Tonight was the first preseason NHL game in Southern California. Though it didn’t go very well for the Ducks, who lost 4-1 to the Coyotes, it’s just the first game…
Bobby Ryan is still listed as a wing, but he’s been Center through camp and they’re planning on having three powerful scoring lines with Ryan leading one of them. He won 40% of his face-offs (not great, but since he only won one in the first period, it’s a pretty big improvement) and scored the only Ducks goal (on a power play from Fowler & Visnovsky).
Personally, I think Ryan makes a better wing than center, but I can understand the concept of trying to split up the lines and make them all stronger. I’m not convinced it’s a great idea yet, but tonight’s game was just the first. Perhaps I’ll think differently in a few weeks.
Though the crowd was announced as being over 12,000, the announcement clearly covers the number of seats sold or given away. There were no where near 12,000 fans in the Honda Center tonight. Those that were there got to see some of their favorite players working in the stores and concession stands. I’m sure the fans were just as pleased with that as they’ve been in the past. I’d definitely love to see the players of my favorite team around the arena when I went to the first preseason game. I think it’s a great idea.
Anaheim hosts San Jose tomorrow night and Los Angeles has a split squad night with Phoenix Thursday, playing in Phoenix at 7 and LA at 7:30. Hockey is back!