The only difference between Teemu Selanne and Saku Koivu skating on the same line Thursday night, and the two skating together for the Finnish national team, was … well … everything.
“Right now, we just have to be patient and keep working at it.”
If anything, Koivu may have seemed impatient to Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle in a 3-0 preseason loss to the Vancouver Canucks at Honda Center. Carlyle said that Koivu and Selanne “tried to do too much” in a game that featured more fights (four) than goals.
Koivu said Friday that, under the circumstances, he simply had a hard time relaxing.
“There’s a new style of play, and a lot of things you get adjusted to,” he said. “Probably a little bit nervous too. That’s something that by getting more playing time I’ll relax a bit.”
Much has written about Koivu’s off-ice adjustment from Montreal to Anaheim, where he won’t be the team captain, won’t face the same media scrutiny, and won’t have to learn French.
Now that hockey is upon us, it’s worth asking: What about on the ice?
“There’s a bit of different style on the forecheck and the basics are pretty similar, but there’s little differences and twists,” Koivu said. “It’ll take a little time to get used to.”
Koivu and Selanne are expected to start the game as linemates Saturday night against the Kings.