris Pronger sat down with the media in a press conference at the team hotel.
Updated Friday, May 18 at 4:18 p.m.
The Ducks arrived in Detroit at approximately 6:30 Pacific time and they will practice tomorrow afternoon in preparation for Game 5 on Sunday at noon Pacific.
A fellow Ducks staffer was forced to miss the trip to Detroit for Game 5 so she could attend her sister's college graduation. I got a text message from her this morning indicating it was going to be tough to fly commercial after being spoiled by the team charter all this time.
It made me think of all the other glaring annoyances of traveling with the Ducks:
- Flight attendants walking down the aisle every 15 minutes offering new food options can sometimes wake you up from a nap.
- Not having to wait in line at security keeps us from meeting new people at the airport and sometimes makes you feel rushed.
- Not being told to constantly buckle your seat belt, turn off all electronic items, straighten your seat back or put away your tray table makes you feel neglected and insignificant.
- The burgers or sandwiches that await us on nearly every flight are usually fattening. Having two in a row before the plane takes off usually makes you feel full for the entire flight. Then the flight attendant later comes by and asks what you would like for lunch. How dare they?
- And what's the deal with the hot towels they offer you? (You have to imagine that question in a Jerry Seinfeld voice.) Is there any other setting in the world where they offer you a boiling hot towel than an airplane? I've never understood that.
- Bathrooms are just as small on charter flights as they are on regular flights.
- Some Ducks player chose the movie "Stealth" with Jamie Foxx as the in-flight selection on this last flight, and everybody knows that movie sucks.
- Having a whole row to yourself can get lonely.
And of course,
- People hate you when you sarcastically complain about flying on charters.
Some photos from the Ducks trip back to Detroit today:
Sean O'Donnell prepares to board the bus to the airport while wearing his "lucky" electric blue jacket.
Chris Pronger boards the plane headed to Detroit.
The Ducks step off the plane in sunny Detroit.
Chris Kunitz can't play after his hand surgery, but he's still with the team.
Updated Thursday, May 17 at 10:19 a.m.
The morning after Game 4, the Ducks will have an early practice Friday and then head to John Wayne Airport at approximately 10 a.m. to fly to Detroit. Game 5 is at Joe Louis Arena at noon Pacific on NBC.
Meanwhile, this doesn't exactly qualify for "On the Road" but we had to find a place for this picture (besides the Game 4 preview page). This was taken during the Ducks' morning skate. Those are orange Ducks towels laid out on the seats.
Updated Monday, May 14 at 12:38 p.m.
The Ducks got into John Wayne airport just before noon and headed straight to Honda Center. They will have an optional practice later this afternoon. Some photos of the arrival:
Updated Sunday, May 13 at 10:29 p.m.
Fresh off their overtime Game 2 victory, the Ducks will spend one more night in Detroit and then leave tomorrow morning at around 9 a.m. Eastern for the airport. After the four-hour flight back to Orange County, they will arrive there at approximately 11 a.m. Pacific.
Updated Sunday, May 13 at 4:23 p.m.
Word just came in that Chris Kunitz will not play tonight. He is out with what is being called an "upper body" injury.
Updated Sunday, May 13 at 3:56 p.m.
Some photos from outside Joe Louis Arena about 45 minutes before game time:
The giant octopus spews smoke every few minutes. Shouldn't it be ink?
Parros fans are everywhere.
The Red Wings hand out carnations to all the mothers on Mother's Day.
A conflicted couple.
Updated Sunday, May 13 at 2:17 p.m.
The Ducks arrived at Joe Louis Arena at just after 5 p.m. Eastern to get ready for Game 2. A few pictures:
Teemu Selanne heads to the bus.
Scott Niedermayer walks into the arena.
Keeping with tradition, a few Ducks warm up with the soccer ball two hours before game time.
Updated Sunday, May 13 at 8:52 a.m.
Randy Carlyle and Mike Babcock sat in front of the media during the morning skate and actually had some new things to say. Click here for a transcript.
Updated Sunday, May 13 at 7:45 a.m.
