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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Tuesday News - Anaheim Ducks go to London and more

So, today the team arrived in London today after a long flight.  The Official Ducks blog has great coverage and photos.  I also have player interviews, analysis, Stanley Cup Journal update and other news.

The Ducks go to London (with link to photos)

The Ducks arrived at London Stansted Airport at approximately 7:30 London time (11:30 a.m. Pacific), which is just about the same time they left Long Beach Airport yesterday. They headed to the team hotel, where they engaged in a stretch and will be having a team meal before bedtime. They practice tomorrow morning at around 11 a.m.

See photos by team photographer Deb Robinson

The Ducks travel in style during the regular season and playoffs, but it’s nothing compared to the luxury of their trek to London.

The team and various staffers (including this guy) flew across the pond on an EOS 757 aircraft, where each passenger has his own area that doesn’t so much resemble a seat as a mini-apartment. Each seat has a foot rest/ottoman across from it, and with a push of a button the seat reclines all the way back into a flat position, making sleeping on the long flight much easier.

Meanwhile, each seating area comes with its own electrical outlet, so no more fiddling with fancy adapters if you’re hoping to get some power on the plane to do some work or watch movies on a laptop. Of course, you don’t even need the laptop for movies, since near the beginning of the trip, flight attendants handed each passenger his/her own portable entertainment system, which comes with dozens of movies and TV shows stored on it.

During the flight, I caught a couple episodes of “The Office”, one “How I Met Your Mother” (a great show if you’re not already watching it) a not-bad movie called “Fracture” with Anthony Hopkins and Ryan Gosling and fell asleep to my 112th viewing of “The Bourne Identity”. This thing was a godsend.

Read the rest here - Link

MVN has some details on the trip

After a long flight that went through New York to pick up new acquisition, Mark Mowers, the Ducks have finally arrived in England. The Ducks flew in luxury, which for the rookies will be quite the step up from their usual mode of transportation between games. With the eight hour time difference and less than four days until the games, the Ducks will need to acclimate quickly.

Tomorrow there is a practice at 11:00am and at 2:00pm the Ducks will get to visit 130 Regent Street, where the Stanley Cup was originally purchased. The Cup gets to come along as well, sporting the newly engraved names of the 2007 Champions. Thursday the Ducks will make themselves available to the media and will be seeing the sights around London. The Kings arrive on Thursday evening. On Friday the Ducks will practice in front of specially invited US military personnel.

Read the rest here - Link

Another analysis of the Ducks

ANAHEIM, California - Duck-hunting season is underway.

Not the one in which people with rifles shoot at flying fowl, but the one that will have 29 NHL teams trying to knock off the defending Stanley Cup champions from Anaheim.

And Ducks players know they are in everyone’s sights.

“We have a target on our back,” defenseman Chris Pronger said. “Each night, it’s going to be, ’Try to knock off the Stanley Cup champion.’  We’ve got to be prepared for that and make sure we are even more focused and determined each and every night.”

The Norris Trophy finalist’s thoughts were echoed by center Ryan Getzlaf and blue-liner Sean O’Donnell.

“We’re going to have to play hard every single night we step on the ice,” Getzlaf said.  “We have a target on our back from the way we played last year, and we earned it.  Now we have to earn it again.”

“We’re the Stanley Cup champions, and everyone is going to be ready for us,” O’Donnell added.  “It’s a long season, and teams get up for certain games for different reasons - division rivalries, playing against the defending champions.  Everyone is going to get fired up when it’s time to play against us.

Read the rest here - Link

The Canadian Press also has some Ducks analysis

Randy Carlyle has warned his players. After you win a Stanley Cup, 29 other teams want to take you down. There will be no easy nights for the Anaheim Ducks this season.

"We're not going to sneak into any building," said the head coach.

No team has repeated as Cup champions since the 1997 and '98 Detroit Red Wings and while the Ducks have the core that can deliver another championship, they've got all the excuses in the world to fail:

-Star defenceman Scott Niedermayer, the Conn Smythe Trophy winner as playoff MVP, is home contemplating retirement, as is 48-goal man Teemu Selanne.

-Every Cup champion battles the effects of a short summer but it was even worse for the Ducks, who had to report to camp early because of a trip to London to start the season.

-Some people around the league believe the trip overseas will knock the stuffing out of the Ducks early on as they recover from the long trip, which includes having to play home openers in Columbus, Detroit and Pittsburgh after coming home from England.

Read the rest here - Link

Sammy Pahlsson does a quick Q & A with Sports Ticker via Yahoo

PA SportsTicker recently obstructed Anaheim Ducks center Samuel Pahlsson and held him long enough to ask the following questions:

1) What opponent do you least enjoy playing against?

