What was the biggest surprise during the last weekend of the Ducks regular season?
Nominee No. 1, courtesy of Teemu Selanne: "Friday afternoon, we didn't even know if we were going to make the playoffs. The next day, we're fourth (in the Western Conference) with home ice. Unbelievable."
Nominee No. 2: Selanne dropped his gloves Saturday night, exchanged punches with Kings center Brad Richardson and picked up the first five-minute fighting major of his 18-year NHL career.
Tough call, isn't it?
Well, not for Selanne, the leading scorer in Ducks history, who added 80 points to his Hall of Fame-worthy resume at age 40 this season.
Selanne conceded he was surprised the Ducks wound up with home-ice advantage for their opening-round playoff series against Nashville – Game 1 is tonight at Honda Center – because the team had been "grinding three months" just to get in.
But the fight? He wanted to know why that was surprising. Selanne said he had to retaliate after Richardson had hit him in the head from behind, knocking off his helmet.
Selanne said he felt that "somebody" was trying to hurt him, "so I had to do what I had to do."
And that meant dropping the gloves and duking it out with a 26-year-old.
Reminded me of White Sox infielder Robin Ventura, 26, charging the mound and being pummeled by Texas legend Nolan Ryan, 46, back in 1993.
This one wasn't as one-sided, but Selanne declared himself the decisive winner after practice Monday. (You can watch a video of the bout at hockeyfights.com and score it yourself.)
"I'm 3-and-0," Selanne said, laughing.
Selanne proves the Ducks have fight
Orange County Register | Apr 13