Sunday, August 21, 2011

Back in the saddle again.




Where has the time gone?

Seems that the last post I did for OOTP was almost a year ago, and I was still living in Olympia, WA.
Now, let's quickly sum up what has happened since then…

I moved back home to SoCal in Nov. Returned to watching a lot of Ducks games inside the Pond with my better half, Lauren! And I mean A LOT! Anaheim went on an amazing run towards the end of the season to nab the 4th seed in the WC for the post.

They were matched up against the Nashville Divers.. *cough* excuse me, Predators. i don't want to relive that series, so I'll just say that it didn't go so well for the Ducks, but we all know that. The season was over. The Boston Bruins went on to take the Vancouver Canucks in the SCF and won it all. Anaheim finally got rid of Andy Sutton(sorry that it didn't work out Andy, you screened our goalies too many times and couldn't make it as a forward). After the All-Star Game, Jonas Hiller had a really bad case of the Vertigo, no, not with Jimmy Stewart, and missed the rest of the season. Anaheim traded MacBackup for Dan Ellis and also brought in the netminder that they beat to win the Cup in '07, Ray Emery. That worked out well but it still didn't work out with the result that every hockey fan has for their team, which is to win Stanley's Hardware.

Then there was Corey Perry… what a beast!
Perry went onto win not only the Rocket Richard Trophy, but also won the coveted Hart Trophy for the 2010/2011 season. Selanne was another notable player who didn't even look a day over 30, while outplaying those who were way younger!

It was a better result than the 2009/2010 season, but still felt like a long summer, which is starting to come to an end. All the teams in the NHL will soon be getting together to start their training camp, and as of yesterday, the countdown to the first preseason game began: one month exactly! It was a great revelation as I celebrated my birthday.

So there you have it. I'm back. Time to wipe the dust off and get back into this here blog!

And as The Singing Cowboy once sung…

"I'm back in the saddle again."

Go Ducks!

Friday, October 15, 2010

The Start of 2010-2011


And here we go...


And we begin the 2010-2011 NHL season, which so far, isn't so great. As of tonight the Ducks are 1-3-1 however, it's they are looking better than their first 3 games on the road to Detroit, Nashville, and St Louis. Those 3 were embarrassing to say the least but before all that nonsense, I flew back down to SoCal and attended training camp as well as 2 pre-season games.

It was fun being back home amongst my fellow Ducks supporters a
nd of course being back in the Pond. I met more great people, took some photos with a few players and hung out. I miss it so much.



My good friend Nick joined me for the first pre-season game against the Coyotes. Anaheim lost and I went alone to the 2nd one the following night against the Sharks, which we won. Both nights I was able to become a seat ninja and got to sit very close to the glass: 3 rows from in the 1st game and up against in the 2nd. Hey, it was pre-season and not many people where there, figured that I would help warm those cushions wait tushins!





So here we are now, 5 games into the season and the Ducks are 3 points in so many games. Getzy was named the Cap'n, which I was hoping it would be Koivu, he got the A along with Selanne. Like I said, the first 3 games were a disaster with Anaheim getting out played, out shot, out everything in each. The Ducks would get blanked out in Detroit(0 - 4), they would lose in Nashville the following night(1 - 4), and in St. Louis, it would be the same result(1-5).
Next would be opening night at home and knowing their record for winning home opener games, things weren't too optimistic.


The team that were visiting that night would be the Vancouver Canucks who are favoured to be the big Cup contender this year. Anaheim would score first but the Nucks would answer back quickly with 2 goals. Things started to get gloomy. Selanne would tie it up, however Vancouver would go-ahead. That's when the big RPG line would finally produce and answer back in fine fashion get two unanswered. Although it wasn't a pretty win, it was a win nonetheless, one that was needed. The team effort was there where in the first 3 games, it wasn't near anywhere.
Tonight, Atlanta was in town and they would get on the board first, literally. The first shot on goal was theirs and it was in the back of the net. Anaheim would answer on a PP goal from Perry. In the 2nd period, Anaheim would get two, one from dman Toni Lydman who made his debut after having double vision before the pre-season games started. Getzy would get the Ducks 4 goals to 2 over the Thrashers in the 3rd but Anaheim would fail on 2 PKs and Atlanta would tie it up, sending the game into OT and into the shootout where only one player would score, unfortunately it would be a Thrashers player. Anaheim lost 4 - 5 but not without showing better play yet not good of defense on the PK.




