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MORNING BRIEFING

If it quacks like a duck . . . maybe not

When former Duck Dan Bylsma was named the Penguins' interim coach Sunday -- succeeding the fired Michel Therrien -- it jogged a few memories around the halls of the team's Anaheim headquarters.

February 18, 2009|Lisa Dillman

When former Duck Dan Bylsma was named the Penguins' interim coach Sunday -- succeeding the fired Michel Therrien -- it jogged a few memories around the halls of the team's Anaheim headquarters.

During the Ducks' playoff run to the Stanley Cup finals in 2003, Bylsma had a tradition after victories. He was often a healthy scratch but would come rushing into the dressing room in his suit after the game.

"He would yell out, 'Duckies, duckies, duckies, quack, quack, quack'!" recalled Alex Gilchrist, the team's director of media and communications.

The noise level of the quack was ear-splitting. His teammates got a kick out of it. Bottom line: Hockey players are a superstitious lot and if he stood on his head in the dressing room and it resulted in a win, well, that would be fine too.

A good thing Bylsma wasn't playing in those days for New Jersey, which defeated the Ducks in seven games in the finals. The sound of someone yelling, "Devils, devils, devils!" might have been slightly unnerving.

Still, wonder if he plans on making a Penguin noise if Pittsburgh beats Montreal in its next game Thursday.

Trivia time

Which NHL team drafted Bylsma and in what year?

Bring it on

San Francisco columnist Scott Ostler's lead paragraph from Pebble Beach:

"Is that all you've got, Mother Nature?"

Ostler, another reporter and a Chronicle photographer decided to play the famous No. 7 hole at Pebble Beach on Sunday after inclement weather halted the tournament.

This expedition was done on the QT, dodging the $495 fee green. Well, as QT as you can get with a column detailing the fun and games the next day in the newspaper.

"Maybe the tourney people will thank me by asking me to play in their fine event next year," Ostler wrote. "I'll wait by my mailbox for an invitation.

"Or a restraining order."

Trivia answer

The Winnipeg Jets took him in the sixth round in the 1989 entry draft, but he never played a game for the Jets. He would eventually play for the Kings and Ducks.

And finally

Angles Manager Mike Scioscia was asked Tuesday at spring training whether he was tempted to use performance-enhancing substances near the end of his playing career, and he poked fun at his weakness for food: "Tempted? I was worried about what restaurant I was going to eat at. That's what I was tempted with."

--

lisa.dillman@latimes.com

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