Wednesday, June 06, 2007


How pleasant it is that the Ducks -- I still prefer the Mighty Ducks as a name, but oh, well, owners can change names -- have brought the fabled Stanley Cup to Southern California. Working for the leading Sorange County newspaper, I've been observing this team, even though I'm not a huge hockey fan, from the beginning of the season. It's great to see how their hard work has paid off.

The Ducks have evolved, from an expansion team some 14 years ago, into a very physical team known for hard play and hard hitting. I think they were the most penalized team in the league this year, and if I'm not mistaken the first such team to win the Cup. I think it's because they have been able to show discipline when necessary, and they did so tonight. Poor Ottawa never had much of a chance. The 6-2 score tonight was indicative of top-to-bottom dominance.

My brother-in-law said this was a relatively sloppy game -- not characterized by crisp passing and the like -- compared to some he's seen. No matter. They stayed together and found a way to win. I'm especially pleased for Teemu Selanne, who's been a star for his whole career but was in his first Stanley Cup finals this year.

It's also nice for Henry Samueli of Broadcom and his wife Susan, who bought the team from the Disney people a couple of years ago. The Samuelis have been generous philantropists in Orange County, contributing major money to the opera company and classical music venues and organizations. It looks as if, while they had some active involvement, they mainly hired poeople they thought could ghet the job done and let them do it, which is usually a good management technique. Whatever they did, it worked.

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