I woke up today proud of the Anaheim Ducks accomplishments this season. The Ducks clinched the Pacific Division title against the San Jose Sharks on Apr. 9. This is the third time the Ducks have accomplished the feat. They did it last year and in the 2006-07 season when the Ducks won the Stanley Cup. Even more impressive is the Ducks clinched the first seed in the Western Conference, earning them home ice through the first three rounds of the playoffs. The Ducks have never earned the first seed in the Western Conference before.
The Ducks also have 53 wins, which is a single season record. The previous record was 48 wins set by the 2006-07 Championship team. The Ducks can make it 54 wins tonight with a win against the Colorado Avalanche.
The Boston Bruins won yesterday so the Ducks can’t catch them and claim the President’s trophy. We also know the Ducks will face the Dallas Stars in the first round of the playoffs this year. So in terms of the season and playoffs the final home game of the season will have no impact.
The final home game of the season is going to have a different impact though. Today is supposed to be Teemu Selanne‘s last regular season home game of his career. It’s difficult to believe the day has come already. This season seemed to go by so quick.
I had the privilege to meet Selanne one time and he was a class act like he always has been. Selanne is hockey. He has been an ambassador to the game in Finland, Canada, and the United States. We saw the impact he had at his final game against the Winnipeg Jets, the team that original drafted him in the NHL. We saw him lead the Finland hockey team to a Bronze medal at the Sochi Winter Olympics.
Last night we witnessed the Los Angeles Kings honor Selanne with a pre-game presentation. It says a great deal when the Ducks cross town rival even honors him. Selanne has gained and earned respect throughout the league and world of hockey in general.
Thank you Teemu Selanne for everything you have done for the fans here in southern California and the world. Thank you for helping the Ducks bring home the first Stanley Cup in California.
It’s going to be an emotional night. I will be at the game chanting “one more year” like many other fans. I am glad the fans will get to see you play more in the playoffs.