Happy Mother's Day, everybody. What a perfect day for a hockey game. It seems like it's been about three weeks since the Ducks' Game 1 loss here at Joe Louis Arena. It will be nice to get it going again tonight.
The Ducks arrived at The Joe this morning at around 10:30 Eastern for their morning skate. They will be on the ice at approximately 11:30. Game 2 is tonight on Versus, and of course a live game log can be found on this website.
Both coaches will again speak to the media in separate press conferences this morning. We'll have transcripts for your shortly after they're both complete.
The octopus first made its appearance on April 15, 1952, during the Red Wings' Stanley Cup playoff run.
Two Detroit brothers, Pete and Jerry Cusimano - storeowner's in Detroit's Eastern Market - threw the eight-legged cephalopod on the ice at Olympia Stadium. Each tentacle of the octopus was symbolic of a win in the playoffs. Back then, the NHL boasted only six teams, and eight wins (two best-of-seven series) were needed to win the Stanley Cup. The Red Wings swept the series that year, and the Octopus has come to be the good luck charm ever since.
The tradition carried over to Joe Louis Arena on opening night in 1979 when several found their way onto the ice.
During the 1995 playoffs, Bob Dubisky and Larry Shotwell, co-workers at a meat and seafood retail company near Detroit, tossed a 38-pound octopus onto the ice during the National Anthem prior to Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals. The year after, the duo struck again with a 50-pounder in the Conference Finals. Although the feat received no airtime on the nationally broadcast game, the octopus was proudly displayed on the hood of the Zamboni between periods.
Updated Saturday, May 12 at 11:53 a.m.
Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle and Detroit head coach Mike Babcock each spoke to the media in separate press conferences this afternoon. Click here for a transcript.
Ducks defenseman Chris Pronger and Detroit defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom also spoke in press conference. Click here for a transcript.
Updated Saturday, May 12 at 11:43 a.m.
Photos and video from the Ducks' practice (apologies for the flash making the stripes on the practice jerseys light up):
Updated Saturday, May 12 at 9:04 a.m.
After a tough 2-1 loss to Detroit last night, the Ducks will return to the scene of the crime for practice this afternoon. They plan to leave the hotel at 12:30 Eastern and practice from approximately 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Joe Louis Arena.
We'll have some pictures of practice and sound bites later in the day.
Updated Friday, May 11 at 4:43 p.m.
We're seconds away from the opening faceoff and we're truly getting the feel of this arena. It is definitely old school, complete with the 92-year-old PA announcer. During the national anthem, the first (and probably not last) octopus hit the ice, bringing a cheer from the crowd mid-song. That was followed by the obligatory warning from the PA guy that throwing objects on the ice is strictly prohibited. Of course, as that announcement was going on, the crew member who picked up the octopus swung it over his head, bringing another roar.
Check out the live game log by clicking here.
Updated Friday, May 11 at 4:12 p.m.
Less than a half hour before puck drop:
The Ducks warm up. (That's Todd Marchant near the red line.)
Ducks radio team Steve Carroll and Brent Severyn do the pregame show.
Inflated octopi hang from the rafters, honoring the tradition of Wings fans throwing them on the ice.
Updated Friday, May 11 at 3:43 p.m.
Less than an hour before gametime, we shot a few photos of the concourse at Joe Louis Arena:
A statue of Red Wings great Steve Yzerman, made completely of Legos.
Red Wings legend Gordie Howe.
Alone in a sea of red.
A photo of Joe Louis.
Disney still lives in the NHL.
Updated Friday, May 11 at 2:42 p.m.
The Ducks arrived at Joe Louis Arena at 5:15 p.m. Eastern time and are currently getting ready to hit the ice for warmups. A few pregame pictures:
Ryan Getzlaf (foreground) and Chris Kunitz hop on the bus headed for the arena.
An exterior of Joe Louis Arena, where the years of all of the Red Wings' Stanley Cup titles are listed.
From just outside the arena, a look across the river at Windsor, Ontario.
