Ducks players prepared for ‘fatty’ Dustin Penner tonight

Back at the NHL Trade Deadline the Ducks traded Dustin Penner. Nobody saw it coming, including the two-time Stanley Cup winning left wing. Sure, after starting the season out pretty hot, his point totals had cooled a bit in 2014 – but they don’t call him Playoff Penner for nothing. Now a member of the Washington Capitals, he’s back in his beloved Southern California for the first of a pair of games this week.

In advance of tonight’s match-up in Anaheim, we caught up with Luca Sbisa and Patrick Maroon after the Ducks morning skate in Anaheim…

Sbisa on if he’s expecting Penner to take to twitter before the game and start chirping his former team:

“He’s a funny guy that way. I am expecting him to send out a few funny tweets this afternoon. I heard a funny one where he took a selfie where he was shirtless and he said I haven’t seen those things in six years. You know, he’s talking about his stomach looking like a “six pack”. I am always calling him fatty even though he’s in the best shape he’s ever been in. I still call him fatty. It’s just a habit that I can’t get rid of. I am sure if we line up against each other we’re going to have a few laughs on the ice.”

Sbisa on how he’s prepared himself for Penner, both on the ice on to trade a few one-liners with him:

“Oh yeah, I basically make some crack about his weight and he gets all upset because especially now since he has lost weight. But if you call him fatty he gets more upset now it seems like. He was a popular guy in the room that everyone liked so it will be nice to see him. I saw him for a bit at the end of practice today. He was standing on the Caps bench and I went over to say hi. Just chirps back and forth. That seems to be the best way to communicate with Dustin.”

Sbisa on the one moment that stands out from having Penner as a teammate?

“I remember that our relationship at the beginning was all about making fun of each other. But as time went on and things got more serious he was a guy that always had my back. I remember a situation for example there was a time that I was injured but still able to do what we call “battle drills” after practice and so we would go after each other a lot. After one of the sessions Bruce was critical of me and Penner stood up for me and said, “Sbisa is one of the hardest battlers I’ve ever gone up against.” It probably wasn’t true but he wanted to help me out and that shows what type of friend and teammate he is.”

Maroon on if he’s ready for to get an earful from Penner tonight:

“(laughs) Dustin is funny kid. I’m sure there will be some funny things coming out of his mouth. It will be great to play against him. You hate to see the fact that he was traded cause he was such a good guy. He was a great guy in the locker room. I’m sure we will have a lot of laughs out there if he’s going to be chirping.”

Maroon on the tougher challenge with Penner, battling for the puck or matching the war of words:

“Both are going to be equally tough. Hopefully I’ll be on the winning end of both.”

Maroon on if Penner gave him any pointers on how to approach the game:

“He was the type of player that I tried to mold my game to. He helped me a lot when he was here so it is going to be tough to play against him tonight. You hate to see guys go like that. He was a great guy in the locker room. A great guy to have on the team. Its part of the game and you move on. It will be fun to play against him and watch him live. He is a big physical guy who protects the puck really well. He has good hands and I would watch him play on the top line. It’s always great to see old teammates and catch up.”

Maroon on if Penner told him to keep his head up tonight:

“[Not yet], but he probably will once we get out on the ice tonight. (laughs)”

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