I really don't like playing against Joe Thornton. He's a really tough guy to play against because of his size and his skill.

2) What CD would you have to have with you on a cross-country drive?

Any of the Takida CDs. I like them.

3) What city do you look forward to visiting during a road trip?

Find the answer to question three and two more questions here - Link

Bobby Ryan hopes to make his mark and stay with the Ducks the whole season

Bobby Ryan was able to turn his cellphone back on and pack his passport.
Ryan survived the last round of cuts made by Ducks Coach Randy Carlyle to end training camp Monday, and the former second overall draft pick boarded an airplane for London with his teammates in preparation for Saturday's regular-season opener against the Kings.



click to enlarge

The Ducks made several moves to pare their roster to 27 players, which include injured veterans Jean-Sebastien Giguere, Samuel Pahlsson and Mathieu Schneider.
Wingers Drew Miller and Jason King were assigned to the club's American Hockey League affiliate in Portland, Maine, along with center Petteri Wirtanen and defenseman Aaron Rome.
"Some guys earned a longer opportunity," Carlyle said after Sunday's 5-0 victory over Vancouver in the Ducks' exhibition finale. "Some guys proved that maybe they weren't ready."
But it was the long-awaited promotion of Ryan that made news because many had started wondering when the 20-year-old would make the leap to the NHL after being drafted in 2005 behind reigning Hart Trophy winner Sidney Crosby and ahead of Kings rookie Jack Johnson.
Ryan got plenty of chances to win a job in camp and he probably clinched a roster spot with four assists against the Canucks, flourishing on a line with Ryan Getzlaf and Todd Bertuzzi. Getzlaf had two goals and Bertuzzi had a goal and two assists.

Read the rest here - Link

The Samueli Family had their day with the cup

The Stanley Cup arrived at the incredible Orange County home of the Samueli family on Saturday, September 8. If you think that owners are unemotional business people simply focused on the bottom line, you're wrong when it comes to the Samuelis. Both Henry and Susan, along with their children, were every bit as excited as any player, trainer or scout (perhaps more!). No doubt, these are fans first and foremost.

The Samuelis carried the Stanley Cup into the most magnificent backyard in southern California. Positioned on a beachside cliff overlooking the mighty Pacific, it's arguable that the Stanley Cup may never have had a backdrop so extraordinary. Wow!

Yes, captains of industry can be hockey fans but so too can they love their music. With Metallica's 'Enter Sandman' blasting from an incredible sound system, Henry proudly showed off his music room. There, amidst memorabilia from rockers like Led Zeppelin sat the Stanley Cup. Howie Morenz would have been listening to 'Puttin' on the Ritz' by Harry Richman when he won the Stanley Cup in 1930. Dave Keon would have enjoyed Lulu's 'To Sir With Love' when the Maple Leafs won the Stanley Cup in 1967. As for the Samuelis in 2007, it's rock -- and the harder the better!

Henry Samueli proudly hoists the Stanley Cup atop a large stone wall that reads "The Henry Samueli School of Engineering" at the University of California.
(Mike Bolt/HHOF)

Through the afternoon, Henry and Susan took the Cup to various spots in celebration — the Samueli Theater at the Orange County Performing Arts Center and the Samueli School of Engineering at the University of California, Irvine, to name but two.

While on the campus, a young lady spotted the Stanley Cup and bolted over. "Oh my gawd," she exclaimed. "Is this the real Stanley Cup?" Henry nodded, "Yes, it's the real deal." Puzzled, the student furrowed her brow and asked, "Are you one of the Ducks?" Henry laughed and replied, "Well, no. But I own the team." The girl squinted and became incredulous. "You…you…you're Henry Samueli!! Oh my gawd!! I go to your engineering school!!"

Henry blushed, but immediately got himself tagged with a nickname by Susan. "Hey, C.M.," she'd laugh throughout the afternoon. "Chick magnet!"

The Samueli family groups together for a classic family photo on the wing of their private jet with the Stanley Cup. (Mike Bolt/HHOF)

The couple visited a few other sites, including their temple, one to which they have offered incredibly generous gifts. Henry is the son of Holocaust survivors, and has never forgotten the atrocities witnessed by his parents, their families and friends. The philanthropy of the Samuelis has extended from education to health, from the arts to their faith. "It goes back to my parents," Henry mentions. "They were nearly eradicated in the Holocaust, and this was a way to maybe make up for that by creating a permanence of Judaism in society."

That evening, Henry and Samueli hosted an outstanding party for guests affiliated with Broadcom.

Read the rest here - Link