With that, my trip was great though I could say less for the start of the season.

And sadly, I won't be doing OOTP much for next two weeks being that things are happening in my personal life and I pretty much will be without a laptop and monitor for my other computer, thus begins a hiatus or rather "until I can write when I find a CPU with proper display". Same goes for the Ducks Vlogstrosity. However, I am hoping to be back in SoCal, living on Nov 3.

Until then, I wish everyone the best and as always + forever:

Go Ducks!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Seattle Meets Anaheim




Quick hit for today...


Being that I am currently living in the PNW and sans the Canucks, the only hockey teams in the area play in the WHL and that I get news regarding the Seattle Thunderbirds, I figured that I would share the email that I have just received.

It seems that a couple of T-Birds players will be attending NHL training camps. And one of those players will be at the Ducks camp starting on the 18th of this month.

Seattle defenseman, "Scott Ramsay left for the Anaheim Ducks Training Camp on Friday. Ramsay, a 19-year-old defenseman, is a free agent invite to the Ducks camp." That was the line that opened up my eyes up a bit. Ramsay was acquired by the T-Birds in a trade last season with the Chilliwack Bruins. He appeared in 64 games with the T-Birds and had a goal and three assists with 129 PIM.

I will be keeping my eyes open whilst at training camp for Ramsay. Hopefully he will be a promising player for Anaheim in the future.

Go Ducks!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

GREAT TO BE BACK!

Do you feel it?

That change in the air (unless you're living in SoCal)? All the annoying teeny-boppers going back to school? August being over?

It feels great to be back! No, I'm not talking about freaking American Football, I am talking about Hockey! Training camp is just around the corner! All the players return while some have questions whether or not they'll be returning to the same team. And some will be playing along side new faces. And last but not least:

OUT OF THE POND + DUCKS VLOGSTROSITY IS BACK IN ACTION!

Been a pretty eventful, then un-eventful summer! The Cap'n and Aaron Ward say goodbye to hockey. Selanne signed on for one more, Koivu for 2. Wiz and Mikey B are gone. Danny Syvret, Toni Lydman, and Andy Sutton come on to a help out on the blueline while Aaron Voros and Trevor Smith sign on for the front. All the while the main thing is...

"Will we have Bobby Ryan re-signed before camp??"

Things have progressed but anything final has yet to be determined. We all sit on edge and wait.

Also, I brush off the rust and dust and bring you a new installment of Ducks Vlogstrosity!

Have a look and enjoy! Like I said before, it's feel good being back!



Go Ducks!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

THANK YOU, CAPTAIN.


When I woke up this morning to my text message, I knew it wasn't going to be promising. My mobile screen read:

"The Ducks and Scott Niedermayer will be holding a press conference this afternoon."

You usually don't hold a presser for announcing one more year. Then the word on the interweb and twitter was spreading like wildfire. People were saying that Scotty was going to announce his retirement. As a Ducks fan, I knew that this day would come. We've all been expecting it since after the 2007/2008 season. However, when I sat there watching the live stream of the presser and hearing Scotty say "I'm here to announce: I'm retiring from professional hockey.", I still found myself to be in shock. Scotty has played such a big part on and off the ice for Anaheim. He was our Cap'n. I gotta admit that the water-works turned on when he thanked his family and had to stop so he could hold back the tears but I can imagine that there's a bit of relief on his end. And I will say that there's some on our end as well because the same off-season, song and dance started to get a wee bit frustrating. Now we know that the team will move on.

