Hockey Headlines

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Finding Getzlaf

If you're an Anaheim Ducks fan or you play fantasy hockey, you know that Anaheim's Ryan Getzlaf is consistent when it comes to gathering points in a season. Sure, he's never won an Art Ross Trophy, but he's consistently in the top-ten in scoring year after year. Until this year, it seems. Getzlaf and the Ducks have struggled mightily out of the gates, and it's no surprise that the Getzlaf and linemate Corey Perry have been absent from the scoresheet. Every team, though, seems to have an opponent whose number they have, and the Ducks have the Flames' number when playing in southern California. That match-up was what Getzlaf needed.

Ryan Getzlaf broke out of his scoring slump in a big way, assisting on all five goals scored tonight as the Ducks downed the Flames 5-3 tonight. It was the second time he's recorded five assists in his career with the last time coming against Detroit on October 29, 2008. It would mark the 21st-straight time that Anaheim has defeated the Flames in Anaheim as well as that streak also continues. And on this night, the Flames had no answer for the big centerman.

"That's what he brings to the table," Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau told reporters after the game. "That's why he's played on Team Canada twice and won gold medals and a Stanley Cup. When he plays like that, he's a force to be reckoned with."

The coach's words should ring true in his player's ears as Getzlaf looked like an entirely different player tonight than the few times I've seen him this year. He seemed to be able to see plays as they were happening rather than reacting to the play in front of him. He clearly had vision to find players who were in good positions to score, and he looked like the dominant player every expects him to be. Needless to say, he was everything the Ducks need him to be on this night. And maybe a little more.

"Guys made some plays after I gave them the puck," Getzlaf said, deflecting any praise. He went on to say thathis line hasn't had a left winger in some time, and that Rickard Rackell fit perfectly on this night. I'd say he was correct as Rackell and Perry accounted for four of the five goals scored by Anaheim, and Getzlaf had a hand in all of them.

If the Ducks are going to do anything this year, the Getzlaf-Perry duo and whomever occupies that left wing slot will need to find a way to make plays happen. They're too important to be watching on any night, and they haven't ways to hit the scoresheet regularly to be threats yet this season. They were effective last season, but they've struggled this season thus far.

Perhaps it's a simply a confidence thing, and Getzlaf found himself a pile of it tonight. A five-point night will always do wonders for a struggling player. Now the only question will be whether this was the norm or just a blip on the radar of a poor season?

Until next season, keep your sticks on the ice!

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