George Parros: Plenty to cover with season in full swing
Hello LA Times readers! Well here we go again! Welcome back to the best hockey blog on the West Coast or anywhere else for that matter (haha!), I thank you all for joining me once more. The season is well under way so I’ve got plenty to cover. . . .
The season started out a bit slower than we would have preferred this year. We had a tough road trip to open the schedule starting with back-to-back home openers for Detroit and Nashville. No team ever really wants to start the year against Detroit, let alone on the road. Teams always get geeked up for their own home openers, wanting to put on a good show for their fans, which makes those games even more difficult. Fortunately, your Anaheim Ducks share the same mentality and we were able to get a win against Vancouver for our first game back at Honda Center.
Our team has seen some turnover, which seems to be business as usual for many teams in the salary-cap era. We have been going into battle with a lot of fresh faces, and I mean that literally because these kids are getting younger and younger every year. One of the bigger headlines thus far is the addition of Cam Fowler, our first-round pick this year who has played his way onto our squad as an 18-year-old. Alongside of Cam is another young buck, Kyle Palmieri, who played with Cam at the U.S. development program and is only one year Cam’s elder. I might also add that Kyle has doubled the number of homegrown New Jersey high school hockey phenoms on the team. Look out NHL, we’re taking over! Andy Sutton, who is just coming back from a hand injury, Toni Lydman, Paul Mara and Andreas Lilja have all been great additions to our blue line. We also added some scoring touch and grit with winger and former New Yorker Aaron Voros.
I think the latest and most interesting development of the new season thus far would have to be the arrival of "Movember." During this glorious month, courageous men the world over are cultivating their moustaches -- my before and after photos are above -- in order to raise awareness and money for men’s health issues. For the first time since my days in a Kings uniform, I played an NHL game sans 'stache. One of the main reasons I shaved, other than it being a great cause, was because so many of my teammates agreed to grow their face furniture out for the month as well. I think the fans will get a kick out of seeing these guys turn into dashing, distinguished gentlemen in one month’s time. For more information or to make a donation to Movember, please visit us.movember.com. I also put a link to the site on stachegear.com and will be updating some great 'stache pics from around the locker room soon.
I am writing this entry somewhere over Oklahoma or maybe Indiana by now, I have no idea. We just played the Dallas Stars and lost a heartbreaker, 2-1, snapping our seven-game standings point streak. We have been playing some good hockey lately and there is plenty more to come. I am particularly tired at the moment as I had a busy night. I had two fights in the game, which tends to drain one’s energy, but certainly helps my penalty minutes lead (it can be tough with guys like Corey Perry on your team who somehow is always right behind me.)
It was nice to catch up with you all. Stay tuned this year and we’ll have some fun!