So now we all are left wondering about the status of the much needed defense on the Ducks bench because if we thought that our D was thin last year, it's even now worse with the Cap'n hanging up his skates. And this also doesn't mean we won't see the last of Scotty. He also announced that he will still be apart of the club as a consultant and the team will help him grow as a coach. I can definitely see him as a D coach for Anaheim later down the line. Also there's the question of:

"Who will be the one to wear the C next season?"

Some will answer: Getzlaf. I must be honest, he is not ready yet. As much as i would like to see Selanne wear it, i know that he doesn't want to. So in my humble opinion, I think it will be down between Koivu and Marchant. We will see.

With the draft coming in 3 days, it will be interesting to see if there are any other eventful news in Anaheim but with Scotty's announcement today, we all can exhale, just a little. Let's not forget that there is still the case with Bobby as well as with anything official from Selanne and Koivu. Let's hope that Scotty retiring is the only reason why we would feel empty inside. And speaking of which:

THANK YOU SCOTTY.
You will always be Cap'n in my heart.

Go Ducks.

Scotty's legacy: One of the best in the history of the game.

[from ducks.nhl.com]

Career Accomplishments
Four-time Stanley Cup Champion
Won one Cup with Anaheim (2007) and three with New Jersey (1995, 2000 & 2003)
Team Canada – Two Olympic Gold Medals (2002 & 2010)
Served as Team Captain at 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver 2004 World Championship, 2004 World Cup Title, 1991 World Junior Championship
2004 James Norris Memorial Trophy Winner
Was named a finalist for the trophy three straight seasons (2004, 2006 & 2007) Six-Time NHL All-Star
Appeared in five All-Star Games (1998, 2001, 2004, 2008 and 2009) Was named to the 2007 All-Star Game but did not play due to injury
Three-Time First Team All-Star (2004, 2006 & 2007)

2007 Conn Smythe Trophy Winner
Was named the NHL’s Most Valuable Player during Anaheim’s Stanley Cup Run

1993 NHL All-Rookie Team Member

1992 Memorial Cup Champion, Kamloops Blazers, Western Hockey League
Stafford Smythe Trophy Winner as Memorial Cup MVP

13 Career Overtime Goals, the Most by a Defenseman in NHL History All-Time Leading Defensive Scorer for the Anaheim Ducks and New Jersey Devils
The Only Player in Hockey History to Have Won a Stanley Cup, Olympic Gold Medal, World Championship, World Cup, Memorial Cup and World Junior Title
No other player has won even five of those six titles

The Only Player in Hockey History to have won Four Stanley Cups and Two Olympic Gold Medals

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Congratulations!

Chicago Blackhawks, Stanley Cup Winners
of the 2009/2010 season!


however, I will add you to this list:



Go Ducks!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

HAPPY 3rd ANNIVERSARY, DUCKS FANS!





It was a great day...





It's June 6th, 2007 and by the end of the night, the Anaheim Ducks would be winners of the Stanley Cup for the 2006/2007 season. They would win it all in 5 games against the Ottawa Senators. Teemu Selanne would be hoisting the Cup above his head with tears in his eyes. As the telly spot shows, no words would be able to describe his feeelings:



It's something that every person in the Ducks nation longs to witness again... soon. On that day, I was at work watching some of the game with other Ducks fans who were also employed at the Disneyland. We were all joyous. I know some who were actually at that wonderful game watching with their own eyes as it all unfolded. Where were you?

Being that today is a special day, I have asked a couple of fellow Ducks bloggers to write their experience on June 6, 2007: Jer from Hockeypunx.com and Jen from Anaheim Calling. They were so cool to accept and here are their stories...


JER:

[A Cup and a Concussion]

“Boss, I'm going to need Emergency Time Off today”

“Why?!?”

