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Getzlaf Eager to Get Back

The standout center missed significant conditioning time over the summer with a sports hernia injury

Monday, 09.14.2009 / 4:39 PM PT / Features
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Getzlaf Eager to Get Back
By Matt Vevoda

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Going under the knife for sports hernia surgery in late July made for one of the more trying offseasons yet for Ryan Getzlaf as a Duck.

Correcting an injury that flared up during summer workouts, the procedure (performed in Philadelphia by Dr. William Meyers, who has also worked with Jean-Sebastien Giguere and Todd Marchant on similar injuries) caused the 25-year-old center to miss out on time he normally earmarks for conditioning himself for the upcoming season.

“It’s tough when you lost a pretty important month of August,” Getzlaf said. “It was just a big downer. When (the injury) is in your core, it’s not I like I could just do legs or just do arms. I couldn’t do anything. Everything you do involves your core.”

"I was pretty excited to get back here, get after things and get back into the routing of playing, coming to the rink and being around the guys," Getzlaf said.
The start of training camp has Anaheim’s leading scorer the past two seasons back to his jovial self, as it’s signaled his return to the ice. Getzlaf has not been partaking in scrimmages through the first two days of team workouts at The Rinks – Anaheim Ice, but he has been skating with his teammates in other activities. Thus far, things are progressing in the right direction.

“I was pretty excited to get back here, get after things and get back into the routine of playing, coming to the rink and being around the guys,” said Getzlaf, who finished sixth in the NHL with 91 points last season and was selected to his second All-Star Game. “I felt good after yesterday’s skate. Today, I’m feeling more and more comfortable with my stride and takeoffs.”

Having Getzlaf at full strength come the start of the 2009-10 regular season will certainly be critical for the Ducks, especially if they have designs on utilizing an attack of three scoring lines, which the deepened scoring punch on the Ducks has provided as a possibility. 

For the majority of the last four seasons under the watchful eye of head coach Randy Carlyle, the Ducks have used a checking line to combat opposing team’s top lines. But things may be a bit different in the upcoming campaign.

"It's a new role for our team to play line one against line one," Getzlaf said. "Any player will tell you that they want to play against the best players in the league."
Anaheim’s No. 1 line of Getzaf, Corey Perry and Bobby Ryan developed late last season into a viable option against other team’s top lines, particularly in the Western Conference Quarterfinals against San Jose. That combined with the additions of new weapons in center Saku Koivu and winger Joffrey Lupul could see a different Ducks attack on the horizon.

“I think that we haven’t really looked upon anything other than trying to create three offensive lines,” said Carlyle, who has guided the Ducks to a team-record four straight playoff berths. “Historically, we’ve played a checking line. With the emergence of Getzlaf, Perry and last year Bobby Ryan, we felt that we could play those guys up against anybody’s so-called No.1 line in the league. That is a stepping stone. Are they going to be able to do it this year? We’re going to wait and see. But we think they’re capable of doing that.”

If that new philosophy sticks, Getzlaf would welcome the change. “It’s a new challenge for us every night and it’s great,” he said. “It’s a new role for our team to play line one against line one. Toward the end last year with injuries, it came time that we needed to play against those guys. It was a little different, but it was exciting. Any player will tell you that they want to play against the best players in the league.”

And that's exactly what opposing players do every time they go face to face with Getzlaf.




1 z - ANA 82 51 24 7 228 221 109
2 y - STL 82 51 24 7 239 197 109
3 x - NSH 82 47 25 10 226 202 104
4 x - CHI 82 48 28 6 220 186 102
5 x - VAN 82 48 29 5 236 220 101
6 x - MIN 82 46 28 8 227 198 100
7 x - WPG 82 43 26 13 223 204 99
8 x - CGY 82 45 30 7 237 213 97
9 LAK 82 40 27 15 218 197 95
10 DAL 82 41 31 10 257 257 92
11 COL 82 39 31 12 209 223 90
12 SJS 82 40 33 9 224 226 89
13 EDM 82 24 44 14 193 276 62
14 ARI 82 24 50 8 165 267 56


R. Getzlaf 77 25 45 15 70
C. Perry 67 33 22 13 55
R. Kesler 81 20 27 -5 47
J. Silfverberg 81 13 26 15 39
S. Vatanen 67 12 25 5 37
P. Maroon 71 9 25 -5 34
C. Fowler 80 7 27 4 34
H. Lindholm 78 7 27 25 34
M. Beleskey 65 22 10 13 32
R. Rakell 71 9 22 6 31
F. Andersen 35 12 5 .914 2.38
J. Gibson 13 8 0 .914 2.60

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