In an unusual way, Anaheim has been gaining fans in cities across Canada and the United States as they continue to dominate on the road in BEARD Hockey.
As the Anaheim Ducks continue to dominate on the road, their fan base increases. At one time this was unheard of.
Here at BEARD Hockey Gameday, we decided to follow the Ducks to their next destination (Vancouver) to face their main Pacific Division rival, the Canucks.
What we found was fascinating. Team Captain Bobby Ryann and hard-hitting fan favorite Cal Clutterbuck were separated from the team at Vancouver International Airport to a Trout Lake Ice Rink where over 250 kids in skates awaited their arrival.
The purpose? A two-hour clinic on how to play hockey tough and honestly.
After being introduced to the youngsters, Bobby Ryan began by saying, “Honest tough for hockey is when players finish their checks cleanly every opportunity, keeping your stick to yourself, keeping your mouth shut, going to the net to finish with a goal ,and going into the corner without the puck and coming out with it.”
Cal Clutterbuck added, “The art of checking is to separate the other player from the puck so you can gain possession. On the forecheck or in the corners, a clean shoulder-to-body check is not always executed.
"Too many times players look to take the easy way out by avoiding giving a check or trying to poke the puck with their stick. Finish your check every time you can because the next time that player has the puck, they will be thinking twice about holding onto it and will give the puck up earlier, which in turn will make the puck a 50-50 battle for you to gain possession.
"Do it cleanly and do it often.”
The two Ducks players then set up drills on how to do so in the four corners of the rink. After the drills, it was time for Ryan and Clutterbuck to leave.
But before doing so they handed Anaheim Ducks t-shirts and on the back was printed “Play Like a Duck: Honest Tough Hockey!
As we left Trout Lake Rink, we overheard two parents saying that the Ducks gained 250 fans today.