April 4, 2015
Today was one of only three days in my trip which did not involve an airport. The L.A. to Anaheim leg of the trip is the shortest in travel time and distance. This gave me a chance to get caught up on a few things, and get some well needed rest.
I arrived at the Honda Center well in advance of the game, and had no problem purchasing a ticket to the game at the ticket window.
Here is a shot of the Honda Center as you approach the main entrance, and similar to what they do in L.A., Fox Sports conducts their coverage of the game outside the arena.
The Ducks store was packed with people shopping, and a number of them wanted a customized jersey. They do this on the spot, adding whatever you want on the name bar.
Here are a few shots in and around the concourse levels of the arena, some of the unique kiosks include Anaheim Pizza and a tequila bar.
As I was taking a few pictures of the pre-game skate, I ran into a few of the Ducks boosters, and they obliged me with a photo. They got a a kick out my 30games-30nights trip, and they impressed me with their hockey knowledge. And speaking of hockey knowledge, a Ducks fan (Wally) recognized me from some media coverage, and we talked hockey for about 10-15 minutes before the game. Wally was a Kings fans going back to the 70’s (he could recite the full names of the “Triple Crown Line”), but he switched to Anaheim when the team was founded. Talking to the local fans about hockey, and their favourite team is one of the things I enjoy about this trip.
One of the mainstays in my reports are the banners or any retired (or honored) jerseys which hang from the rafters. And also, a snapshot of the team’s Jumbotron. (This one sure has a lot of 2’s on it.) I’ve also included a shot of the crowd cheering a Ducks goal. It was not the Ducks night though, as they went down in defeat, losing to Colorado 4-2, the last goal an empty-netter.
A skirmish broke out late in the second period, but it was diffused very quickly. After 22 games in my trip, there has only been one fight, which is an indication that fighting is down in the NHL. (And also, a lot of teams are in playoff mode, a time in the hockey season when fighting takes place less than the regular season.) The Ducks mascot, Wild Wing, got all charged up with the action on the ice!
I left promptly after this game to catch a red-eye to Ottawa. This is the most gruelling travel day of my trip. There are no direct flights from L.A. to Ottawa, so while my original plan was to fly out at 7 a.m., with the stopover, I would not have landed in Ottawa until 5:14 p.m. That’s cutting it too close for a 7:00 p.m. game. With my new plan, I leave L.A. at 12:15 a.m., and with a stopover in Philadelphia, I arrive in Ottawa around 1:00 p.m. The flying time is only (?) 7 hours, but with a 3 hour stopover, added to a 3 hour time zone change, it makes for a long trip. Hopefully I can nap in Ottawa before the game tonight.
I’m looking forward to the last week of my trip! I get to see the remaining three “original six” teams of my trip: Detroit (April 5th), Montreal (April 9th), and Toronto (April 11th).