“My team is going to win the Stanley Cup.”

“[long pause]... Okay.”

The day the Ducks won the Cup is one that, 3 years later, I still find myself piecing in little bits at a time. I will say that as my story unfolds, I will be making regular mention of drinking. But please keep in mind that I don't mention it in some sort of frat boy, macho “look how much I can fucking drink bro” kind of way. I'm not that kind of guy. I mention it only because, ultimately, it is important to the story.

After securing the day off from my confused manager (I worked the night shift back then), I headed over to a local BJ's Restaurant to watch the game. If I couldn't be at the Ponda, I wanted at least to be around others watching the game. Luckily, there were Ducks fans in full force, and for once a bar was actually allowing some playing time for hockey on their TV's. Uncharacteristically of me, I quickly made friends with everyone sitting up at the bar.

It was only about 4 minutes in when McDonald scored the first goal of the night. With the Ducks up by one, I order a shot of Jager. Because BJ's doesn't keep Red Bull on hand, I drop the shot into what remains of my beer to make a not-so-great Jagerbomb substitute.

My enthusiasm for the game has a few people who weren't initially watching the play asking me questions about the ins and outs of the game. What does icing mean? Are they really just allowed to fight? What are the penalties? I try to tell them as much as I can over some beers while at the same time not losing focus on the game. By the time Rob scores goal number two just before the 1st period closes, they seem genuinely interested in hockey. Improvised Jagerbombs.

At the start of the 2nd period I realize it's probably just about time that my dad is getting off work, which isn't too far from BJ's. I call him up and invite him to come out. Though my dad's not a big drinker, we share some beers and watch some amazing hockey. Having my dad there makes this game somehow even bigger for me. Unlike my dad, I was never much of a sports fan, especially as a kid. But when I was 9 and the Mighty Ducks franchise just popped up in Anaheim my dad, as someone who knew nothing about hockey, decided it might be interesting to learn and get into. We were at the the (Mighty) Duck's very first game together (and many games that season and for many seasons to follow), and for some reason something about hockey just made it stick with this non-sports fans. Here it was 14 years later, and we were together watching that franchise about to take their first Stanley Cup. The moment seemed huge... but maybe I was just feeling a little sentimental after a few too many celebratory improvised Jagerbombs and beers. At this point, the Ducks had scored 3 more goals, and the Sens only 2. The Ducks were leading 5-2, and I had already had too much to drink.

At this time a coworker and friend of mine had gotten off work, and decided to come join my dad and I. I'm sure when my coworker showed up, he realized that he would be taking care of me that night.

Perry scored number 6 shortly before closing the 3rd period, and the Anaheim Ducks bring the first cup to to California. More drinks are shot, and I'm high-fiving everyone in the bar as the cup is passed from Duck to Duck on TV.

My coworker, realizing I was in no condition to drive at this point, decided that the right thing to do was to drive me back to work, so he can watch a drunken me taunt a Kings-fan coworker on his shift. And taunt I did. At least, I'm pretty sure I did. Things get a little fuzzy at this point. My friend starts to realize I might start getting a little too belligerent to be in an office with supervisors around, and that maybe I should cool down for a bit. Knocked Up had just come out, and so we went to see it. It wasn't until a few years later that I saw Knocked Up for a second time, and it was like watching the movie anew – I didn't remember a single thing.

After the movie, I was still clearly intoxicated, so my coworker did the responsible thing: Took me to another bar. This is a bar we used to frequent where everyone knew each other and, surprisingly, there were a few other hockey fans.

Shots were poured and quickly taken care of. This went on for some time. I don't remember much of anything from the bar from this point on, but I do remember at one time walking up to a urinal and puking. There's been very few times I've ever drank enough to puke, and I don't think ever in a public place. Especially in a urinal.