In the hallways around the teams' locker rooms are lists of the personnel from each of the Red Wings' championship teams.
A worker gets the goal camera ready for game time.
An empty Joe Louis Arena.
Updated Friday, May 11 at 9:18 a.m.
Randy Carlyle spent a few minutes with reporters in a pregame press conference after the Ducks' morning skate. Click here to listen
Updated Friday, May 11 at 8:42 a.m.
The Ducks are currently on the ice at Joe Louis Arena, going through their morning skate in preparation for Game 1. We would love to have photos for you of the skate and Joe Louis Arena, but the camera ran out of juice and somebody forgot the camera battery charger back at the hotel. We'll have photos of the arena a couple of hours before the game tonight.
In the absence of photos, we'll offer you a little history of Joe Louis Arena. The arena was completed in 1979 and named after the famed boxer and heavyweight champ, who lived in Detroit. It holds 20,066 for hockey, though it hasn't been selling out during these playoffs.
The Red Wings have won three Stanley Cups (1997, 1998 and 2002) since moving into the arena, with two of them ('97 and '02) clinched here. The arena is considered outdated by many because of its lack of luxury boxes. The press box is nothing to write home about either.
The arena sits adjacent to the Detroit River, across which you can clearly see the Canadian city of Windsor, Ontario. We'll have a picture of that later as well.
Randy Carlyle will be addressing the media in a press conference later this morning. We'll have that for you immediately afterward.
Updated Thursday, May 10 at 8:38 p.m.
The Ducks leave their hotel at 9:50 a.m. Friday morning for their morning skate at Joe Louis Arena. That will be our first taste of "The Joe", as it's called, and we're told not to expect much. We'll have some pictures of the skate when we get there.
Downtown Detroit has a restaurant/sports bar called Hockeytown, which is across the street from Ford Field (where the lowly Lions play) and Comerica Park (where the American League champion Tigers play). It's also not far from Joe Louis Arena. The place has photos of past Red Wings championship teams, with each team's Conn Smythe Trophy winner prominently displayed.
Updated Thursday, May 10 at 12:03 p.m.
Updated Thursday, May 10 at 9:38 a.m.
The Ducks left their hotel at 9:30 Eastern time to head over to Dearborn Ice Skating Center for practice. They practiced from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Today happens to be Ryan Getzlaf's birthday. He is 22 today.
Andy McDonald is featured in this week's edition of Sports Illustrated. Click here to read the story. Unfortunately, SI's website is a little out of date with its player photos. Click on the names in the story to take a look.
Here are some photos from this morning:
Helene Elliott's LA Times column predicting a Ducks victory in this series was reprinted in the Detroit News. To view the full column, click here.
The Ducks step off the bus on the way to practice.
Teemu Selanne is among the many Ducks sporting t-shirts provided to each player by Todd Marchant. In the first round, the t-shirts read "Passion". In the second round, they had a new set that read "Sacrifice and Passion." In this round, "Heart, Sacrifice and Passion".
Dustin Penner (in black) and Chris Kunitz play catch with a Nerf football before practice.
Penner wraps his stick before practice.
The Ducks stretch before practice.
Updated Wednesday, May 9 at 3:55 p.m.
When the Ducks left Orange County at approximately 11 a.m. this morning, it was 80 degrees and sunny. When they landed in Detroit it was in the low 60s and raining.
The Ducks hurried off the plane into their waiting bus and headed for the hotel in Dearborn, about 10 miles from Detroit.
Tonight they have dinner and get some rest. Tomorrow it's a morning practice at Dearborn Ice Skating Center.
The Ducks arriving in Detroit:
Updated Tuesday, May 8 at 5:38 p.m.
The Ducks will have a long day Wednesday, beginning with a practice at Honda Center from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. They will then depart by bus to John Wayne Airport and embark on the 4 1/2-hour flight to Detroit.
Thursday will consist of practice at a rink in nearby Dearborn, while Friday will be the morning skate and then Game 5 at 4:30 p.m. local time.
Check back here frequently for more updates On the Road.