Saku Koivu on his first game.

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.

“It’s our first preseason game, and the Olympics or the Worlds are in between the season or at the end of the season,” he said. “The preseason is time to get into game shape, get the conditioning where it is. The closer you get to the season, the better you want to play.”

“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.

This entry was posted in Anaheim Ducks/NHL by J.P. Hoornstra. Bookmark the permalink.

About J.P. Hoornstra

J.P. Hoornstra covers the Dodgers, Angels and Major League Baseball for the Orange County Register, Los Angeles Daily News, Long Beach Press-Telegram, Torrance Daily Breeze, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Pasadena Star-News, San Bernardino Sun, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, Whittier Daily News and Redlands Daily Facts. Before taking the beat in 2012, J.P. covered the NHL for four years. UCLA gave him a degree once upon a time; when he graduated on schedule, he missed getting Arnold Schwarzenegger's autograph on his diploma by five months.

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