On the Road with the Ducks (Ottawa Edition)
Updated June 5 at 1:39 p.m.
And, we're back. Fantastic seeing all the fans come out to the arena to greet the Ducks. What a great group. We'll have photos of that arrival, along with some other stuff later this afternoon.
Updated June 5 at 1:28 a.m.
Phenomenal win tonight, eh? (Maybe I've been here too long.)
We've posted it before, but we'll post it again. The Ducks are scheduled to arrive at Ontario Airport at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday. Immediately after they land, they head to Honda Center by bus. It's probably safe to arrive at the arena at noon if you'd like to greet them, but just in case the team plane picks up a major tailwind on the way home, I am encouraging you to get there a little earlier.
We hope to see you all there greeting the team.
One last thing, the latest edition of DucksTV live is on the site. CLICK HERE to view it. I hope it's good.
Updated June 4 at 6:23 p.m.
A few photos from the Ducks' pregame:
The Ducks enjoy a pregame meal.
Just so there's no confusion.
The police escorts lead the Ducks through the rainy streets of Ottawa.
Ric Jackman, Travis Moen and Ryan Getzlaf kick the ball around to warm up.
Updated June 4 at 5:21 p.m.
Updated June 4 at 5:03 p.m.
It's about 20 minutes before game time and it's already electric in this place. Almost every seat is filled and it's only warmups. Should be a great one tonight.
We'll post some pregame pictures in a few minutes.
Enjoy Game 4. CLICK HERE for a live game log.
Updated June 4 at 1:26 p.m.
I just got emailed some photos from a couple of our staff members who made the trip to Ottawa for Game 3. They took a tour of this gorgeous city before the game and snapped some shots. My apologies to the people of Ottawa for the towels.
The Rideau Canal
For security reasons, the girls weren't allowed to bring the towel close to the Parliament Building, so they put it on the steps, took the shot and quickly got out of there. (UPDATE: Turns out they were joking when they told me this. I fell for it.)
A Montreal fan they met gladly posed.
Updated June 4 at 12:53 p.m.
I got an email today from an Ottawa fan that had many things in it, including the second recommendation of beaver tails, which apparently are like a Canadian churro. They probably don't have them in the States because too many people would giggle when they order them.
Anyway, the email also explained the Ottawa anthems singer from Game 1, since I had wondered why he was dressed like a train conductor. According to the fan, the singer's name is Lyndon Slewidge (cool name) and he's done the anthems for the past 14 seasons. He's an Ontario Provincial Police Officer and the uniform he's wearing is the "official dress for important events." Unfortunately, he won't be singing tonight since Alanis Morissette is doing it for Game 4 (no offense to Alanis). Isn't it ironic? Don't you think? (I'm an idiot.)
Updated June 4 at 11:18 a.m.
One more thing about Canadian cuisine. The ketchup here isn't so great. It's too sweet. I don't know why. It's regular old Heinz ketchup, but it's very different from the States. Maybe that's a hint that I should be taking the salad option over the french fries. There's a reason my pants are getting tighter and tighter the longer we're on the road.
Updated June 4 at 11:14 a.m.
Several fans have emailed asking when the Ducks are returning home after Game 4. They are scheduled to land in Ontario (that's California, by the way) at 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday. From there they bus to Honda Center, where they should arrive a little after noon.
CLICK HERE for a transcript of Randy Carlyle's press conference following today's practice. He spoke about Chris Pronger and said that it will be a "game-time decision" on whether Chris Kunitz plays tonight.
Check back later today for more.
Updated June 4 at 7:37 a.m.
We've fixed the latest installment of DucksTV. Take a look by CLICKING HERE.
The Ducks arrived at Scotiabank Place about 10 minutes ago and will hit the ice for their morning skate at around 11:30 a.m. Ottawa time. Then it's some rest back at the hotel in preparation for Game 4 tonight.
For a preview of Game 4, CLICK HERE.
Paris Hilton is in jail (just thought I'd mention). For that story (and best of all, her mug shot), CLICK HERE.
We'll have some coverage of press conferences later today. Until then, au revoir (or whatever).
Updated June 4 at 12:32 a.m.