Eventually my coworker took me home. Back then I lived in a gated apartment complex. In my drunken stupor, I was convinced I did not have the keys to get in the gate. I acknowledged the fact that I did in fact have the keys to my home, but I somehow thought that the gate keys were left in my car back in the BJ's parking lot, and not on the same keychain as my home keys as usual. This wasn't the case, but you couldn't have convinced me of that.

Regardless, there was only one solution: Jump the gate. I struggled to pull myself up over the gate, failed, and stumbled backward. This repeated itself a few times. Eventually, the pathetic display had my coworker suggesting he help hoist me over.

I landed with a thud on the other side of the gate, and jumped immediately up to my feet.

“Dude, did you land on your head?”

“No, I'm good, good night.”

As I walked up to my door, I felt like I was losing snippets of time as I walked, and started to get very confused. I must be really drunk, I thought. When I got in the door, I immediately hit my bed (I was too dizzy to stand and the room was spinning a bit too much to do anything else). I fell asleep almost immediately.

When I reluctantly woke up the next day, I found I was still confused, and could barely walk a foot without throwing up. My coworker was calling me. He recapped some of the night and filled in a few of the many missing pieces.

We talked about jumping the gate. He told me I landed (and fell) awkwardly when I jumped to the other side, but it was hard for him to see me in the dark. He asked me again if I had landed on my head. I told him it was absurd, and there was no way.

After we got off the phone, I walked to the bathroom to try and brush my teeth and stand on my feet for more than a minute. When I looked in the mirror, I was a little shocked to see a gash with dried blood crusted to the entire side of my face.

Fuck, I landed on my hand.

Turns out my confusion and dizziness had less to do with the drinking and more to do with the concussion I would later find out that I was suffering from. I basically gave myself a mild form of temporary brain damage in order to celebrate the 2007 Stanley Cup champions.

The biggest question this all raised was, well, damn it... what bodily harm do I do in celebration of their next cup win?

* * * * *

Here's video of game 5's on-ice project intro:


Jen:

It felt like the longest workday of my life.

Wednesday, June 6th, 2007, the minutes ticked by. A job as an accountant is mundane to be sure, but it’s almost painful when you’re waiting for game time. No one in my office could understand the butterflies of this day. MY TEAM, the team I had followed intensely for the past 12 years was on the verge of taking the biggest prize in professional hockey; however, my Stanley Cup night was probably less exciting than most fans.

Finally released from my cubicle cell, I rushed home, not to a bar, but home, for game time. I chose to watch the game at home with my family, the only people, aside from close friends, that could truly understand my feelings on this night. They knew I lived and breathed Ducks hockey since my dad took me to my first game. They knew I was crushed, crying along with Jiggy back in 2003, when they lost Game 7.

I could barely watch the game. I knew that the Ducks we’re pretty secure in the series up three games to one, but I wasn’t taking anything for granted. I hid my eyes under a blanket most of the game. I was too nervous to watch. It was a good thing my dad had a DVR so we could go back and watch the goals.


Moen secured the win. Perry put it in the refrigerator. Three minutes left, then two, then one. We did it. They did it. My years of suffering through losing seasons had finally paid off - Lord Stanley had come to California.

I choked back tears as Teemu took his lap with The Cup. Of course I wanted this for the organization, but I wanted this for him more. Teemu Selanne is Anaheim Ducks hockey.

So quickly, the coverage was over. I was beaming, though. No one could take away this victory. So proud of my boys, this season, the organization, and Ducks fans everywhere. We deserved this, and I hope that I don’t have to wait long to experience it again.

I close with probably the best quote of the playoffs, from a then 22 year old Ryan Getzlaf. When asked about how it feels to win The Cup, Getzy responded with, “It feels great. We played our balls off.” Amen Getzy, amen.


* * * * *

Once again, THANK YOU to Jer and Jen and of course THANK YOU to the Ducks of 2007. All I ask is, can we please have more, this whole winning the Stanley Cup thingy is rather nice and addictive.

Let's Go Ducks!