9 Goes for 30
Friday, 03.30.2012 / 1:22 PM PT
|Ryan is two goals away from joining a pretty exclusive club. "It’s not something I’m thinking a lot about, but being able to reach that point every year for the first four seasons of a career would be a really cool thing."|
If he gets two more goals, he will be one of two active NHL players to score 30 goals in each of their first four full seasons. The other? A guy named Alex Ovechkin.
In fact, only 15 guys in the history of the NHL have done it, many of which did it during an era when goals were easier to come by than they are today.
On the way to LAX for an afternoon team flight into Phoenix, I talked for a few minutes with BR about the significance of 30 and some other topics:
What does 30 goals mean to you?
It’s not something I’m thinking a lot about, but being able to reach that point every year for the first four seasons of a career would be a really cool thing. But it really hasn’t weighed on my mind too much during this last little stretch. I’m starting to think about it more and how nice it would be, but it’s really an afterthought.
Do you realize that Ovechkin is the only active guy who has done that?
I didn’t until you just told me. I always just thought it would be something nice to achieve. Personally myself, I wanted to hit 30 and then keep going and move on to higher numbers. That’s taken a backseat because of the year and the start we had. It would be a cool number to reach, especially to be listed with a guy like him.
You’ve been moving to different lines a little bit this season after skating for so long with Getz and Perry. How has that been for you?
Style-wise, I always meshed well with Getz and Pears, but the problem with our line is we all like to cycle the puck and hold onto it. We weren’t getting enough attack on the net. Sometimes things have got to change. Usually I go down and get different looks on different lines. I’ve always been okay with it and I’ve never really been upset or anything like that. I just try to embrace whoever I’m playing with. I think I’ve found something good with Bones (Nick Bonino) lately and maybe we’ll create our own little duo going forward.
It’s been a disappointing season for the team, but what kind of grade would you give your season individually?
Well, it’s obviously not going to be a passing grade, but I split the season mentally into two different parts, and that’s before Bruce and after Bruce. When Bruce came in, I was able to put the slow start and the losing attitude we were having for a little while behind me. I’ve just kind of embraced what he’s asked me to do and try to learn from it. I really like our relationship, and since Bruce has been here, I’ve come into my own a little bit. I’ve found some chemistry with Bones and we’ve been able to go on a little run. Before that it was an ultimate fail, and after that it’s gotten subtly better. What I’m looking at is setting it up for next year and looking for stuff to build off of at the end of this season.
How have the players responded to Bruce?
Bruce has come in and he moves mountains just by talking to the guys in the room. Everybody has embraced the system he’s brought in with him and it’s been a huge plus for us.
"We have to be ready to do that at some point, and personally, I would love to do it. I think I’m ready to take on a bigger role and I’m ready to anchor a line. And I think I can really embrace the role he’s taken in the community." - Ryan on the Ducks someday replacing Teemu SelanneYou’ve frequently been the subject of trade talk. Does that weigh on you or do you get used to it?
You never get used to it. You can say all the clichés that I’ve heard before, but it’s really tough, especially when you build a home somewhere and you finally have some roots. I try and leave everything at the rink and not take things home with me. You need to separate your personal life and your business life and just try and enjoy yourself outside the rink. But it’s not easy.
Several weeks ago, you talked about wanting to be the guy who steps up into a more prominent role if and when Teemu Selanne retires. Can you get into that a little bit?
A lot of people read too much into it and took it out of context. All I was saying is, Teemu is 41 and at a certain point, we have to prepare as a team for life after him. That could be finding a guy who can take that second-line role, filling it in with trades or draft or free agency or whatnot or creating a line that I can be the pivot point on and I can help bring guys along in that role. Teemu has done that for me, and other guys in the past. We have to be ready to do that at some point, and personally, I would love to do it. I think I’m ready to take on a bigger role and I’m ready to anchor a line. And I think I can really embrace the role he’s taken in the community.
What are the plans for the offseason?
I’m going to go over to Finland with the U.S team for the World Championships in May. Then when I get back from that, I’ll be packing up again for my place in Idaho and spend most of the summer there.