We realize DucksTV is having some technical difficulties and we will fix it soon. In the meantime, we've posted some photos from today's practice. Yes, it's pretty late Ottawa time, but it's worth it to make our fans happy. Plus, these should have been posted much earlier, but we again had some difficulties. Just like the Ducks in Game 4, we'll get it together.
Updated June 3 at 8:25 p.m.
Today's episode of DucksTV is posted on the site.
Updated June 3 at 11:01 a.m.
It was just announced that Chris Pronger will be suspended for a game. CLICK HERE for more.
Updated June 3 at 8:25 a.m.
Well, that was a tough one. In case you missed it (and how could you have?), the Ducks fell 5-3 last night and now lead the Stanley Cup Final 2 games to 1. The Ducks practice at 1:30 p.m. Ottawa time at Scotiabank Place. We'll have coverage of press conferences there, Ducks audio and updates on what (if anything) will be handed down to Chris Pronger for his hit on Dean McAmmond last night. We'll also update you on the status of Chris Kunitz after he left in the second period last night with a lower body injury.
In the meantime, CLICK HERE to check out the latest version of DucksTV Daily.
CLICK HERE for the latest Mike V blog. We'll get back to you later today.
Updated June 2 at 5:17 p.m.
We're minutes away from puck drop and this place is already rocking. Scotiabank Place is absolutely huge (holding more than 19,000) and they are incredibly loud, especially when the Sens hit the ice.
The PA announcer uses both French and English and when he introduces Ray Emery during the starting lineups, he elongates to name so much it takes him 10 seconds to say it, complete with an echo sound effect.
Enjoy the game on NBC, and/or check out the live game log by CLICKING HERE.
Updated June 2 at 4:53 p.m.
A few photos from around Scotiabank Place before Game 3:
One of the scarier fans in the building.
Maybe even scarier.
Another die-hard fan.
The ice about 40 minutes before puck drop.
A major majority of the fans in the building wear Sens jerseys and a lot less wear Ducks jerseys. Then there are these two guys.
These fans gather before the game to listen to music from a live band. During the game, those without tickets will watch on giant screens.
Near one of the arena entrances.
Ducks coaches, GM Brian Burke and video coordinator Joe Trotta watch some last-minute video before the game.
Updated June 2 at 3:06 p.m.
The excitement of Game 3 started with the ride over to Scotiabank Place. The Ducks departed from a team hotel teaming with about 100 autograph seekers and well-wishers, a hotel getting ready to host both a wedding and a graduation for 150 nurses.
Then a police escort guided the two team busses (one for the team and one for assorted Ducks staff) on the 20-minute drive to the arena. The half dozen motorcyle cops instituted frequent traffic breaks to the cars that dared occupy the highway at the same time as the Ducks. Several fans in Senators gear lined the roads, some waving, some giving thumbs-up, some choosing to salute with a different finger. One guy evened mooned us (sorry, no photo).
Here's one of the police escort:
Updated June 2 at 12:30 p.m.
If you're ever in Ottawa, avoid ordering any wraps when you go out to eat. I'm 0-2 on wraps in this town. I guess it's just not something they do well in Canada.
Updated June 2 at 9:59 a.m.
We will have photos from today posted soon.
Updated June 2 at 8:31 a.m.
The Ducks arrived at Scotiabank Place at 10:30 a.m. and are on the ice for their morning skate right now.
It seems like forever since Anaheim's 1-0 victory in Game 2 and we're 9 1/2 hours from Game 3. Check out a well-written preview of that game by CLICKING HERE.
We'll have coverage of the Ducks' press conferences following their skate. But we can tell you now that Randy Carlyle stressed that "All of our players are available to play" when asked about the status of Chris Kunitz. In fact, he said it several times in a row for emphasis. He then added that it would be a coaches' decision on whether he will be in the lineup tonight.
Updated June 1 at 6:25 p.m.
The first episode of DucksTV daily has been posted.
Updated June 1 at 3:05 p.m.
One thing you have to realize about Ottawa is that a large portion of the population speaks French. So, many menus and other printed items are in both French and English. And the same goes for half the channels on the hotel TV. You haven't lived until you've watched The Simpsons dubbed over into French. The person doing Bart's voice is spot on. Click here for a short audio sample.
