|Ducks would rather win Cup than MVP trophy|
|Written by Admin|
|Wednesday, 06 June 2007 13:34|
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -Jean-Sebastien Giguere remembers what it was like winning the Conn Smythe Trophy as MVP of the 2003 playoffs.|
He didn't bother bringing it into the dressing room after the Anaheim Ducks lost to New Jersey in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals.
``From past experience, this is not the trophy you want to win,'' Giguere said. ``You can't really celebrate it because in a way it's kind of selfish, especially when you lose.''
As in 2003, the MVP trophy doesn't always go to a member of the Cup-winning team. In the Ducks' case, there doesn't appear to be a clear-cut candidate this season.
``That means we have a good team and there's a lot of guys that contribute,'' Giguere said. ``That's the way it should be if you want to win the Cup.''
The least of the Ducks' worries, though, is who wins MVP.
``Nobody cares,'' Giguere said. ``There's one thing we want - the Cup.''
Wait a minute, Teemu Selanne says.
``As long as the Conn Smythe is going to go to somebody on our side,'' he said.
WORDS TO LIVE BY: Whether seldom-used Ducks forward Joe Motzko actually said it, his name was pasted to the bottom of an inspirational quote on the greaseboard in the Anaheim dressing room.
The team held an optional morning skate Wednesday in advance of Game 5 of the Stanley Cup finals against the Ottawa Senators. The Ducks' mantra since taking a 3-1 series lead with a win in Ottawa on Monday night was to keep full attention on the task at hand and not look at what lies ahead with one more win.
``Focus on the present moment,'' the board said next to the day's practice and meeting schedule, ``the preparation, the game, the period, the shift, the execution, the challenge immediately in front of you.''
The Ducks entered play 7-0 in potential home-clinching games, including 3-0 this season.
NO PRACTICE: The Ottawa Senators didn't practice Wednesday, keeping up a pattern they established during the first two games of the finals in Anaheim.
``They won't give us the ice until 10:30 in the morning,'' coach Bryan Murray said. ``We asked them for ice time here. They said you can have 10:30.''
Murray agreed, then asked what time the Ducks were having their optional skate. He was told 9 a.m. or 9:30, so he proposed the Senators go at 7 a.m.
``They wouldn't let us,'' he said. ``I thought the NHL would give that allowance to us, but that wasn't the case. We would even go out with the officials this morning and play shinny, and they wouldn't let us do that.''
JIGGY'S FUTURE: Jean-Sebastien Giguere becomes an unrestricted free agent when the Ducks' season ends.
The 30-year-old goalie earned $3.99 million this season. That's relatively cheap compared to Vancouver's Robert Luongo and Dallas' Marty Turco, who each made $6 million.
Winning the Stanley Cup and possibly earning a second MVP trophy could boost Giguere's price considerably when negotiations open this summer.
``I'd love to re-sign here,'' he said. ``This is a team that's going to be good for many years. You want to be part of a team like that.''
Giguere has personal reasons for wanting to stay. His son, born April 4, has a deformed right eye that needs medical attention.
``I've got my house here, I feel very comfortable around here and my son's doctors are all around here,'' he said. ``There's many reasons why I would want to sign here. Is it going to happen? Hey, I don't have a magic ball.''
SALES SOARING: The Ducks' postseason success has translated into fans snapping up more of the team's redesigned merchandise.
Fans bought an average of $15.38 worth of souvenirs during the first two games of the Stanley Cup finals, which the Ducks won at home, according to the NHL.
That's up 75.4 percent over the average per person sales during last year's finals between Carolina and Edmonton and an increase of 81.6 percent over the 2004 final between Tampa Bay and Calgary.
Carolina fans bought an average of $9.26 and Edmonton fans spent $8.28. Three years ago, Tampa Bay fans spent $8.56 per person, while Calgary fans laid out $8.38.
Last June, the Ducks dropped Mighty from their name and changed their logo and colors. Sales at the team store inside Honda Center are up 236 percent this season.
``Our fans have proven all season that hockey is alive and well in Southern California and this is another example of that,'' said Tim Ryan, Ducks executive vice president and chief operating officer.
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