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Selanne Returns from the Olympics, Refocused on His Work with the Ducks

Wednesday, 02.26.2014 / 1:03 PM PT / News
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Selanne Returns from the Olympics, Refocused on His Work with the Ducks
“It was a great way to finish my national team career,” said Selanne. “Now I’m back here, and it’s also a good feeling. We have a great team here, and we have a mission.
Just days removed from wearing another Olympic medal around his neck, Teemu Selanne was back in Anaheim this afternoon focused on his day job.

Selanne took another day off from practice (as did fellow Olympians Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry) as he recovers from the trip back from Sochi. But his focus has turned from leading Team Finland to a bronze medal back to helping the Ducks make a push another coveted prize – the Stanley Cup.

“It was a great way to finish my national team career,” said Selanne, who was named MVP of the Olympic tournament after scoring two goals in a victory over Team USA in the bronze medal game. “Now I’m back here, and it’s also a good feeling. We have a great team here, and we have a mission. Hopefully the break will be good for our players. They can regroup and be ready for that last push. It’s gonna be fun.”

Selanne said he soaked in every waking moment of his last (we assume) Olympic experience, one in which he earned a fourth medal (three bronze and one silver) and finished as the leading scorer in Olympic history.

“The Finnish national team has been a very happy place for me. All the success that we have had is something very special. Every time we go to these tournaments where all the best players are playing, nobody expects us to win anything. But we always surprise people. We know we can compete against the best teams and best players, and we did it again. I’m very proud of that.”

Team Finland played probably its best game in the battle for the bronze last Saturday against Team USA, trouncing the Americans 5-0. Said Selanne said of that domination, “We just wanted it more.”

“You don’t get this chance very often, and that’s what I tried to remind my teammates there,” Selanne said. “Our dream was to win the gold, but bringing the bronze back is something unbelievable. We just wanted it more than the USA.

“I told my teammates on the first day, I’ve known some of these guys for years already, and that’s our strength. There is no adjustment time, and everybody seemed to jell right away. I always said, if somebody takes us lightly, they’re going to be in trouble.”

Ducks defenseman Cam Fowler, part of that losing USA team, told reporters that Selanne had actually apologized to him in the postgame handshake line, which Selanne confirmed today.

“I felt sorry because he’s a great guy and he deserved it also,” Selanne said. “He had his parents there, and they were so excited and nice people. I’ve won medals in the past, so in many ways I hope he’ll win something.”

The 43-year-old Selanne has played a little under 14 minutes a night this season for Anaheim and has typically been held out of the second of back-to-back games. But he played a much more primary role on Team Finland as team captain and a staple on the first line and first power play unit.

“I really enjoyed every second of it, and I was hoping it wasn’t going to end,” he said. “The role I had there brought the passion into my game. Hopefully I can use that here too.”

Selanne realizes that with the depth and talent on this Ducks team, the circumstances are changed.

“Here it’s a different story,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of great players on this team, and I think they’ve dealt the cards already, so it’s a different situation. But you know what, everybody has to do their best. It doesn’t matter if you’re playing two minutes a night or twenty minutes.

“I know what I can do, and I’m professional player who can accept any role. This is my last year and I know whatever way I can help, I want to do it.”

Selanne will likely be back on the ice tomorrow for the Ducks, who return to game action Friday night against the Blues.

“It’s good to be back, take a couple of days off and get back on the ice,” he said. “I think everybody is ready to start pushing again.”

And while it goes without saying that Sochi was Selanne’s last Olympics, he couldn’t help but make a tongue-in-cheek reference to the 2018 Games as he walked away from the group of reporters this afternoon.

“There’s always South Korea!” he said.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - ANA 82 51 24 7 228 221 109
2 y - STL 82 51 24 7 239 197 109
3 x - NSH 82 47 25 10 226 202 104
4 x - CHI 82 48 28 6 220 186 102
5 x - VAN 82 48 29 5 236 220 101
6 x - MIN 82 46 28 8 227 198 100
7 x - WPG 82 43 26 13 223 204 99
8 x - CGY 82 45 30 7 237 213 97
9 LAK 82 40 27 15 218 197 95
10 DAL 82 41 31 10 257 257 92
11 COL 82 39 31 12 209 223 90
12 SJS 82 40 33 9 224 226 89
13 EDM 82 24 44 14 193 276 62
14 ARI 82 24 50 8 165 267 56

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
R. Getzlaf 77 25 45 15 70
C. Perry 67 33 22 13 55
R. Kesler 81 20 27 -5 47
J. Silfverberg 81 13 26 15 39
S. Vatanen 67 12 25 5 37
P. Maroon 71 9 25 -5 34
C. Fowler 80 7 27 4 34
H. Lindholm 78 7 27 25 34
M. Beleskey 65 22 10 13 32
R. Rakell 71 9 22 6 31
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
F. Andersen 35 12 5 .914 2.38
J. Gibson 13 8 0 .914 2.60

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