Then you switch the channel and see a version of Sportscenter doing a report on the Stanley Cup Final that sounds like this: "French, French, French, French, Teemu Selanne, French, French, French, Ducks, French, French, French, Daniel Alfredsson.
Speaking of French (how's this for a transition?), the strikingly handsome Kent French will be hosting a daily version of DucksTV exclusively on this website starting today. The first episode will be posted later this afternoon, so look for it then.
Updated June 1 at 12:53 p.m.
There is a large photo in the media workroom at Scotiabank Place of Alanis Morissette wearing a Senators jersey and holding up a Go Sens! sign. And coincidentally, I've just learned that she is singing both anthems before Game 4. I wonder if she'll sing them angrily.
On another note, we'll have pictures from today's practice posted in a few minutes.
Updated June 1 at 11:52 a.m.
Randy Carlyle, followed by Chris Pronger and Ryan Getzlaf spoke to the media in two separate press conferences after Friday's practice. Click here for audio from Getzlaf and Pronger. (Video from Carlyle will be posted later.)
Updated June 1 at 9:55 a.m.
As I look at the date above, it's hard to believe that it's now June and we're still playing hockey. These playoffs started April 11.
Alright, back to business. The Ducks arrived at Scotiabank Place at around 12:30 p.m. local time and will hit the ice in about an hour for practice.
Scotiabank Place is a very nice arena (especially compared to the opponents' facility in the last round) that is actually located in the former city of Kanata (pronounced something like Kuh-NAT-uh). Kanata was merged into Ottawa in 2000. The arena was formerly called The Palladium when it opened Jan. 15, 1996 with a Bryan Adams concert. The Sens first played there two days later. It was renamed the Corel Center a month later and its current name was launched in January of 2006. The arena holds 19,153 for hockey.
And this just in, Ottawa is a beautiful city. The ride from the hotel to the arena featured an endless combination of soaring green trees, grassy hills and waterways. And a quick trip through the downtown area last night revealed a thriving nightlife, with several bars and restaurants (many decked out with "Go Sens Go" signs and team flags).
Scotiabank Place, meanwhile, is really in the middle of nowhere. The only thing surrounding the massive arena is an auto mall. Some photos (overhead shot stolen from the web):
We'll have photos from practice and press conference audio later.
Updated May 31 at 4:55 p.m.
Audio from the Ducks press conference at the team hotel is available by clicking here.
Updated May 31 at 4:16 p.m.
The Ducks arrived in Ottawa at 5:45 p.m. Eastern and made the trek by bus to their hotel, which is outside the city.
Ducks team photographer Debora Robinson has accompanied the team on the trip, so photos will be much better quality and much more plentiful this time around.
We'll soon post photos from the trip into Ottawa, as well as audio from the press conference that was just held with Randy Carlyle, Scott Niedermayer, J.S. Giguere and Samuel Pahlsson at the hotel.
Updated May 31 at 8:32 a.m.
The Ducks leave in a half an hour for the airport and their flight to Ottawa. Since we can't get internet access on the plane (how annoying is that?), we'll post something soon after arriving.
Updated May 30 at 10:49 p.m.
With the memory of their Game 2 victory still fresh in their minds, the Ducks will leave Honda Center Thursday morning at 9 a.m. for Ontario Airport, where they will embark on the 5-hour flight to Ottawa.
For the uninitiated, Ottawa is the capital of Canada and the fourth-largest municipality in the country. It's also the second-largest city in the province of Ontario. Ottawa is located 120 miles west of Montreal and across the border to the south is New York state.
Ottawa is on the south bank of the Ottawa River, which contains the Rideau River and Rideau Canal. The Rideau Canal, when frozen over, is considered the largest outdoor skating rink in the world. It was there the Ducks skated in front of a large gathering before playing the Senators last season.
The name Senators comes from the fact that Ottawa is the capital city of Canada. It also pays respect to the original Ottawa Senators, who played from 1892 through 1933 and won 11 Stanley Cups before the NHL assumed control of the competition in 1926. Four of those Cups were won when the team was known as the Silver Seven.