John Griffiths on Flickr
- Duck hunting, anyone?
- Preliminary scouting report on Josh Niedermayer. He should be draft eligible sometime around 2019.
- Brian Burke and Kevin Lowe are like so totally not talking right now.
- Pictures with the Stanley Cup that Teemu Selanne probably should not show his wife. Maybe.
- You don't really need to be reminded, but Snoop Dogg is infact a Ducks fan.
- The Ducks had more wins and points last season than any other year in team history, but given that they won the Cup, you already assumed that.
- On their way to winning the Cup, the Ducks went a ridiculous 16-5 during the post season.
- Potentially the weirdest looking third jersey ever created.
Odds for the folks at gambler's anonymous
62 to 1: During today's season opener, bands of hockey hooligans start riots outside the arena in London.
3 to 1: You can't find an English speaking population that pays less attention to hockey than the Brits.
Obligatory serious analysis
Chances are the Ducks aren't ready to begin another hockey season just yet. After all, who wouldn't want to bask in a Stanley Cup victory for as long as possible? I know I would. The Ducks that suit up in London later today are going to be a much different team than the one we last saw in Game Five during the spring. Scott Niedermayer and Teemu Selanne are still considering retirement, and won't be in the lineup (as far as I know). Dustin Penner is gone, but his shoes are to be filled by Todd Bertuzzi. The Ducks did add a nice insurance package to their blue line in Mathieu Schneider, but he's hurt right now. There a ton of question marks surrounding this team right now, and none of them have easy answers.
One of the most disheartening things, if you're a Ducks fan, is how many players are going to miss the opening weekend with the team in London. Battle of California has a list of six, which doesn't include the recently injured Schneider. All too important and man who will surely be missed is Senators defender Chris Phillips, who will not be with the Ducks to start the season.
Seriously, this team is an enigma right now. At least to me. Injuries are a problem, and couple that with two star players still unsure about their playing future, and it makes for a dicey situation. If both Selanne and Niedermayer come back, this team has got to be among the favorites to win the Cup again this year. If they leave and any of Schneider/Pahlsson/Giguere miss a considerable amount of time due to injury, then this team will surely not win the Pacific. My bet? Selanne and Niedermayer are waiting for the games in London to pass to make a decision, and I'm going to be that at least one of them comes back. If they wanted to be away from the game that badly, they would have done it already.
Prediction: It's going to be hard for the Ducks to repeat. I believe the season is simply too long, the West is too tough and this team is going to be too banged up. They should make the post-season easily, but they won't take home the Pacific Division crown. I figure they'll settle in to the 5th or 6th spot out West.
The best looking ice girls in Anaheim
The Ducks have a "street team" but I have no idea if these ladies are a part of it. Try not to lose sleep worry about that, OK?
Previous Editions of Preseason Foreplay
- Atlanta Thrashers - August 15th
- Boston Bruins - August 27th
- Buffalo Sabres - September 21st
- Calgary Flames - September 2nd
- Carolina Hurricanes - September 26th
- Chicago Blackhawks - August 24th
- Colorado Avalanche - September 13th
- Columbus Blue Jackets - August 22nd
- Dallas Stars - August 13th
- Detroit Red Wings - September 25th
- Edmonton Oilers - September 1st
- Florida Panthers - August 26th
- Los Angeles Kings - September 8th
- Minnesota Wild - September 1st
- Montreal Canadiens - August 29th
- New Jersey Devils - August 19th
- New York Islanders - September 20th
- New York Rangers - September 16th
- Ottawa Senators - September 18th
- Philadelphia Flyers - September 6th
- Pittsburgh Penguins - September 6th
- Phoenix Coyotes - August 14th
- St. Louis Blues - September 9th
- San Jose Sharks - September 23rd
- Tampa Bay Lightning - August 18th
- Toronto Maple Leafs - September 11th
- Vancouver Canucks - September 25th
- Washington Capitals - September 12th