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HOCKEY DAILY REPORT : MIGHTY DUCKS

'Coach' Selanne Lends His Support

March 29, 1997|ELLIOTT TEAFORD

Standing behind the bench Friday loomed a familiar but out-of-place figure. No, the Ducks hadn't hired a new assistant coach. That was injured right wing Teemu Selanne.

Instead of watching from the press box, Selanne was asked by Coach Ron Wilson to move behind the bench to lend support to his teammates.

"We let him in on the whole process," Wilson said. "At this point in the season, I'm pretty sick of some guys. I told him to be positive. It was good to have another set of eyes on the bench. I think he started to like it."

Wilson said Selanne was hesitant at first but warmed to the task as the game progressed. Late in the third period, Selanne was reminding Wilson to switch from a four-line forward rotation to three lines.

At game's end, Selanne shouted out to reporters, "Hey, I'm 1-0 as coach."

It's likely Selanne will be behind the bench again when the Ducks play the Red Wings on Sunday in Detroit.

*

Neither Selanne nor Paul Kariya participated in the morning skate. Selanne had hoped to but remained sidelined by a strained muscle near his left rib cage. Kariya, who had a goal and assist Friday, has been bothered by a sore groin.

*

Brian Bellows' goal in the second period extended the Ducks' streak of power-play goals to 11 consecutive games, a team record. . . . Not in the lineup: defenseman Jason Marshall and center Kevin Todd (both coach's decision).

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